Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English (of Norman origin): habitational name from Sai in Orne or Say in Indre, perhaps so called from a Gaulish personal name Saius + the Latin locative suffix -acum.
  2. English: metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of say, a kind of finely textured cloth, Middle English say (from Old French saie, Latin saga, plural of sagum ‘military cloak’). In some instances the surname may have arisen from a nickname for an habitual wearer of clothes made of this material.
  3. Southern French: topographic name from saix ‘rock’ (Latin saxum), or a habitational name from a place named with this word, for example, Say in Loire, Saix in Tarn and Vienne, Le Saix in Hautes-Alpes, or Les Saix in Isère.
  4. William Say of Bristol, England, was a member of the Society of Friends who settled in America toward the close of the 17th century. His descendant Thomas Say (1787–1834) of Philadelphia is known as the father of descriptive entomology in America.
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