Last name origins & meanings:
- English: nickname for a cheerful or boisterous person, from
Middle English ga(i)le ‘jovial’, ‘rowdy’, from Old English
gāl ‘light’, ‘pleasant’, ‘merry’, which was reinforced in
Middle English by Old French gail. Compare Gail 2.
- English: from a Germanic personal name introduced into England
from France by the Normans in the form Gal(on). Two originally
distinct names have fallen together in this form: one was a short form
of compound names with the first element gail ‘cheerful’,
‘joyous’. Compare Gaillard, the other was a byname from the
element walh ‘stranger’, ‘foreigner’.
- English: metonymic
occupational name for a jailer, topographic name for someone who lived
near the local jail, or nickname for a jailbird, from Old Northern
French gaiole ‘jail’ (Late Latin caveola, a diminutive
of classical Latin cavea ‘cage’).
- Portuguese: from
galé ‘galleon’, ‘war ship’, presumably a metonymic
occupational name for a shipwright or a mariner.
- Slovenian: from a pet form of the personal name Gal (Latin Gallus),
formed with the suffix -e, usually denoting a young person.
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