Reconstruction of a Roman bath house in Germany.
|Region of origin||England; France, Germany, Scotland|
Bain is an English, French, and Scottish surname. It may also be a variant form of a German surname.
Origin of the surname
There are two origins for the Northern English surname.
- The northern English surname Bain is sometimes derived from a nickname meaning "bone", which probably referred to someone who was exceptionally tall, or lean. This nickname is derived from the Old English ban, meaning "bone". In northern dialects of Middle English, the a was preserved, but in southern dialects the a was changed to o (the southern form became the standard).
- In other cases, the northern English surname is derived from a nickname of a hospitable person. This nickname is derived from the northern Middle English beyn, bayn, which mean "welcoming", "friendly"; these are in turn derived from the Old Norse beinn, meaning "straight", "direct".
An English and French origin of the surname Bain is from the occupational name of an attendant of a public bath house. This name is derived from the Middle English, and Old French baine, meaning "bath".
There are several other derivations of the French surname.
- One French derivation of the surname Bain is from a topographic name, for someone who lived near a Roman bath. This name is derived from the Old French baine, meaning "bath".
- In other cases, the name may originate from a habitational name, derived from a place in Ille-et-Vilaine.
The Scottish surname Bain is derived from a nickname for a person with fair-hair. This name is derived from the Scottish Gaelic bàn, meaning "white", "fair". The name was common in the Scottish Highlands, and is first recorded in 1324 in Perth. The surname can also be, in some cases, a reduced form of the surname McBain. The Scottish Gaelic form of the surname Bain is Bàin (masculine), and Bhàin (feminine).
People with the surname
- Addison Bain, retired NASA scientist
- Alexander Bain (1818–1903), Scottish philosopher and educationalist
- Alexander Bain (inventor) (1811–1877), Scottish instrument inventor, technician, and clockmaker
- Aly Bain (born 1946), Shetland fiddler
- Andrew Geddes Bain (baptised 1797–1864), South African geologist, road engineer, palaeontologist and explorer
- Atu Emberson Bain, Fijian political leader
- Barbara Bain (born 1931), American actress
- Bill Bain (disambiguation), several persons
- Bonar Bain (born 1923), Canadian actor and identical twin brother of Conrad Bain
- Brian Bain (born 1982), American rodeo performer
- Chris Bain (born 1986), Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman
- Conrad Bain (1923–2013), Canadian actor and identical twin brother of Bonar Bain
- Dan Bain (1874–1962), Canadian athlete and merchant
- David Bain (born 1972), New Zealander associated with one of that country's most notable murder cases
- Donald Bain (disambiguation), several persons
- Edgar Bain (1891–1971), metallurgist
- Ewen Bain, Scottish cartoonist
- F. W. Bain (1863–1940), British writer
- George Bain (disambiguation), several persons
- Harry Bain (1921 –2001), a Canadian pediatrician
- Jean Bain, retired Australian basketball player
- James Bain (disambiguation), several persons
- Jimmy Bain (born 1947), Scottish bassist
- Joe S. Bain (1912–1991), American economist
- Kevin Bain (born 1972), Scottish footballer
- Mary Monnett Bain (1833–1885), American Methodist
- Raymone Bain, spokeswoman from the public relations firm Davis, Bain & Associates Inc.
- Robin Bain (born 1980), American actress
- Sam Bain (born 1971), British television writer
- Thomas Bain (1834–1915), Canadian parliamentarian
- Wilfred Conwell Bain (1908–1997), American music educator
- William Bain (disambiguation), several persons
- Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of British Surnames Routledge & Kegan Paul, 2nd edition (1976)
- Learn about the family history of your surname, Ancestry.com, retrieved 25 September 2010 which cited Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508137-4. for the surname "Erskine".
- Macbean, L. (1905), Guide to Gaelic Conversation and Pronunciation, with vocabularies, dialogues, phrases, and letter forms (2nd ed.), Stirling: Eneas Mackay, p. 43
|This page or section lists people with the surname Bain. If an internal link intending to refer to a specific person led you to this page, you may wish to change that link by adding the person's given name(s) to the link.|