Surname Few - Meaning and Origin
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Few: What does the surname Few mean?
The surname Few is of English origin and dates back to the medieval times. It is derived from the Middle English term "feawe," meaning few or small in number. This nickname may have been originally given either as a joke to a man of large family, or to denote a person with only a few relations or perhaps a small stature. In the early development of surnames, nicknames were often adopted, based on personal characteristics or peculiarities. Surnames like Few were commonly given during the Middle Ages to distinguish people for tax purposes, leading to its distribution across the region, eventually becoming hereditary. Today, people bearing the Few surname can be found across the globe but primarily in English-speaking countries.
Few: Where does the name Few come from?
The last name Few is of English origin. It is believed to have derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word "feawa", which means few or a small number. The name might have been a nickname for someone who was the youngest in a family or a small person.
The surname Few might also have topographical roots, used for someone who lived in an unusually small or sparse piece of land. But the most likely explanation is that it originated from an Olde English personal nickname "Feawa," which means little or small.
Some variations of the name include Fewe, Fewer, and Phew, among others. Early recordings of this family name date back to the 12th century in different parts of England.
As for its current prevalence, the surname Few is most commonly found in the United States, followed by England and Australia. Today, it remains relatively uncommon with less than 10,000 people bearing this surname worldwide, the majority in the US. Georgia is the US state with the highest number of individuals with the last name Few.
Variations of the surname Few
The surname Few is thought to be of Anglo-Saxon origin, dating back to pre 7th century Old English. It is thought to derive from the word "feaw" which means "few" or "small in number". It was probably initially given as a nickname to a small family or to refer to the youngest of a large family.
Variations and spellings of the surname Few include Feu, Fue, Fewe, Phew and Fews. Surname variants can occur for a variety of reasons, including regional pronunciation differences, misspellings, or translation variations.
The surname may also be associated with the name Fewster or Fuster, which is believed to be of Norman origin, alternatively meaning "saddle tree maker". The same with the surname Fewins, which has a slightly different meaning, referring to "peace friend".
It is also possible that Few could be a variant of the Welsh surname Vaughan, which means "small" or "little", however this is less likely.
Like all historical surnames, the exact origin and meaning can vary, and may not necessarily align with modern interpretations or assumptions.
Famous people with the name Few
- William Few: an American politician, military leader, and a founding father who represented Georgia at the Constitutional Convention.
- Paul Few: a prominent American attorney and businessman specializing in commercial real estate and construction law.
- James Few: a former professional American football player who played as a linebacker for several American Football League (AFL) teams.
- Ignatius Alphonso Few: a clergyman, lawyer, and the first president of Emory University.
- Mark Few: an American college basketball coach who currently coaches the Gonzaga University men's team.
- John Few: a renowned professor of medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine who specialized in hematology and oncology. Unfortunately, other than the above, there aren't many well-known figures with the surname "Few". Due to this, it's somewhat of a unique surname, especially in areas like entertainment, sports, politics, business, etc.