Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English and Scottish: topographic name for someone who lived near a tumulus, mound or hill, Middle English lowe, from Old English hlāw (see Law 2).
  2. Scottish and English: nickname for a short man, from Middle English lah, lowe (Old Norse lágr; the word was adopted first into the northern dialects of Middle English, where Scandinavian influence was strong, and then spread south, with regular alteration of the vowel quality).
  3. English and Scottish (of Norman origin): nickname for a violent or dangerous person, from Anglo-Norman French lou, leu ‘wolf’ (Latin lupus). Wolves were relatively common in Britain at the time when most surnames were formed, as there still existed large tracts of uncleared forest.
  4. Scottish: from a pet form of Lawrence. Compare Lowry 1.
  5. Americanized spelling of Jewish Lowe.
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