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Surname Bowman - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'B'

Bowman: What does the surname Bowman mean?

The last name Bowman is of English and Scottish origin. This surname was derived from the occupation of an individual. In the Middle Ages, it specifically referred to someone who was an archer. "Bowman" can be broken into two parts, 'bow' and 'man', where 'bow' refers to the device used to shoot arrows, and 'man' means just that, a man. Thus, the name can be translated to mean 'the man with a bow'. Such occupational surnames were often given to individuals based on their trade or profession. This occupational surname was common among Medieval English speakers and was a crucial role in medieval warfare. So, if someone had the last name Bowman, it originally indicated that they or their ancestors were archers by profession. However, over time, last names just became a way to distinguish different families, and ceased to be strictly associated with one's occupation.

Bowman: Where does the name Bowman come from?

The surname Bowman is of English origin. It derives from the Middle English word "bogha", and the Old English pre 7th-century word "boga", which both mean bow, and "mann", a man. So, Bowman literally means "a man who makes or uses bows", referring to an archer. This points towards its origins in the medieval period, where surnames often reflected one's job or occupation. Over time and through migration, it has dispersed around the world. Today, Bowman is a common surname in the United States, England, Canada, and Australia. It is most common in the United States, based on the frequency of the surname in population. Censuses reveal high concentrations of Bowmans in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Despite its English origins, it is relatively less common in England than in the U.S. today. The Bowman surname has also found its way to Africa through British colonialism and is common in countries like South Africa.

Variations of the surname Bowman

The surname Bowman has many different spellings and variations due to its origins and translation into different languages. It originates from the Old English term boga, meaning ‘bow’, and mann, ‘man’. Thus, Bowman essentially translates to 'archer' or 'bowman' — someone who makes or uses bows.

Alternate spellings for Bowman include Boman, Boeman, Beauman and Bohman. Other variations include the German-origin surname Baumann, which means 'farmer' or 'neighbor' but has evolved over time to have a similar spelling to Bowman.

Additional variations include Bowmane, Bowmen, Boweman, and Boman. The surname can also have a regional variant like Bowmans, indicating a family connection or origin.

Derived or linked surnames can also include Buchmann in Germany, Bouman in the Netherlands or Boeijink in the Scandinavian regions. These surnames, though not directly translated to 'Bowman', are phonetically or visually similar and might have evolved from the same or similar origins.

It's important to note that many surname variations can exist due to immigration, country of origin, and evolution over time.

Famous people with the name Bowman

  • Scotty Bowman: A legendary figure in the ice hockey world, he is known as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL).
  • Josh Bowman: An English actor, most famous for his role in the TV series "Revenge".
  • Lee Bowman: An American film and television actor during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.
  • Eric Bowman: An acclaimed American realist painter.
  • Clara Belle Bowman: An American silent film actress known as Billie Dove.
  • Rob Bowman: An American film and television director and producer, known for his work on series like "The X-Files" and "Castle".
  • Euday Bowman: An American pianist and composer, known for his ragtime compositions.
  • Pat Bowman: An accomplished German volleyball player.
  • Brady Bowman: A politician who has served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
  • Carly Bowman: A professional English cricketer.
  • Krystian Bowman: An Australian artist and muralist.
  • Pilou Bowman: A young Danish actor known for his performance in "Bridgend" and "A War".
  • Matthew Bowman: An American professional baseball pitcher.

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