Family name origins & meanings
- English : habitational name from any of several places called Bowden or Bowdon. Bowden in Devon and Derbyshire and Bowdon in Cheshire are named with Old English boga ‘bow’ + dūn ‘hill’, i.e. ‘hill shaped like a bow’; one in Leicestershire (Bugedone in Domesday Book) comes, according to Ekwall, from the Old English personal name Būga (masculine) or Bucge (feminine) + dūn. There are also Scottish places of this name, but there are comparatively few bearers of the surname Bowden north of the border.
- English : habitational name from Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, so named with the Old English phrase būfan dūne ‘on, upon the hill’. The surname may also have arisen as a topographic name from the same phrase used independently, for someone who lived at the top of a hill.
- Irish : Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Buadáin ‘descendant of Buadán’, an Old Irish personal name.