Meaning and Origin of: Kern

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Celtic, Gaelic : Dark-haired child
  • Irish : Small and dark-skinned
  • Gaelic : Dark
  • Gaelic : Small and dark-skinned

Last name origin & meaning:

  • Irish : reduced form of McCarron.
  • German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic) : from Middle High German kerne ‘kernel’, ‘seed’, ‘pip’; Middle Dutch kern(e), keerne; German Kern or Yiddish kern ‘grain’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a farmer, or a nickname for a small person. As a Jewish surname, it is mainly ornamental.
  • English : probably a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of hand mills, from Old English cweorn ‘hand mill’, or a habitational name for someone from Kern in the Isle of Wight, named from this word.