Meaning and Origin of: Bain

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Irish : Lives near the pale bridge, bridge over white water

First name variations

Last name origin & meaning:

  • Scottish : nickname for a fair-haired person, from Gaelic bàn ‘white’, ‘fair’. This is a common name in the Highlands, first recorded in Perth in 1324.
  • Northern English : nickname meaning ‘bone’, probably bestowed on an exceptionally tall, lean man, from Old English bān ‘bone’. In northern Middle English -ā- was preserved, whereas in southern dialects (which later became standard), it was changed to -ō-.
  • Northern English : nickname for a hospitable person, from northern Middle English beyn, bayn ‘welcoming’, ‘friendly’ (Old Norse beinn ‘straight’, ‘direct’).
  • English and French : metonymic occupational name for an attendant at a public bath house, from Middle English, Old French baine ‘bath’.
  • French : topographic name for someone who lived by a Roman bath, from Old French baine ‘bath’ or a habitational name from a place in Ille-et-Vilaine, named with this word.
  • Possibly an altered spelling of North German Behn.
  • George Luke Scobie Bain (1836–91) was born in Stirling, Scotland. He ran away to sea and successively lived and worked in Portland, ME, Chicago, and St. Louis, where he was a miller and flour merchant and a very prominent citizen.