Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: habitational name from various places, for example Penn in Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire, named with the Celtic element pen ‘hill’, which was apparently adopted in Old English.
  2. English: metonymic occupational name for an impounder of stray animals, from Middle English, Old English penn ‘(sheep) pen’.
  3. English: pet form of Parnell.
  4. German: from Sorbian pien ‘tree stump’, probably a nickname for a short stocky person.
  5. Americanized form of a like-sounding Jewish surname.
  6. The Commonwealth of PA was founded in 1681 by an English Quaker, William Penn (1644–1718), who was born in London into a family of Gloucestershire origin. His grandfather was a merchant and sea captain, and his father was an admiral on the Parliamentary side during the Civil War, who later served King Charles II after the Restoration. Because of his father’s services to the crown, Penn the younger received a grant of a vast tract of land in North America, formerly part of New Netherland, which later became the state of PA.

Famous people with this last name: Sean Penn

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