Meaning and Origin of: Foster

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Old French : Forest keeper

First name variations

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English : reduced form of Forster.
  • English : nickname from Middle English foster ‘foster parent’ (Old English fōstre, a derivative of fōstrian ‘to nourish or rear’).
  • Jewish : probably an Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames, such as Forster.
  • This name was brought to North America by many different bearers from the 17th century onward. Thomas Foster (1640–79) is buried in the old burial ground in Cambridge, MA. John Foster, born 1648 in Dorchester, MA, was the earliest wood engraver in America.

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