Last name: NEAL

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All you have to know about the last name NEAL

Last name frequency

NEAL : This last name is indexed 238,000 times on Geneanet!

Origin of last name

NEAL : 1: English (of Norman origin): from the Old French Anglo-Norman French and Middle English personal name Neel Nele Nihel Niel itself derived from the Latin name Nigellus (a diminutive of Latin niger ‘black’) originally a nickname for someone with black hair or a dark complexion. The name was very common among Normans and was brought to England at the time of the Norman Conquest. There has been considerable confusion with the Irish and Scottish Gaelic name Niall (see Neil); the two names are now pronounced identically. It is theoretically possible that in Normandy where the personal name was popular that it was also used for Old Norse Njáll but this is difficult to prove. Njáll was adopted from the Irish Gaelic personal name Niall by Vikings in Ireland who took it back to Iceland and Norway but whether the Vikings also took Njáll to Normandy and to the northwest of England is an open question which cannot be settled on the available evidence.2: English: alternatively from the Middle English personal name Nele a variant of Nell as a pet form of Elias (see Ellis). Compare Nelson Nielson.3: Scottish and Irish: shortened form of McNeal (see McNeil).

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