Lewis (surname)

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Lewis
PronunciationLewis
Origin
Word/nameseveral origins
Region of originWales, England, Scotland, Ireland
Other names
Variant form(s)Lewes, Louis, Luis

Lewis is a surname in the English language. It has several independent origins.

One of the origins of the surname, in England and Wales, is from the Norman personal name Lowis, Lodovicus. This name is from the post-Classical Latin name Ludovicus, the latinized form of the Germanic name Hlūtwīg, meaning "famed battle" (hlūt meaning "loud" or "famous" and wīg meaning "battle"). The name developed into the Old French Clovis, Clouis, and Louis. The name Lowis spread to England through the Normans.

In the United Kingdom Lewis is most commonly associated with Wales, and is a common Welsh Patronym. The name developed as an Anglicised or diminutive form of native Welsh names such as Llywelyn. Among the earliest examples being the Lewis family of Glamorgan in the 1540s.[1] Other derivations include the Gaelic surname Mac Lughaidh, meaning "son of Lughaidh", which has also been Anglicised as Lewis. The surname Lewis is also an Anglicisation of several like-sounding Jewish surnames,[2] such as "Levy" or "Levi", and of the Arab form of the name "Elias".

Lewis is the 4th most common surname in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 6th most common surname in Wales, 16th most common in Jamaica, 22nd most common in England, 24th most common in the United States, 61st most common in Canada and 129th most common in Scotland.[3]

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  1. ^ "Lewis family, of Van, Glamorganshire". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales.
  2. ^ "Learn about the family history of your surname". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 10 October 2010. which cited Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508137-4. for the surname "Lewis".
  3. ^ "Lewis Surname Meaning". forebears.co.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2014