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Surname Pretty - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'P'

Pretty: What does the surname Pretty mean?

The last name "Pretty" is of English origin and is considered a nickname or descriptive surname. Historically, it was often used to describe a person who was attractive or handsome in the Middle Ages. The term "pretty," during the period when surnames started becoming standardized (around the 13th and 14th centuries), had a slightly different connotation than it does today. It didn't necessarily mean physically attractive as it commonly does now, but could also mean someone who was clever or crafty. So, an individual given this surname may have been known for their physical attractiveness, cunningness, or resourcefulness. As with all surnames, it's important to remember that they can often be based on nicknames, and their meanings can evolve over time and differ between various regions or cultures.

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Pretty: Where does the name Pretty come from?

Pretty is a common surname in many parts of the world today. It is most commonly found in the United Kingdom, where it is the 264th most popular name, according to official data from the Office of National Statistics. In the United States, Pretty ranks at number 4,767 among the most common last names. It is particularly prevalent in New Zealand, where it is the 692nd most popular name.

The origin of the Pretty surname is uncertain, as family names of the Middle Ages were often adopted from a variety of sources. It may have been taken from a location, from an occupation or from a personal attribute of the original bearer.

The etymology of Pretty is unclear, as there do not appear to be any words in either Old or Middle English that have been traced back to the last name. There are also no known variations of the Pretty name, including spelling or pronunciation, and it remains the same across the British Isles.

Pretty is also a relatively young surname, in comparison to many of the other surnames common in the United Kingdom. Despite this, the name has become increasingly common in recent years, with more and more people taking it as their own. It looks likely to remain one of the most prevalent surnames in the UK for years to come.

Variations of the surname Pretty

Pretty is a surname of English origin. It is derived from the Middle English word "pretye" which refers to a pleasing or attractive person or thing. Variants and other spellings of the surname include Pratty, Praty, Prety, Pritey, and Priety.

The surname Pratty is found primarily in the United Kingdom, derived as a variant of the surname Pretty, and meaning "small and attractive." Prety is also found primarily in the United Kingdom and is a variant of Pretty, meaning “pleasing in form and appearance.” Pritey is a variant of Pretty found only in the United States, and it is derived from the Middle English name Pratty which means “attractive” in French.

Surnames of the same origin as Pretty, such as Pratty, Praty, Prety, Pritey and Priety, can also be found in Scotland and Ireland. The Scottish surname Pratty is derived from the Gaelic word "prat" meaning "a place of playing.” The Irish surname Priety is derived from the Old Irish word "pret" which means “pleasing.”

Pretty is also the name of a town in West Yorkshire, England, possibly derived from the Middle English “pretye” or Old English “pretig” both deriving from the same meaning of “pleasant or attractive.” This town was originally called Pratt in the 12th century and the spelling slowly began to change to its current name, Pretty, over the years.

Overall, the surname Pretty is found in several countries and various spellings around the world, each variant with its own roots and meaning. From the Middle English word “pretye” to other variations such as Pratty, Praty, Prety, Pritey, Priety and Pratt found in the United States, England, Scotland and Ireland; Pretty can be seen as a very versatile surname with a unique origin and rich history.

Famous people with the name Pretty

  • Evan Pretty: Actor, known for his roles in “The Project” and “The Day After Tomorrow”.
  • Paul Pretty: Entrepreneur and philanthropist who made his fortune in real estate and venture capital.
  • Peter Pretty: Musician, songwriter and producer from New Zealand.
  • Audrey Pretty: Actress and singer, best known for her roles in “The Love Boat” and “Ladyhawke”.
  • John Pretty: Professional golfer who competed in the PGA Tour and won three tournaments in the 1990’s.
  • Charlotte Pretty: Soccer player who represented Great Britain in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
  • Diane Pretty: Disability rights advocate from the UK who was at the forefront of a landmark case in the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Eliza Pretty: Writer and illustrator who gained fame for her graphic novel series.
  • William Pretty: Astronomer who made major contributions to astronomy and astrometry.
  • Nicholas Pretty: British novelist, best known for his science fiction novels.

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