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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) : nickname for someone with gray hair or a gray beard, from German grau ‘gray’.
  • Southern French : topographic name for someone who lived near a canal giving access to the sea, Occitan grau (Latin gradus ‘step’).
  • French : from Old French grau denoting a type of agricultural fork with curved tines (apparently of Germanic origin), hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker, seller, or user of such implements.
  • Catalan : topographic name from grau (Latin gradum).
  • Catalan : from a reduced form of the common medieval personal name Guerau (see Gerald).

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