Family name origins & meanings
- English (chiefly Lancashire) : topographic name for someone who lived by or worked at a rough temporary shelter for animals, Middle English helm (Old Norse hjalmr, related to the Old English and Old High German words in 2 below), or a habitational name from a minor place named Helm or Helme from this word, as for example in County Durham, Northumberland, and West Yorkshire.
- English, German, and Dutch : metonymic occupational name for a maker of helmets, from Middle English, Middle High German, Middle Dutch helm.
- German and Dutch : from a medieval personal name, a short form of any of the various compound names formed with helm ‘helmet’. Compare, e.g., Helmbrecht.
- Scottish : habitational name from Helme in Roxburghshire (Borders).
- Jewish (Ashkenazic) : ornamental name from German Helm ‘helmet’.