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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Scottish and northern Irish: from Anglo-Norman French waleis ‘Welsh’ (from a Germanic cognate of Old English wealh ‘foreign’), hence an ethnic name for a Welsh speaker. In some cases this clearly denoted an incomer to Scotland from Wales or the Welsh Marches, but it may also have denoted a Welsh-speaking Scot: in western Scotland around Glasgow, the Welsh-speaking Strathclyde Britons survived well into the Middle Ages.
  2. Jewish: this surname has been adopted in the 19th and 20th centuries as an Americanized form of various Ashkenazic Jewish surnames, e.g. Wallach.
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