Name Details - FamilyEducation

Meaning and Origin of: Prior

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Latin : Head of the priory

First name variations

Last name origin & meaning:

  • Southern English, Scottish, Dutch, and German : ultimately from Latin prior ‘superior’, used to denote a prior, a monastic official immediately subordinate to an abbot, hence a nickname for someone thought to resemble a prior or, more often, an occupational name for a servant of a prior.
  • Irish : Anglicized form of Irish Gaelic Mac an Phríora ‘son of the prior’ (this is the usual origin in Counties Cavan and Leitrim). Some examples may be Anglo-Norman, the same name as in 1.
  • Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan : from prior, probably denoting someone in the service of a prior or a nickname for someone who behaved in a pompous way.