leven

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Jewish (Ashkenazic): variant spelling of Levin.
  2. English, North German, and Dutch: from the Germanic personal name represented by Old English Lēofwine, Saxon Liafwin, composed of the elements lēof ‘dear’, ‘beloved’ + wine ‘friend’.
  3. English and Scottish: habitational name from places called Leven in East Yorkshire, Fife, and Renfrew. The first is probably from a stream name, possibly derived from a Celtic word meaning smooth (as in Welsh llyfyn). The Scottish place name is from a Gaelic river name meaning ‘elm river’.
  4. Dutch and North German: from a Flemish saint’s name, Lefwin (Lieven), the patron saint of Ghent (see Lewin 2).
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