Last name origins & meanings:
- English, French, German, and Dutch: from the personal name
Paul (Latin Paulus ‘small’), which has always been
popular in Christendom. It was the name adopted by the Pharisee Saul
of Tarsus after his conversion to Christianity on the road to Damascus
in about ad 34. He was a most energetic missionary to the
Gentiles in the Roman Empire, and played a very significant role in
establishing Christianity as a major world religion. The name was
borne also by numerous other early saints. The American surname has
absorbed cognates from other European languages, for example Greek
Pavlis and its many derivatives. It is also occasionally borne
by Jews; the reasons for this are not clear.
- Irish: reduced Anglicized form of
Gaelic Mac Phóil ‘son of Paul’. Compare McFall.
- Catalan (Paül): habitational name from any of
several places named Paül.
- Spanish: topographic name
from paúl ‘marsh’, ‘lagoon’.
- Spanish: Castilianized form of Basque Padul, a habitational name from a
town of this name in Araba province.
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