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Surname Coffee - Meaning and Origin

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Coffee: What does the surname Coffee mean?

The surname Coffee is of Irish origin, derived from the Gaelic name "Ó Cobhthaigh", meaning "victorious". The Coffee family was a part of the ancient Irish Dal Cais tribe and was particularly prevalent in the Desmond province which is located in present-day County Kerry and County Cork. Although the surname Coffee has been transformed and anglicized many times over the centuries, its original Gaelic spelling and pronunciation are still used in parts of Ireland. The surname has been historically significant with several notable figures bearing the name, particularly within the military and political arenas. It's important to note that while some might associate the name Coffee with the popular beverage of the same name, they are not etymologically related. The beverage's name originates from the Kaffa region in Ethiopia, while the surname has Irish roots.

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Coffee: Where does the name Coffee come from?

The surname Coffee is of Irish origin, specifically derived from the Gaelic name "Ó Cobhthaigh," meaning "victorious". This clan was a part of the Fianna, a band of itinerant warriors during the 2nd to 4th century in Ireland. The surname then evolved into "MacCoffee" and then more simply into "Coffee" after various anglicizations.

Today, the last name Coffee is common in the United States, most notably in the states of Kentucky, Georgia, and Mississippi. According to various census data, the Coffee surname is the 2,686th most common surname in America. It is also found in countries that have experienced significant Irish emigration like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. However, it is still most common in Ireland, especially in the counties of Kerry and Cork where the Coffee Clan originally hailed.

Variations of the surname Coffee

The surname Coffee is of Irish origin, primarily found in the region of Munster and parts of Leinster. It is derived from the Old Irish name "O'Cobhthaigh", meaning 'victorious'. The name underwent many spelling changes over the centuries, evolving into its modern forms.

Variants for the surname Coffee include Coffey, Coffie, Caffey, Caffie, Coffy, Couffey and Coffe. Other spellings might include O'Coffey, O'Coffie, or the anglicized forms O'Coffee or simply Coffee.

These variations are due to a mix of genealogical errors, phonetic spellings, and branching of the family tree. Moreover, it was common for emigrants leaving Ireland to alter or 'Anglicize' their surnames upon arrival in their new countries, which contributed to these variations.

The surname Coughie might be considered a variant as well, although it is less commonly associated with Coffee.

Gaelic forms of this surname are Ó Cobhthaigh or Mac Cobhthaigh, depending on the lineage.

As far as usage, Coffey is more prevalent than the other variants, especially in Ireland. In the United States, Coffee and Coffey are the most common forms, while in Australia and the United Kingdom, Coffey is more frequently used.

Famous people with the name Coffee

  • Glen Coffee: A former American football running back who played for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL).
  • Fred Coffee: A former professional American football player who was a halfback in the National Football League.
  • John Coffee: An officer in the American Revolutionary War and later U.S. Representative from Tennessee.
  • John E. Coffee: An American politician and military officer from Georgia.
  • Craig Coffee: An American college and professional football player.
  • Ann M. Coffee: An American politician from the state of New York.
  • Amos Coffee: An American convicted of murder in the 1980s.
  • Kirk Coffee: An American war veteran and business entrepreneur.
  • Gurney Norman Coffee: A well-known American writer and documentarian.
  • Sandra Coffee: An up-and-coming Hollywood actress known for her roles in TV series. Please note that some of the mentioned individuals may not be widely recognized as "famous," but they have made significant contributions in their respective fields.

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