Wallace (surname)

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Wallace is a Scottish surname stemmed from the Anglo-Norman French Waleis "Welshman". It is a northern variant form of Gualeis "Welshman" (Wace, Brut, éd. I. Arnold, 13927); adjectiv gualeis "Welsh" (Id., ibid., 14745); same as walois "the oil language" (J. Bretel, Tournoi de Chauvency, éd. M. Delbouille, 63).[1] It originates from Old Low Franconian *Walhisk meaning "foreigner", "Celt", "Roman" which is a cognate of Old English wylisċ (pronounced "wullish") meaning "foreigner" or "Welshman"[2] (see also Wallach and Walhaz). The original surname may have denoted someone from the former Kingdom of Strathclyde who spoke Cumbric, a close relative of the Welsh language, or possibly an incomer from Wales, or the Welsh Marches. The Kingdom of Strathclyde was originally a part of the Hen Ogledd, its people speaking a Brythonic language distinct from Scottish Gaelic and the Scots language derived from Lothian.

In modern times, in the 19th and 20th centuries, the surname has been used as an Americanization of numerous Ashkenazic Jewish surnames.

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  1. ^ CNRTL : Etymology of gaulois (French)
  2. ^ "welsh | Origin and meaning of the name welsh by Online Etymology Dictionary". www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 2019-09-04.