Meaning and Origin of: Turk

Family name origins & meanings

  • English (mainly Gloucestershire), Dutch, and German (also Türk) : from Middle English, Old French turc, Middle High and Low German Turc ‘Turk’, from Turkish türk. In theory this could be an ethnic name but, both in England and northwest Europe, it is generally a nickname for a person with black hair and a swarthy complexion or a cruel, rowdy, or unruly person. The Dutch and German surname also represents a house name, derived from the use of a picture of a Turk as a house sign. It is also found as a nickname for someone who had taken part in the wars against the Turks.
  • English : from a medieval personal name, a back-formation from Turkel, misanalyzed as containing the Old French diminutive suffix -el.
  • Scottish : reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Tuirc, a patronymic from the byname Torc ‘boar’.
  • Jewish (Ashkenazic) : ethnic name denoting someone from Turkey or anywhere in the Ottoman Empire, or a nickname for someone thought to resemble a Turk.
  • Americanized form of the Greek ethnic name Tourkos ‘Turk’. See also Turco.