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Surname Covey - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'C'

Covey: What does the surname Covey mean?

The surname Covey is of Old French origin and has two potential meanings. It primarily arose as a nickname derived from the French word "cove," meaning "old man" or "hunchback." As such, it might have been assigned to someone considered wise and elderly, or someone with a noticeable hunchback.

Later, in Medieval England, the word "covey" began being used to refer to a small group or flock of birds, particularly partridges. Thus, the surname might also have been a metonymic occupational name for a fowler, someone who caught and sold birds for a living.

As with many surnames, the exact origin of the name Covey can vary between different families, and different branches may have assumed the name for different reasons or from different sources. It remains popular in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other English-speaking countries. Notable individuals with the surname include Stephen R. Covey, an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker.

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Covey: Where does the name Covey come from?

The surname Covey is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the Old English “cofa” meaning "a chamber" or “cob” meaning "basket". It was likely a metonymic occupational surname for a basket maker or a maker of cupboards or armoires. It could also be a habitational name from Cove in Hampshire, which is on sheltered coastlines or valleys, derived from the Old English term “cofa” for a cove or bay. The surname was first recorded in the early 12th century in England. The earliest recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Cobbe, which was dated 1148, in the "Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire". Notable individuals with this name include the American author Stephen Covey. While the surname Covey can still be found in the UK today, it is most prevalent in the United States, following the paths of British migration. According to Forebears, there are more than 8,000 people with the surname Covey today, and the highest density of individuals with the Covey surname is in the United States, followed by England and Canada.

Variations of the surname Covey

The surname Covey is of English origin and it is derived from a geographical locality, 'at the cove', a small bay or inlet. Therefore, it's primarily a locational surname, suggesting the original bearers lived or worked near a notable cove. However, some families might have adopted the name through association or employment at Covey households.

Variants and similar surnames include Cove, Covvey, Covie, Covy, Coffey, Covee, Covye, Coveey, and Cové. It's not uncommon to encounter different regional variations, depending on language influences and geographical separation.

The surname Covey could also be interchanged with some names of similar sounds such as Colley, Collie, Covy, Cuffey, Cote, Coffay, or Covell. These substitutions could result from clerical errors or transcription modifications over time.

In terms of name frequency, Covey is most prevalent in the United States, followed by England, Canada, and Australia. It's always valuable to trace the exact origin, spellings, and variants of a surname through family records, historical archives, or genealogical research for more specific and personalized information.

Famous people with the name Covey

  • Stephen R. Covey: Renowned American educator, author, and keynote speaker, notable for his book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People'.
  • Sean Covey: The eldest son of Stephen R. Covey, Sean is a successful author, motivational speaker, and business executive.
  • Cynthia Covey: Renowned Professor of Psychology at Southern Illinois University.
  • James S. Covey: Prominent Diplomat and Former United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone.
  • Sandra Covey: Wife of Stephen Covey, motivational speaker, and co-founder of the Covey Leadership Center.
  • Fred Covey: Notable American entrepreneur and business executive.
  • Steve Covey: Celebrated English cricket player.
  • Mason Covey: Emerging actor known for his role in the film 'Branded'.
  • Robert Covey: Famous graphic designer and creative director in the music industry.
  • Nathan B. Covey: The prominent Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force.
  • Dwight D. Covey: Renowned Professor of Law at University of San Francisco.

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