Boy name origins & meanings
- Old English : To shine
Family name origins & meanings
- English : nickname for someone with gray hair or a gray beard, from Old English græg ‘gray’. In Scotland and Ireland it has been used as a translation of various Gaelic surnames derived from riabhach ‘brindled’, ‘gray’ (see Reavey). In North America this name has assimilated names with similar meaning from other European languages.
- English and Scottish (of Norman origin) : habitational name from Graye in Calvados, France, named from the Gallo-Roman personal name Gratus, meaning ‘welcome’, ‘pleasing’ + the locative suffix -acum.
- French and Swiss French : habitational name from Gray in Haute-Saône and Le Gray in Seine-Maritime, both in France, or from Gray-la-ville in Switzerland, or a regional name from the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
- A leading English family called Grey, holders of the earldom of Stamford, can be traced to Henry de Grey, who was granted lands at Thurrock, Essex, by Richard I (1189–99). They once held great power, and Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk (1517–54), married a granddaughter of Henry VII. Because of this he felt entitled to claim the throne for his daughter, Lady Jane Grey (1537–54), after the death of Henry VIII. For this, and for his part in Wyatt’s rebellion, both he and his daughter were beheaded.