Moody (surname)

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Moody is an English surname. It ranks in the top 200 most common surnames in English speaking nations. The earliest known example dates from the 12th century in a Devonshire early English charter where the name Alwine 'Modig' is mentioned. Recent census research suggests that the surname has been most consistently populous in Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire and also in areas of northeast England.[1] There is also a high incidence of the similar-sounding surname 'Moodie' in Scotland, in particular Orkney, although this variant, ending "ie", has possible Norse/Celtic origins. The surname Moody was also carried to areas of Ireland settled by the early English.[citation needed] Although the most intensive areas of occurrence match areas of dense Anglo-Saxon habitation post 1066, it is difficult to determine if the name is Anglo-Saxon or Nordic/Viking in origin, since all Germanic countries used the word 'Modig' or 'Mutig' to indicate someone who was bold, impetuous or brave. Surnames were increasingly given through the early Middle Ages to assist taxation and an increasing incidence of the name can be followed in such documents as the Hundred Rolls, early English charters and general medieval assizes associated with such actions as baronial struggles, Crusades or Angevin campaigns in France. In the Netherlands, there is a family name 'Mudde' derived from a Scottish immigrant Robert Moodie.

There was a significant incidence of the name among early American immigrants from England in the 17th century.

Some notable bearers of the Moody surname include:

Politics and government[edit]







  • Mad-Eye Moody, a character in the Harry Potter books
  • Hank Moody, a character from the television series Californication


  1. ^ "Moody Surname Meaning and Geographic Distribution".  Retrieved 19 January 2014