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Surname Paterson - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'P'

Paterson: What does the surname Paterson mean?

The last name Paterson is of Scottish origin and literally means "son of Patrick." It is a patronymic surname, attaching the suffix "-son" to the given name Patrick. "Patrick" itself is derived from the Latin "Patricius," which means "nobleman" or "patrician." Thus, in a broader sense, the surname Paterson can be interpreted as "son of a nobleman." This surname is quite common in Scotland and among people of Scottish descent spread across the English-speaking world, reflecting a longstanding tradition of patronymic naming in these communities. Variations of the name include Patterson and Pattison.

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Paterson: Where does the name Paterson come from?

The last name Paterson is of Scottish origin. It is a surname that was derived from the first name Patrick and means "son of Patrick". From its origin in Scotland, it then spread to other English-speaking countries like England, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The surname is patronymic, meaning that it was originally derived from the father's given name.

As per modern distributions, it's quite common in Scottish and English-speaking countries. According to recent statistics from the Forebears surname database, it's most prevalent in the United States, followed by England and Australia. However, considering population densities, it's most densely concentrated in Scotland and New Zealand. Furthermore, in Scotland, the Paterson surname is especially common in West Lothian, South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, and East Ayrshire. In England, it's found most widely in Northumberland. It’s worth noting that the spelling can vary, sometimes appearing with a single "t" and at other times with two.

Variations of the surname Paterson

The surname Paterson, typically Scottish in origin, is a patronymic name derived from the personal name Peter, which means "rock" in Greek. It translates to "son of Peter." Variants and spelling variations of this surname include Patterson, Pattersen, Pattison, and Pattinson.

This surname can also have an Irish origin where it's often used as an anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Pheadair ('son of Peadar') and Ó Peadaráin (descendant of little Peter), with Peadar being the Gaelic form of Peter.

In some cases, the surname can be of English origin, especially found in Northern England. The English variant is usually spelled Pattinson.

Furthermore, other distortions can include Patrisone, Patursson, and similar sounding Scandinavian surnames due to Scotland's Viking connections. However, due to immigration and anglicization, there may be many other spellings and interpretations of the surname within different cultures and regions globally.

It's worth noting that despite the different spellings and slight variants, all versions of the surname essentially have the same meaning - son or descendant of Peter.

Famous people with the name Paterson

  • George Paterson: Scottish actor and director most known for his roles in the films The Winter Guest and Witnness.
  • Neil Paterson: English comedy actor, best known for playing Lofty in the British sitcom Porridge and the title role in the Thames Television horror anthology series, Hammer House of Horror.
  • Laura Paterson: Scottish actress and singer, best known for playing the role of Mairead in the film Othello.
  • Iain Paterson: Scottish opera singer, tenor at the Royal Opera House in London.
  • Don Paterson: Scottish poet and author, holder of several awards, including the 2009 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and a two-time winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize.
  • Kim Paterson: British actress, best known for her roles in Man About the House, Citizen Smith and Bergerac.
  • Richard Paterson: British Master Blender, known for inventing The Dalmore scotch whisky.
  • James Paterson: Australian politician, Leader of the Opposition for Victoria.
  • John Paterson: Scottish footballer, who had stints with English clubs like Chelsea and AFC Bournemouth.
  • Stuart Paterson: Scottish actor, known for his roles in film and television, including The Commitments and Monarch of the Glen.

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