Wright

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Wright
Origin
Region of origin England
Meaning Worker, maker
Footnotes: Frequency Comparisons[1]

Wright is an occupational surname originating in England.[1] The term 'Wright' comes from the circa 700 AD Old English word 'wryhta' or 'wyrhta', meaning worker or shaper of wood. Later it became any occupational worker[2][3] (for example, a shipwright is a person who builds ships), and is used as a British family name.

Wright is the sixteenth most common surname in England.[1] Its use as an occupational title continued until the mid-19th century. This use was often combined with other words such as in shipwright, wheelwright,[4] wainwright and playwright.[5]

The word carpentier, now "carpenter", was introduced into England in the years after the Norman conquest in 1066 and slowly replaced the traditional name and meaning of wright in most of England.

'Wright' is still used in Scottish English in the original meaning of 'skilled woodworker'. The Incorporation of Wrights of the Trades House of Glasgow,[6] and the Incorporation of Wrights and Masons of Edinburgh Trades[7] retain the word in its original meaning in their role of promoting the woodworking trade.

Wright is also an anglicised version of the Scots Gaelic clan name "MacIntyre" or "Mac an t-Saoir", meaning "son of the wright" (son of the carpenter).[8][9][10] In Ireland, the native Gaelic Mac an Cheairt sept of County Mayo occasionally changed their name to Wright. This is a literal translation meaning, "son of the right or righteous".[11]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wright Surname at Forebears
  2. ^ Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. ISBN 0-87779-338-7.
  3. ^ Harrison, Henry (1969). Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary. 2. Genealogical Publishing Company. p. 311.
  4. ^ Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights
  5. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac)".
  6. ^ Incorporation of Wrights of the Trades House of Glasgow
  7. ^ Incorporation of Wrights and Masons of Edinburgh Trades
  8. ^ MacIntyre at Scotweb Clan
  9. ^ MacIntyre Clan myth
  10. ^ Clan MacIntyre Association
  11. ^ http://www.libraryireland.com/names/maca/mac-an-cheairt.php