Meaning and Origin of: Galley

Family name origins & meanings

  • English : metonymic occupational name for a seaman, from Middle English galy(e) ‘ship’, ‘barge’ (Old French galie, of uncertain origin).
  • English : nickname for someone who had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, from a reduced form of the place name Galilee.
  • Scottish : variant of Gall 1, from the derivative gallda or the collective form gallaich.
  • German : presumably a derivative of Gall.
  • Northern French : variant of Gallet. This name is also found in French Switzerland and may have been brought to the U.S. from there.