Price (surname)

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For other uses, see Price (disambiguation).

Price is a patronymic name derived from the Welsh "ap Rhys" meaning "son of Rhys". The given name Rhys means "enthusiasm" in Welsh. It is a common surname among those of Welsh ancestry.[1] At the time of the British Census of 1881,[2] its frequency was highest in Radnorshire (38.2 times the British average), followed by Brecknockshire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, Flintshire, Shropshire, Denbighshire, Glamorgan, Carmarthenshire and Worcestershire. The surname has many other spellings including Priess, Priesz, and many others.

The name is thought to have originally been spelled "Pryce" and pronounced "Preese". Name experts believe that the change of the "y" to "i" and the subsequent change in pronunciation was originally an affectation meant to make the name seem more English and therefore more prestigious.[3] A related name is Press, both as an early variant of the Welsh name, and also as an etymologically unrelated Eastern European name that was often transcribed as Price by immigration officials in the U.S. in the early 20th Century.[4]

See also Welsh surnames

Notable people named Price[edit]

In fiction[edit]


  1. ^ An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names With an Essay on their Derivation and Import; Arthur, William, M.A.; New York, NY: Sheldon, Blake, Bleeker & CO., 1857
  2. ^ Price in the 1881 British Census
  3. ^ Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989. ISBN 0-19-211592-8.
  4. ^ "Origin of Press" in British Surnames and Surname Profiles