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Surname Earp - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'E'

Earp: What does the surname Earp mean?

The surname Earp is of English origin. According to one theory, it may have evolved from the Old English word 'eorp', which was used to describe someone from abroad or someone who was a foreigner. It's also important to note that spelling and pronunciation variations of surnames like Earp were common in the Middle Ages, reflecting the lack of standardized language rules. Another theory holds that Earp could be derived from the Old English word 'arpe' or 'harp', indicating that an ancestor might have been a harper or musician. As with many surnames, the exact lineage and meaning can be difficult to trace due to historical language shifts and regional differences. The name Earp famously belongs to Wyatt Earp, the American Old West lawman and gambler involved in the historic Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

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Earp: Where does the name Earp come from?

The last name Earp is of British origin, more specifically from Anglo-Saxon England. It is derived from the phrase "eorp", which means dwarf in Old English. In the Middle Ages, it was a common name in certain parts of England. The name Earp is also linked to Viking ancestry and thought to originate from the Scandinavian first name, Orm.

The name Earp gained prominence in the United States due to the famous gunfighter Wyatt Earp from the late 19th-century American Old West. Hence, it is more commonly found in the United States, specifically in states such as Texas, California, and Missouri. Despite its fame, it is still a fairly uncommon surname in the US and the UK today. The name can also be found, though it's less frequent, in Australia and Canada.

Variations of the surname Earp

The surname Earp originates from England and is predominantly known due to the legendary American lawman, Wyatt Earp. The surname is concentrated mostly in the United States but also has established roots in Europe.

Variations, alternate spellings and similar European-origin names might include Earpe, Earpp, Eirp, Eirpe, Eripp, Erp, Erpp, and Arp. Earp could also potentially be Anglicized from a similar sounding European surname, like Erp or Arp. The surname has a similar pronunciation to 'sharp' or 'harp' but these are not considered variants.

The most common spelling found today is Earp, largely due to the famous Wyatt Earp, who was a frontier lawman in the American Old West. Despite the fame of the name, it’s worth noting that surname Earp is quite rare. It is a unique surname with limited variants.

Different characters and backgrounds may also lead to various pronunciations which help in creating alternative spellings over a period of time. Yet, presently, there is no substantial evidence or example to show a wide range of variation for the surname Earp.

Famous people with the name Earp

  • Wyatt Earp: An iconic figure in the American Old West who is best known as a lawman in various frontier towns. He was part of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral alongside his brothers.
  • Virgil Earp: Older brother of Wyatt Earp, and a lawman as well. He served as town marshal of Tombstone during the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
  • Morgan Earp: Another one of Wyatt Earp's brothers and active in frontier law enforcement.
  • Warren Earp: Youngest of the Earp brothers, and involved in cowboy law enforcement too.
  • James Earp: Eldest of the Earp brother, also involved in several notable events in the "Wild West," albeit in a less prominent role.
  • Nicholas Porter Earp: Father of the Earp brothers, had a varied career including lawman, farmer, cooper, bootlegger, and wagon-master.
  • Urilla Sutherland Earp: First wife of Wyatt Earp, died not long after their marriage due complications in childbirth.
  • Josephine Earp: Common law wife of Wyatt Earp, a dancer and actress who shared many of Wyatt's later adventures.
  • Hugh O'Brian: Not an Earp by blood, but played Wyatt Earp on the long-running TV series titled ‘The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp’.

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