Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > BELL

Origin and popularity of the name BELL

Origin

Bell : 1: English (northern) and Scottish (Lowlands): from the Middle English personal name Bell. As a man's name this is from Old French beu bel ‘handsome’ which was also used as a nickname. As a female name it represents a short form of Isabel.2: English (northern) and Scottish (Lowlands): from Middle English belle ‘bell’ (Old English belle) in various applications; most probably a metonymic occupational name for a bell ringer or bell maker or a topographic name for someone living ‘at the bell’ (as attested by 14th-century forms such as John atte Belle). This indicates either residence by an actual bell (e.g. a town's bell in a bell tower centrally placed to summon meetings sound the alarm etc.) or ‘at the sign of the bell’ i.e. a house or inn sign (although surnames derived from house and inn signs are rare in Scots and English).3: English: from Middle English bel ‘fair fine good’ (Old French bel ‘beautiful fair’). See also Beal 1.4: German: from Bell in Rhineland or possibly from Belle in Westphalia.5: Norwegian: habitational name from a farmstead in western Norway named Bell the origin of which is unexplained.6: Scandinavian: of English or German origin (see above).7: Americanized form of German Böhl or Böll (see Boehle Boll).8: American shortened and altered form of various Slavic names beginning with Bel- ‘white’ e.g. of Rusyn (from Slovakia) Belejčák a derivative of Belej (see Beley 3).9: Americanized form of one or more similar (like-sounding) Jewish surnames.

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Source : DAFN2 : Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, ©2022 by Patrick Hanks and Oxford University Press
FANBI : The Oxford Dictionary if Family Names in Britain and Ireland, ©2016, University of the West of England

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Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 220,933 individuals with the name BELL on Geneanet.

 

Most found places for the name BELL:

    This last name in the family trees

    See below the Geneanet members' family trees which contain the last name BELL

    wells0
    (1,626 individuals)
    cartercousins2022
    (1,445 individuals)
    wbuchanan
    (1,150 individuals)
    julia802701
    (939 individuals)

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