Skip to main content

Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • English : topographic name for someone who lived on the bank of a river or on a slope (from Old English ōfer ‘seashore’, ‘riverbank’, or from the originally distinct word ofer ‘slope’, ‘bank’, ‘ridge’). The two terms, being of similar meaning as well as similar form, fell together in the Middle English period. The surname may also be a habitational name from places named with one or other of these words, which can only be distinguished with reference to their situation. Over in Cambridgeshire is on a riverbank, whereas examples in Cheshire and Derbyshire are not; Over in Gloucestershire is on the bank of the Severn, but also at the foot of a hill.
  • North German : topographic name denoting someone who lived above or beyond a settlement or feature.
  • Swedish (Över) : ornamental name of unexplained origin.

Join the Family

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.