Skip to main content

Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • English, northern Irish, and French : from Middle English, Old French beste ‘animal’, ‘beast’ (Latin bestia), applied either as a metonymic occupational name for someone who looked after beasts—a herdsman— or as a derogatory nickname for someone thought to resemble an animal, i.e. a violent, uncouth, or stupid man. It is unlikely that the name is derived from best, Old English betst, superlative of good. By far the most frequent spelling of the French surname is Beste, but it is likely that in North America this form has largely been assimilated to Best.
  • German : from a short form of Sebastian.

Join the Family

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.