Family name origins & meanings
- Scottish and English : from Middle English blak(e) ‘black’ (Old English blæc, blaca), a nickname given from the earliest times to a swarthy or dark-haired man.
- Scottish and English : from Old English blāc ‘pale’, ‘fair’, i.e. precisely the opposite meaning to 1, and a variant of Blake 2. Blake and Black are found more or less interchangeably in several surnames and place names.
- English : variant of Blanc as a Norman name. The pronunciation of the nasalized vowel gave considerable difficulty to English speakers, and its quality was often ignored.
- Scottish and Irish : translation of various names from Gaelic dubh ‘black’ (see Duff).
- Danish and Swedish : generally, probably the English and Scottish name, but in some cases perhaps a variant spelling of Blak, a nickname from blak ‘black’.
- In some cases, a translation of various names meaning ‘black’, for example German and Jewish Schwarz.