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Surname Barret - Meaning and Origin

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Barret: What does the surname Barret mean?

The last name Barret is a French and Latin surname, derived from the medieval given name ‘Beretrand’. This name is composed of two elements - the Germanic ‘bert’, which translates to ‘bright’ or ‘shining one’; and the Latin ‘rand’, which translates to ‘shield’. Together, the two elements could mean ‘the bright-shielded one’. Historically, Barret was most commonly used as an occupational name for a furrier who pulled the fur tight and barred it. It is also believed that the name may have originated from the Old French berretier, which means a soldier in ancient French.

Today, the surname Barret is widespread in many different countries. In France, it is the 74th most common last name, while in Belgium it is the 15th most common surname. In the United States, meanwhile, it is the 573rd most popular last name, with most individuals bearing the name on the East Coast.

Additionally, due to its French origin, versions of this last name can be found in various parts of the world. In Latin America, for example, Barret is sometimes seen as Barreto, Barrato, or Barredo. In Spain and Portugal, it is often seen as Barrado or Barrizos.

Overall, the last name Barret carries a deep and complex meaning from its French and Latin origins. From originally referring to a furrier to eventually becoming a well-known surname, Barret symbolizes strength, protection, and determination.

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Barret: Where does the name Barret come from?

The last name Barret is quite common in many countries today. In the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, this surname is most commonly found. Currently, Barrett is ranked as the 332nd most common surname in the US, with an estimated 211,843 bearers of the surname living in the nation. It is the 165th most common surname in Canada, and the 115th most common in England and Wales. It's thought that the name Barrett is derived from a place name, meaning someone who originated from a place called 'Barrett'.

In the US, the greatest concentration of individuals with the last name Barret is found in Texas, which has an estimated 20,791 individuals with this family name. Other states that have a high concentration of bearers of this name are North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina.

In the United Kingdom, the last name Barret is most common in the South East of England, with more than 46,000 people with that name living in the region,spread across 14 counties. Other parts of England as well as Wales and Scotland have smaller numbers of Barret families.

In Ireland, Barrett is the 57th most common last name, with an estimated 11,298 people bearing the Barret surname. It is especially common in County Cork, as well as the counties of Dublin, Kerry, and Limerick.

Variations of the surname Barret

The surname Barret is a French-derived toponymic surname from the Saint-Baret suburb of Châteauroux in France. It has several variant spellings, including Barrett, Barrette, Barrot, Barrette, Barriot, and Barriteau.

Throughout the centuries of its usage, the Barret surname has been localized in various dialects and regions of France. As a result, it has acquired several regional surnames, such as Barricot, Baro, Barto, and Berrot, in the Languedoc region; Barraut, Barré, and Barthalot in the northern region; and Barral and Barrallon in the southwestern region.

Additionally, some families who emigrated to other countries changed their surname spelling to accommodate the English language, leading to variant spellings such as Bariteau and Barraud that are commonly found in Canada.

Many of these variants still carry the French preposition "de", making them de Barret, de Baron, de Barto, de Barrail, de Barrallon, de Bariteau, de Barraud, de Barrot, etc., which indicate their origin in old France.

The Barret surname is also often mistaken for the English and Scottish surname Barrett, which has an unrelated origin. The English and Scottish Barrett family descends from a Middle English personal name of the same spelling, but had nothing to do with the French Barret family.

Famous people with the name Barret

  • Syd Barrett: English singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and painter. He was the original front-man and co-founder of the band Pink Floyd.
  • Luke Barrett: Australian professional golfer who plays on the European Tour.
  • Wayne Barrett: American investigative journalist and senior contributing editor at The Daily Beast.
  • Paul Barret: American former professional basketball player and later became a coach.
  • Gail Barrett: American actress, most famously recognized for her part in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's.
  • August Barrett Brown: American activist, organizer, and self-described 'media-activist', convicted for his part in leaking documents during the 2011 cyber attack on Stratfor.
  • Graham Barret: English professional boxer who competed from 1995 to 2003.
  • Joyce Barret: Canadian soprano who has toured her interpretation of Amelia in Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” to a number of international opera houses.
  • Ken Barret: Canadian professional ice hockey player.
  • David William Barret: American mathematician known for contributing to the classification of finite simple groups.

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