Updated June 9, 2019

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Family name origins & meanings

  • English (of Norman origin) and northern French : nickname for a bald man, from Anglo-Norman French cauf ‘bald’. Compare Chaffee.
  • English : habitational name from a place in East Yorkshire called Cave, apparently from a river name derived from Old English cāf ‘swift’.
  • French : metonymic occupational name for someone employed in or in charge of the wine cellars of a great house, from Old French cave ‘cave’, ‘cellar’ (Latin cavea, a derivative of cavus ‘hollow’).
  • French, possibly also English : topographic name for someone who lived in or near a cave, from the same word as in 3 in an older sense.