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Surname Merriman - Meaning and Origin

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Merriman: What does the surname Merriman mean?

The surname Merriman is of English origin and is derived from the nickname "Merry man" which was given to a person who was jovly, lighthearted, or cheerful. The term "merry" in Middle English could also mean "pleasing or delightful", hence, it may refer to someone who was pleasant in character or appearance. So, the last name Merriman could essentially translate to "a delightful or cheerful man." It is considered to be a descriptive surname, originating from a time when surnames typically reflected a person's appearance, occupation, or character traits.

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Merriman: Where does the name Merriman come from?

The surname Merriman is of English origin, stemming from the Middle English term "merry man" which referred to a person characterized by their cheerful demeanor or possibly their role as an entertainer or jester. The name first appeared in Suffolk, England where the Merriman family held a family seat from early times.

The surname gradually dispersed and is now found in various parts of the world. Today, the surname is relatively common in England, but it has also made its way to other English-speaking nations, particularly the United States and Australia, due to historical emigrations. Furthermore, it's also spread in Canada, South Africa, and other countries.

Despite this global spread, the frequency of the Merriman surname is still far greater in England compared to other nations. As per the surname distribution data from Forebears, it ranks highest in England and the United States in terms of absolute numbers. Thus, while Merriman is a globally recognized name, it remains most common in its birthplace and other English-speaking nations.

Variations of the surname Merriman

The surname Merriman is of English origin and has a several variants and similar surnames. Variants may include Merryman, Meriman, Merrieman, Merrymen and Meryman. Misspelled versions might include Merriam, Mereman, or Merrymon, but these may also be distinct names with their own separate origins.

"Merriman" is an early medieval surname and is derived from the pre 7th century English word "myrige", meaning pleasant, and "mann", a term for a friend or companion. This surname was initially given as a nickname to a person known to be pleasant or merry. Thus, it's also possible that other surnames from different cultures that mean "happy man" or "merry man" could be considered variants of Merriman.

The surname has also been anglicized from the Irish name O'Muirgheasain in the regions of Leinster and Munster, thus O'Muirgheasain or simply Muirgheasain can be considered related too.

However, it is essential to note that surnames can vary significantly, even for members of the same family, due to multiple factors like migration, literacy rates, and language changes, so these examples might not cover all possible variations of the surname Merriman.

Famous people with the name Merriman

  • Junior Seau (born Tiaina Baul Junior Seau Jr.): Former American football player who was a linebacker in the NFL for 20 seasons.
  • Shawne Merriman (born Shawne DeAndre Merriman): Former American football player who was a linebacker in the NFL for eight seasons.
  • Digger Phelps (born Richard Francis Phelps): Former American basketball coach who was the head coach for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's basketball from 1971 to 1991.
  • Mark R. Merriman (born 1942): Retired American mathematician and scholar who recently edited a published textbook on the history of mathematics.
  • Malinda Williams (born Malinda Williams Merriman): American actress best known for her role as Tracy “Bird” Van Adams in the Showtime television drama series Soul Food.
  • Mark Merriman (born 1947): American businessman and entrepreneur who founded Merriman Capital, Inc., an independent, full-service investment bank focusing on growth companies.
  • Don Merriman: American politician who was the former state representative from the 73rd district of Kansas from 2011 to 2016.
  • Mary Lou Merriman (born 1948): American photographer known for her multidisciplinary approach to the creation of photographic images.
  • Jerry Merriman (born 1946): Retired American Football player who played wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers for two years between 1969 and 1971.
  • Paulette Merriman (born 1941): American fashion illustrator, graphic designer, and painter who specializes in female fashion illustrations.

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