Lindsay (name)

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Lindsay (/ˈlɪnzi/) is a Scottish surname and given name. The given name comes from the Scottish surname and clan name, which comes from the toponym Lindsey, which in turn comes from the Old English toponym Lindesege ("Island of Lind") for the city of Lincoln, in which Lind is the original Brittonic form of the name of Lincoln and island refers to Lincoln being an island in the surrounding fenland.[1][2] Lindum Colonia was the Roman name of the settlement which is now the City of Lincoln in Lincolnshire. (Lindum Colonia was shortened in Old English to Lindocolina and then Lincylene.)[3] Lindum was a Latinized form of a native Brittonic name which has been reconstructed as *Lindon, which means "pool" or "lake" (cf. the second part of the name Dublin and modern Welsh llyn)[4] and refers to the Brayford Pool.

In the late 19th century, the surnames Lindsay and Lindsey began to be used as given names, at first only as masculine names. They remained typically masculine until the 1960s in Britain and the 1970s in the United States. They are both now unisex names in the United States. In Australia, New Zealand, and Scotland, Lindsay remains popular for masculine use and Lindsey has mainly become feminine.[2][1][5] As a first name, Lindsey was the 570th most popular name for girls born in the United States in 2014, while Lindsay ranked 653rd. Both spellings ranked among the top 100 names for girls from 1980 through 1993, with Lindsey peaking at #35 in 1983 and 1984 and Lindsay peaking at #36 in the same years.[6][7]


The surname comes from the name of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Lindsey. The first user was Sir Walter de Lindesay, one of the retainers of David I of Scotland.[2]

The surname of Lindsay continued to be borne by the Earls of Balcarres and Earls of Crawford, down to the current holder of the title, Anthony Lindsay, 30th Earl of Crawford (born 1958), while the Earls of Lindsay have used the additional surname of Lindesay since its adoption by Reginald Lindesay-Bethune, 12th Earl of Lindsay in 1919.

The names of John de Lindsay (died 1335), Ingram Lindsay (15th century) David Lyndsay (c. 1490 – c. 1555) and Robert Lindsay of Pitscottie (1532–1580) are early examples of the name being used as "surname" by members of lower nobility in Scotland. Lindsay was used in the United Kingdom by younger sons of the Lindsay clan chiefs, acquiring the status of common surname in the course of the 19th century.

The surname Lindsay is also found in Northern Ireland. Irish people called Lindsay are either descended from members of the Scottish clan Lindsay who migrated to Ireland, or alternatively of the Gaelic O'Loinsigh sept, who sometimes anglicized their name as Lindsay, even though more common anglicizations were Lynch or Linchey. In addition, the MacClintock (MacIlliuntaig) family anglicized their name as Lindsay in the 17th century.

Five men called Linsey are recorded as heads of families in the 1790 United States Census of Prince George's County.[8]

People named Lindsay[edit]


Given name[edit]

Word/nameclan name, from toponym Lindsey
Other names
Related namesLindsey, Linsay, Limsay, Linsey, Lyndsay, Lyndsey, Lynsey, Lynsay, Linzey, Lynzi, Lynzie, Lynsi, Linzie, Linzi, Lindsy, Lyndsy, Lynnsey, Lindsee, Lynsie, Lyndsie



Notable fictional characters[edit]

People named Lindsey[edit]

Word/namederived from the toponym Lindsey
Region of originLincolnshire
Other names
Related namesLindsay


Given name[edit]



Notable fictional characters[edit]

Other variations[edit]




Given names






Fictional characters


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Wordsworth Dictionary of First Names, p. 136
  2. ^ a b c A Dictionary of First Names by Patrick Hanks, Kate Hardcastle, and Flavia Hodges
  3. ^ "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – Parker MS: entry for 942". Archived from the original on 1 May 2011.
  4. ^ Delamarre, Xavier, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise, Errance, 2003 (2nd ed.), p. 203.
  5. ^ Campbell, Mike. "Meaning, origin and history of the name Lindsay". Behind the Name. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Lindsey – Popularity of Lindsey, How Popular Is the name Lindsey?". Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Lindsay – Popularity of Lindsay, How Popular Is the name Lindsay?". Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  8. ^ " Home Page". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  9. ^ Lindsey-Meaning and origin of the name Lindsey [dead link]