Meaning and Origin of: Balfour

Family name origins & meanings

  • Scottish : habitational name from any of several places in eastern Scotland named with Gaelic bail(e) ‘village’, ‘farm’, ‘house’ +pùir, genitive case of pór ‘pasture’, ‘grass’ (lenited to phùir in certain contexts). The second element is akin to Welsh pawr ‘pasture’. The principal British family bearing this name derives it from lands in the parish of Markinch, Fife. According to the traditional pronunciation, the accent falls on the second syllable, but these days it is found more commonly on the first.