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Surname Beard - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'B'

The Impacts of the iGENEA DNA Test on My Perception of Personal Identity & Beard Lineage

The iGENEA DNA test has provided impactful revelations about my personal ancestry linked to the Beard surname and reshaped my view on personal identity and heritage.

G. Beard

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Beard: What does the surname Beard mean?

The last name Beard is of English and Scottish origin. It is derived from the Middle English term "beard," which was used either as a nickname for someone who had a beard or for a person with striking or peculiar facial hair. During the era when surnames started becoming hereditary, not every man could grow a full beard, hence this surname could be possibly linked to an individual who was able to do so. It has also been suggested that the name could be occupational, referring to someone who made or sold false beards used in the medieval theatre. Lastly, in some scenarios, it may have been a name given to someone who played the part of a bearded character, such as a hermit or a wild man, in a pageant or play. Overall, the last name Beard has roots in physical appearance and performance.

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Beard: Where does the name Beard come from?

The surname Beard derives from old English and the old French word "Beard," meaning beard. It served as a nickname in medieval England for a man with a considerable beard. It also came from region-specific terms, such as the old German words "Bart" and "Berth," and the French word "Barbe". It was a popular name given to impressionable men considered to have a warrior-like persona epitomizing masculinity and who usually had long beards. The name’s popularity also evolved due to portrayal of Jesus with long hair and beards, making it fashionable among clergy.

Today, Beard is a common surname in English-speaking countries. In particular, the United States has the highest number of people with the Beard surname, followed by England and Australia. It also significantly occurs in Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. In England, it is particularly prevalent in Yorkshire.

Variations of the surname Beard

The surname Beard has numerous variants, spellings, and similar surnames that originate from the same lineage. Some of the most common ones include Beard, Beaird, Baird, Barde, Beardi, Berd, Beered, Beerd, and De Beard. These variations are primarily driven by geographical, historical, and language differences that have evolved over the centuries.

The surname is of Old English and French origin, originally derived from the nickname for a bearded man, from the Middle English, Old English, and Old French "beard," "barbe." In Scotland, Baird is often used as a variant of Beard.

It is also important to note that there are quite a number of surnames-forming prefixes and suffixes that might be attached to the original surname, leading to a wide range of variations. These include 'Mac,' 'O,' 'Fitz,' 'de,' 'le,' 'von,' etc., each of which has a distinct meaning.

Sometimes a diminutive suffix is added to signify "little" or "young," such as '-kin' or '-ling,' forming surnames like Beardkin or Beardling. Also, a patronymic suffix such as 'son,' 'sen,' 's,' 'ez,' etc., might be added to form Beardson, Beardsen, among others. Lastly, variations could arise through translation of the meaning into different languages, for instance, Barbe in French.

Famous people with the name Beard

  • James Beard: Renowned American chef and food critic, acknowledged for his contributions to American cuisine.
  • Frank Beard: Drummer for the American rock band ZZ Top.
  • Billy Beard: Notable musician from the band Face to Face.
  • Patricia Beard: Famous American author known for writing fiction novels and non-fiction books.
  • Charles Austin Beard: Influential American historian who played a significant role in American intellectual and academic life.
  • Al Beard: Professional American basketball player.
  • Amanda Beard: Seven-time Olympic medallist American swimmer.
  • John Beard: Broadcaster, known for his work on KCRA-TV, KTTV, KNBC and Fox News.
  • Henry Beard: Co-founder of the humor magazine National Lampoon.
  • Dan Beard: Founding pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Butch Beard: Former American professional basketball player and coach.
  • Mary Ritter Beard: Notable American historian, campaigner for women's suffrage, and author.
  • Frank Beard (Golfer): Professional American golfer who played on the PGA Tour.
  • Buster Beard: Known for coaching American college basketball.
  • Michael Beard: Character in Ian McEwan's novel 'Solar', awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • Joseph Palen Beard: Well-known American photographer and painter.
  • Sam Beard: Prominent American philanthropist.
  • John Beard (Scientist): Scottish embryologist, active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Doug Beard: Prominent Canadian Political figure.
  • Giltner Beard: American Politician served in Nebraska State Senate.

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