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Surname Hope - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'H'

Hope: What does the surname Hope mean?

The surname Hope is of Anglo-Saxon origin, deriving from the Old English word "hop," meaning a "small closed valley," "enclosed valley," or "enclosed piece of land." Therefore, it is a topographic surname given to someone who lived in or by such a location. The name could also potentially be linked to pre-existing locations named Hope in England, such as places in Derbyshire, Shropshire, and more. This implies that the surname could be also locational in nature, denoting people who originally lived or hailed from these places. The name has existed in Britain since the Middle Ages, and variants of the name across different countries include Hooper, Hoop, Hoppe, and others. The usage of Hope as a first name or surname (e.g., Bob Hope) may also carry additional connotations of optimism and positivity, owing to the general meaning of the word "hope" in English.

Hope: Where does the name Hope come from?

The surname Hope is of Old English origin. It's derived from the Middle English term "hope", and used to denote someone who lived in a "hope" or hollow, a depression between two hills. Alternatively, it might have originated from a person residing in one of the places named ‘Hope’ in England and Wales, such as Hope in Derbyshire, Shropshire, Flintshire, and the Hope Mountain in Clwyd. This surname came to be over time as people began to adopt surnames that were linked to their localities.

Today, the surname Hope is widely spread across the globe, thanks to migration and colonial expansion. It is most commonly found in English-speaking countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In these countries, the surname can be linked back to British and Irish ancestors, either directly or through several generations. According to several census records, the highest concentration of people with the last name Hope is in Scotland, followed by England and the United States.

Variations of the surname Hope

The surname Hope is of English origin, linked to the old English word 'hop' meaning enclosed valley. Other variants of the family with the same etymologic origin include Hoppe and Hopp. Some similar sounding surnames, though not necessarily from the same root, include Hoop, Hoope, Hoep, and Hop.

In Scotland, Hope is considered a sept (branch) of the Douglas clan, and may have become associated with it through intermarriage or allegiance. Hope surname is also common in northern Ireland where it may be of Scottish or native Irish origin. It’s worth noting that the surname's spellings could have changed over time due to illiteracy or translation between different languages, so variants could theoretically be numerous.

It is also possible for the surname Hope to be anglicized from other non-English surnames with similar meanings. For example, the German surname 'Hoffnung', or the Polish 'Nadzieja', both meaning hope, could have been Anglicized to Hope.

Finally, some names were changed entirely upon immigration. For instance, an individual with a difficult to pronounce surname could simplify it by adopting the name of a common virtue, like 'Hope'. Thus, tracing direct variants may not always be a straightforward process.

Famous people with the name Hope

  • Bob Hope: Bob Hope was an actor, comedian, dancer, and singer from Cleveland, Ohio. He is best known for his work in the entertainment industry, appearing in more than 70 films, television specials, and five Broadway shows, and hosting the Academy Awards numerous times between 1939 and 1977.
  • Edward Hope: Edward Hope was a British actor. He is best known as the narrator in documentaries, including the BBC's D-Day: The Third of June 1944 and ITV's Five Steps to Tyranny.
  • Cicely Hope: Cicely Hope is a curator, professor, and author, best known for her work on African-American art, specifically outside the United States. Hope is also known for her work with Black art galleries and museums, curating exhibitions both locally and nationally
  • John Hope: John Hope was an African-American educator and early leader of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is credited with making Morehouse a well respected college and setting it on its current trajectory of educational excellence.
  • Gloria Hope: Gloria Hope was an American country singer and songwriter. She is best known as a part of duet with fellow country singer Sonny James. The duo had several hits together and are credited with recording the first country-pop crossover hit in 1967.
  • Dame Cleo Hope: Dame Cleo Hope is a British nurse, mathematician, and author. She has earned her diploma in nursing from the Queen Elizabeth College, and completed postgraduate studies in mathematics at the University of London. She has had several books published, particularly in the field of mathematics.
  • Dave Hope: Dave Hope is the current bassist for the American rock band Kansas. He is also credited for playing with numerous other groups, including having been in the reformed version of Jefferson Starship and sharing the stage with international acts like Bruce Springsteen.
  • William Hope: William Hope is a British actor. He is best recognized for his roles in the television series, Red Dwarf and Supernatural, as well as the feature films The Descent, Rise of the Lycans, and Hellboy.

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