Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Irish: reduced form of McCarron.
  2. German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from Middle High German kerne ‘kernel’, ‘seed’, ‘pip’; Middle Dutch kern(e), keerne; German Kern or Yiddish kern ‘grain’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a farmer, or a nickname for a small person. As a Jewish surname, it is mainly ornamental.
  3. English: probably a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of hand mills, from Old English cweorn ‘hand mill’, or a habitational name for someone from Kern in the Isle of Wight, named from this word.
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