Meaning and Origin of: Beaver

Family name origins & meanings

  • English (of Norman origin) : habitational name from any of several places in France called Beauvoir, for example in Manche, Somme, and Seine-Maritime, or from Belvoir in Leicestershire. All of these are named with Old French beu, bel ‘fair’, ‘lovely’ + veïr, voir ‘to see’, i.e. a place with a fine view.
  • English : nickname from Middle English bevere, Old English beofor ‘beaver’, possibly referring to a hard worker, or from some other fancied resemblance to the animal.
  • Probably a translation of cognates of 2 in other languages, in particular DutchBever and German Bieber.
  • Possibly a variant of Welsh Bevan.
  • George Beaver, a Huguenot from Alsace, came to Philadelphia, PA, in 1744.