Boyer is a French surname. In rarer cases, it can be a corruption or deliberate alteration of other names.
Repartition and etymology
Boyer [bwaje] is a personal name from France, found traditionally along the Mediterranean sea (Provence, Languedoc), the Rhône valley, Auvergne, Limousin, Périgord and more generally in the Southwest of France. Nevertheless, it has been existing further north since a long time. There are two variant spellings centered precisely : Boyé (southwest) and Bouyer (Loire-Atlantique, Charente-Maritime).
It ranks 50th out of the most common surnames in France and 265 in Québec.
Like many other surnames, it used to be a nickname describing somebody's job in that case : "bullock driver", "cowherd", that is to say Bouvier in common French. It derives mainly from the Occitan buòu « ox », with the suffix -iar / -ier, frenchified phonetically or, further north, sometimes from a variant form in dialectal French bô, bou "ox" corresponding to common French bœuf with the suffix -ier. In French, the modern spelling -oyer [waje] avoids the confusion between -oi-er [wa'e] and -oier [waje].
In rarer cases, it can be a corruption or deliberate alteration of several other names :
- In England, may come from bowyer, meaning "bow maker" or "bow seller." 
- In Turkish, the name may come from "boy-er", "boy" meaning "size" or "stature" and "er" meaning "man" or "soldier."
- It can also be a corruption or deliberate alteration of several German names like Bayer or Bauer.
People with the surname
- Abel Boyer (1667–1729), French-English lexicographer and journalist
- Alexis de Boyer, French surgeon
- Angélique Boyer (born 1988), French-Mexican actress
- Bill Boyer Jr., entrepreneurial former baggage handler who now owns Mokulele Airlines
- Carl Benjamin Boyer, historian of mathematics
- Charles Boyer, French-American actor
- Claudette Boyer (1938–2013), Canadian politician
- Clete Boyer (1937–2007), American baseball player
- Edie Boyer (born 1966), American discus thrower
- Elizabeth H. Boyer, American fantasy author
- Elizabeth M. Boyer (1913–2002), American lawyer, feminist founder of Women's Equity Action League (WEAL), and writer
- Erica Boyer (born 1956), American actress
- Ernest L. Boyer, American educator
- Glenn Boyer (1924–2013), American writer
- Herbert Boyer (born 1936), biochemist
- Jacques Boyer (born 1955) American cyclist
- Jacqueline Boyer (born 1941), French singer
- Jean Boyer (director), French director and author
- Jean Boyer (politician), French politician
- Jean-Pierre Boyer, Haitian President (1821–1843) and emancipator of slaves in Santo Domingo
- Joseph Boyer (1848–1930), a Canadian-American inventor and computer industrialist,
- Katy Boyer, American actress
- Ken Boyer, (1931–1982) American baseball player
- Louis Boyer, French astronomer
- Lucienne Boyer, French singer
- Max Boyer (born 1984), Canadian professional wrestler
- Michael Boyer (born 1960), American actor and showman
- Miguel Boyer (born 1939), Spanish politician
- Nikki Boyer (born 1975), American actress and singer-songwriter
- Pascal Boyer, anthropologist
- Patrick Boyer (born 1945), Canadian politician
- Paul D. Boyer (born 1918), American biochemist
- Phil Boyer (born 1949) English footballer
- Richard Boyer (disambiguation)
- Rick Boyer, (born 1943) Edgar award-winning mystery writer
- Richard O. Boyer, American journalist
- Robert Stephen Boyer, a professor of computer science, mathematics, and philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin
- Robert Hamilton Boyer, a 33-year-old visiting professor shot and killed in Charles Whitman's shooting spree at The University of Texas at Austin in 1966
- Robert Boyer (artist), a Canadian artist of aboriginal heritage
- William Boyer (born 1972), American actor
- Albert Dauzat, Noms et prénoms de France, Librairie Larousse 1980, édition revue et commentée par Marie-Thérèse Morlet. p. 62a Bouvier.
- Repartition of the surname Boyer in France according to the number of births (Nb) and the Départements (n°) 
- 55th according to linternaute.com after the phone book et 34th according to geopatronyme.com between 1891 and 1990
- Dauzat 62a
- Marie-Thérèse Morlet, Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de famille, Perrin 1997, article Bouvier, p.134 ; ISBN 2-262-01350-0
- http://www.ancestry.com.au/facts/Boyer-places-origin.ashx -- English variant
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