Family name origins & meanings
- English and Scottish : topographic name from Middle English lees ‘fields’, ‘arable land’, plural of lee (see Lee), or from Middle English lese ‘pasture’, ‘meadow’ (Old English lǣs).
- English : habitational name from Leece or Lees in Lancashire, or Leese in Cheshire, all named from Old English lēas ‘woodland clearings’ (plural of lēah), or from Leece in Cumbria, which was probably named with a Celtic word, lïss ‘hall’, ‘court’, ‘the principal house in a district’.
- English : variant spelling of Leece 1.
- Scottish : reduced form of Gillies.
- Scottish and Irish : reduced and altered form of McLeish.
- Dutch : variant of Leys.