Updated June 9, 2019

Find Baby Names

Family name origins & meanings

  • English : from the Norman personal name Bernier.
  • English : from Old English beornan ‘to burn’, hence an occupational name for a burner of lime (compare German Kalkbrenner) or charcoal. It may also have denoted someone who baked bricks or distilled spirits, or who carried out any other manufacturing process involving burning.
  • English : occupational name for a keeper of hounds, from Old Norman French bern(i)er, brenier (a derivative of bren, bran ‘bran’, on which the dogs were fed).
  • Southern English : topographic or occupational name for someone who lived by or worked in a barn, from Middle English bern, barn ‘barn’ + the suffix -er. Compare Barnes.
  • German : habitational name, in Silesia denoting someone from a place called Berna (of which there are two examples); in southern Germany and Switzerland denoting someone from the Swiss city of Berne.
  • German : from the Germanic personal name Bernher meaning ‘lord of the army’.
  • North German : occupational name for a lime or charcoal burner (cognate with 2), from an agent derivative of Middle High German brennen ‘to burn’.