Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English (chiefly Lancashire): topographic name for someone who lived by or worked at a rough temporary shelter for animals, Middle English helm (Old Norse hjalmr, related to the Old English and Old High German words in 2 below), or a habitational name from a minor place named Helm or Helme from this word, as for example in County Durham, Northumberland, and West Yorkshire.
  2. English, German, and Dutch: metonymic occupational name for a maker of helmets, from Middle English, Middle High German, Middle Dutch helm.
  3. German and Dutch: from a medieval personal name, a short form of any of the various compound names formed with helm ‘helmet’. Compare, e.g., Helmbrecht.
  4. Scottish: habitational name from Helme in Roxburghshire (Borders).
  5. Jewish (Ashkenazic): ornamental name from German Helm ‘helmet’.
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