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Surname Ham - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'H'

Ham: What does the surname Ham mean?

The surname "Ham" is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from Old English "hamm" or "ham," which referred to a pasture, flat, low-lying meadow, a piece of grassland, or meadow by a body of water. The term was often used in placenames, including as a prefix or suffix, across England and parts of Europe. It could potentially signify that the original bearers lived or worked near this type of terrain. However, the surname could also be a shortened form of a personal name like Hamon or a patronymic surname derived from the given name Hamo or Hamon, meaning "home." Traced back further, it may originate from the biblical name Ham, who was a son of Noah. Ham is also a Jewish surname of Yiddish origin meaning "hot," indicating an occupational connection to a baker or blacksmith. It is diverse in origin overall, with different variations existing in different countries, including Germany and Netherlands. Many emigrants also carried this surname to the New World during the early colonization. Therefore, the meaning of "Ham" can vary greatly depending on geographical location and historical context.

Ham: Where does the name Ham come from?

The surname Ham is of Anglo-Saxon origin from the pre 7th century, deriving from the word "hamm" which typically refers to a farm, village, or manor and is commonly seen in place names across England. It may have been used initially as a geographic identifier for individuals who lived in or near such a place.

However, it's also believed to be a shortened version of the biblical name Hamnet, which was popular during the Middle Ages. Sometimes, this name devolved to Ham or Hamm and became a surname.

Modern bearers of the surname are found widely across the English-speaking world, but it is most common in the United States, specifically within the state of California. It is also common in England, Canada, and Australia. Worldwide, the highest number of people with the Ham surname is in South Korea.

Please note that the aforementioned percentages are estimates and the actual prevalence of the Ham surname may be slightly different.

Variations of the surname Ham

The surname Ham is of Anglo-Saxon origin, stemming from the Old English word "hamm" meaning "a dry area of land" or "land hemmed in by water or marsh". Some geographical names evolved into surnames, and Ham is one such example. It is quite a rare surname that can be observed in Europe and North America.

There can be variations in the spelling of this surname based on different cultures and regions. Some of these alternate spellings and related surnames include Hamm, Hame, Hames, Hamms, Hamme, Hammes, Hem, Hemm, and Hemms.

It's also worth noting that in German-speaking regions, the surname Hamm might be more common. Simultaneously, French-speaking regions may use Hame or Hamme. However, these surnames might not always have the same origin and meaning as the Anglo-Saxon Ham.

While researching, it should be borne in mind that surnames can also mimic everyday words, and the surname Ham is no exception. Therefore, not every instance of "Ham" as an individual's name necessarily refers to this particular surname or its variants. It is also possible that some unrelated surnames might appear or even sound similar.

It's always best to research individual circumstances and genealogy for more accurate results.

Famous people with the name Ham

  • Mia Hamm: An American retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA Women's World Cup winner.
  • Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr.: His real name is William Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. but he changed his last name to “HAM” in Rocketman (2019).
  • Brandon Hamm: A former American football wide receiver.
  • Laurel Banning: A character from the American soap opera "All My Children", played by Felicity LaFortune.
  • Melissa Hamm: An award-winning author and poet.
  • George Ham: A Canadian illustrator and caricaturist.
  • Tracie Hamm: The author of multiple romance novels.
  • George Ham, 1st Baron Hame of High Wycombe: British peer.
  • Petrina Hamm: An American artist specializing in acrylic paintings.
  • Jack Hamm: An American cartoonist, famous for his book "How to Draw the Marvel Way".
  • John E. Hamm: The former Premier of Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Pete Hamm: He was a member of the seminal British rock band "Badfinger".
  • Aaron Hamm: An actor known for "Street Outlaws" and "Street Outlaws: New Orleans".
  • Lynda Hammes: The former publisher of Foreign Affairs.
  • John Hamm: An influential American actor, best known for his role as Don Draper in Mad Men.

Other surnames


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