Meaning and Origin of: Herring

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First name origins & meanings:

  • English : Small fish

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English, Scottish, Dutch, and German : metonymic occupational name for a herring fisher or for a seller of the fish, Middle English hering, Dutch haring, Middle High German hærinc. In some cases it may have been a nickname in the sense of a trifle, something of little value, a meaning which is found in medieval phrases and proverbial expressions such as ‘to like neither herring nor barrel’, i.e. not to like something at all.
  • German : habitational name from Herringen in Westphalia.
  • Dutch : from a personal name, a derivative of a Germanic compound name with the first element hari, heri ‘army’.
  • Jewish (Ashkenazic) : variant spelling of Hering.