Last name origins & meanings:
- English (but most common in Wales): from Lowis,
Lodovicus, a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic
elements hlod ‘fame’ + wīg ‘war’. This was the name
of the founder of the Frankish dynasty, recorded in Latin chronicles
as Ludovicus and Chlodovechus (the latter form becoming
Old French Clovis, Clouis, Louis, the former
developing into German Ludwig). The name was popular throughout
France in the Middle Ages and was introduced to England by the
Normans. In Wales it became inextricably confused with 2.
- Welsh: from an Anglicized form of the personal name
Llywelyn (see Llewellyn).
- Irish and Scottish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Lughaidh ‘son of
Lughaidh’. This is one of the most common Old Irish personal
names. It is derived from Lugh ‘brightness’, which was the name
of a Celtic god.
- Americanized form of any of various
like-sounding Jewish surnames.
- This name was brought independently to New England by many bearers
from the 17th century onward. William Lewis was one of the founders
of Hartford, CT, (coming from Cambridge, MA, with Thomas Hooker) in
Famous people with this first name:
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