Wright

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This article is about the surname. For other uses, see Wright (disambiguation).
Wright
Family name
Meaning Worker, maker
Region of origin England
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]

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