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Surname Meriwether - Meaning and Origin

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Meriwether: What does the surname Meriwether mean?

Meriwether is an English surname with Anglo-Saxon origins, derived from a nickname for someone who was fortunate or had good fortune. The name is composed of two Old English words, "myrige" which means "merry" or "pleasant", and "weder" which means "weather". So, it can be interpreted as "happy weather" or "good weather", symbolically referring a joyful, lucky or prosperous person. This surname is quite rare today but can be traced back to several centuries in England. The name became more prevalent in the United States due to notable bearers like Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Its spellings may vary, with examples such as Meriwether, Merryweather, or Meriweather, among others.

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Meriwether: Where does the name Meriwether come from?

The last name Meriwether is of English origin. It is derived from two Old English words, "myrie," meaning happy or cheerful, and "weder," which means weather. Therefore, Meriwether originally signified a person bringing joyful tidings, indicating the presence of good weather.

The surname has a long history in the United States and was popularized by Meriwether Lewis, an American explorer known for the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Meriwether family association dates back to colonial times in Virginia. Today, the surname remains most common in the United States, particularly in the southeastern region. It is also present, although less common, in England where it originated. The name is relatively unique, making it less common globally compared to other surnames.

Variations of the surname Meriwether

The surname Meriwether is of English origin and has various spellings and variants. These often stem from phonetic spellings or misspellings over time as the name was passed down through generations. Some common variants include Merryweather, Meriweather, and Merewether. There are also many regional variations, such as Meriwether in America.

The name is thought to have originated from a nickname, given to someone with a cheerful disposition regardless of weather. It combines words from Old English - 'myrige' meaning merry or pleasant, and 'weder' meaning weather.

This surname was borne notably by an American explorer, Meriwether Lewis, who headed the Lewis and Clark expedition, significantly contributing to the mapping of today's United States. Other notable people with this surname include Lee Meriwether, an actress and former Miss America.

In terms of related surnames, Meriwether could be grouped with other English surnames that originated from nicknames, though it may not have direct common ancestrals. Examples could be Goodman, Longfellow or Armstrong. Despite the variations and spellings, Meriwether remains a unique surname with a cheerful meaning.

Famous people with the name Meriwether

  • Lewis Meriwether: American explorer
  • Vanessa Meriwether: American R&B singer
  • Israel Meriwether: American Revolutionary War Colonel
  • Benjamin Meriwether: American Congressman
  • Lapillion Meriwether: American muscian
  • Bessie Meriwether: American poet
  • Mark Meriwether: American actor
  • Jeffrey Meriwether: American former professional basketball player
  • Kenneth Meriwether: American attorney and director of Tennessee Football Club
  • Louis Edward Meriwether: American writer and biographer

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