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Origin, popularity and meaning of the name SEAL


Seal : 1: English: either a habitational name from Seal (Kent) Seale (Surrey) or Sele in Upper Beeding (Sussex) all of which probably derive from Old English sele ‘hall building’ (though the Surrey placename may arise from Old English sēale dative form of salh ‘willow’) or else a topographic name for someone who lived at a boggy patch (Kentish Middle English and Old English sele) or a hall. Compare Sale 1-2.2: English: habitational name from Overseal or Netherseal (Derbyshire) probably from Old English scegel ‘small wood’.3: English: topographic name for someone who lived by a willow copse or at a place marked by a willow or willows from Middle English sele ‘willow’ (Old English sele) in northern England representing Old Norse selja and in southwestern England representing Old English (West Saxon) sealh. The name was probably interchangeable with the synonymous Middle English sale (Old English salh Old Norse salr) and in some cases the surname may have functioned as a variant of Sale. In southwestern England initial S- was frequently voiced to Z- as in the Wiltshire placename Zeals (from the plural form of Old English sealh). However the medieval form of the placename is overwhelmingly in the plural and this may also survive as Sales.4: English: nickname for someone thought to resemble a seal perhaps a plump or ungainly person from Middle English sele ‘seal’ (Old English seolh).5: English: perhaps a nickname for a maker of seals or signet rings from Middle English and Old French seel ‘seal’ (from Latin sigillum) though there is no evidence that this name became hereditary.6: Americanized form (translation into English) of Jewish Siegel.


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
FANBI : The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain, ©2021, University of the West of England

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