|Meaning||"living near a moor" (geographical) or "stately and noble" or dark-skinned: a Moor|
|Region of origin||Ireland, Scotland, England|
The name Moore is a popular surname in many English-speaking countries and is of Gaelic/English origin. It is the 31st most common surname in Australia, is equally popular in the United Kingdom, 20th in the Republic of Ireland  and is the 9th most common surname in the United States.
It can have several meanings and derivations, as it appeared as a surname long before written language had developed in most of the population, resulting in a variety of spellings.
Variations of the name can appear as Moore, More or Moor; as well as the Scottish Gaelic originations Muir, Mure and Mor/Mór; the Manx Gaelic origination Moar; the Irish Gaelic originations O'More and Ó Mórdha; and the later Irish variants O'Moore and de Mora.
Meanings and origins
- From Middle English mor meaning "open land" or "bog" and given to persons dwelling near a moor or heath.
- The Old Irish Moores are O'Mordha, from the Irish Gaelic word mordha, meaning "stately and noble". The Anglo-Norman Moores established in Ireland's province of Munster soon after the Anglo/Norman invasion are called de Mora in Irish, a phonetic rendering of the English name which is derived from the word "moor", or "heathy mountain".
- Alternatively of Gaelic/Manx origin Moar, the name for a collector of manorial rents on the Isle of Man.
- The spelling Moore was sometimes used to indicate a son of someone called More - this being one use where spelling is significant.
- Possibly derived from Maurus, a Roman first name which meant "dark skinned" in Latin, and related to the Old French More meaning "Moor" like Berber, a colloquial nickname for a person of dark complexion, often describing someone of North African descent.
- Possibly originated from early references to persons who worked with boats at a wharf or Moorage.
- The De La Mare surname from French Normandy was progressively anglicized in England as De La More, More, and Moore after its bearers accompanied and assisted William the Conqueror in his conquest of England, eventually settling in Benenden, Kent County for several centuries, before many moved to America, including Reverend John Moore of Newtown, Long Island. The De La Mare's of Normandy trace their heritage to Vikings and the coastal city of Møre og Romsdal in Norway. The Møre surname is a place name derived from the Old Norse "Moerr", and the Norwegian word "Marr", meaning ocean, sea, or coastal district. Rollo, the famous Viking and founder of the Dukes of Normandy, which includes the present day Royal family of England, was a member of this family, his father being Rognvald Eysteinsson, Earl of Møre, Norway.
In the United States, "Moore" ranked 9th among all surnames in the 1990 census, accounting for 0.3% of the population.