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Surname Shoal - Meaning and Origin

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Shoal: What does the surname Shoal mean?

The last name Shoal is of English origin and is derived from a habitational name meaning “dweller by the shallow” or “at the shallow.” This type of name is given to a person who lived near a shallow body of water, such as a river or stream.

The Middle English word “shole” was used to describe such places, and it is likely to have come from the Old English “sceal,” which is a noun meaning a “pool of standing water or a shallow area in a body of water.” A shoal would also refer to a sandbar or a submerged gravel bank which could cause treacherous shallows for ships.

Some people also carry the surname Shoal as a variant of the German Scholl surname derived from “schol” meaning “whirlpool” or “eddy,” while some others carry it as an Americanized version of the Dutch or German shoemaker surname Scholz. Other European versions of the surname can include Sholes, Showles, Scholes and shows.

Today, there are individuals with the Shoal surname living in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

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Shoal: Where does the name Shoal come from?

The last name Shoal is most commonly found in countries around the Mediterranean sea today. It is particularly present in eastern European nations such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, and Romania. In Bulgaria, the name can be found in areas like Bourgas and Pernik, while in Croatia it is especially prominent around Zagreb and Sibenik. In Hungary, the name appears around the capital Budapest and the town of Zebegény. In Romania, the name Shoal is most commonly found in Iasi county, as well as spots like the cities of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca.

Outside of the Mediterranean region, the last name Shoal can also be found scattered in parts of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, the last name is mostly prominent in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. In Canada it is widely distributed in British Columbia, while in the United Kingdom it appears in the Greater London area.

Though rare in some regions, the frequency in which the last name Shoal appears in other parts of the world, including eastern Europe and North America, indicate that the name is not completely uncommon. It is possible that the Shoal surname originates from Spanish, Italian, Greek, Croatian, Bulgarian, or Romanian origins.

Variations of the surname Shoal

The surname Shoal has a variety of spelling and surnames that are related to its origin. These include Shoales, Shoalle, Schole, Schoal, School, Schoalles, Shooles, Shoally, Shoele, Shoall, Shoele, Schoole, Schoelle, Schooly, Showle, and Shoefield.

The spelling Shoal is most likely of Irish origin derived from the Gaelic Ó Súilleabháin which is pronounced in Modern Irish (Gaelic) as 'Oh Shool-ah-vawn'. The name is found especially in the east of the country, and is strongly associated with counties Cork and Kerry. It is suggested that the name translates to” one who is comely” and may originate from one of the many place names in the country that includes the word “suile” which is the Gaelic word for eye.

The surname Shoal and Shoales can be found in English and American records as early as the 1300s and is found in records as Shoole, Shoale, Schole, Shoule (Shoal) and Shoall. It is also found in records as Shoally, Shoefield and Shooles.

The surname Schoal can also be found in Dutch records. It may be of Dutch and German origin and is sometimes found spelled as Schol, Schoul, and Schoall. It is derived from the old German or Old Norse words skol meaning “school” or “instruction” and hild meaning “war”. In some instances, the surname is associated with one who attended a school.

The spelling School is sometimes encountered as a variant of the surname and can also be found in English and American records. It may derive from the same source as the Dutch and German spelling Schoal; however, the variant spelling may be derived from an occupational name for someone who worked in a school.

The surname Showle is also an English variant of Shoal and can be found recorded as early as the 1320s. It is unconfirmed whether this spelling derived from an occupational name or from a nickname, with the latter being more likely. The nickname Showle was likely derived from an old English term for “rough looking” or “uncouth”.

Famous people with the name Shoal

  • Joey Shoal: Actor who has appeared in productions such as Cook Off!, Bound for the Promised Land, and That's What I Am.
  • Emma Shoal: Model, lifestyle influencer and fashion designer from the UK.
  • Pastor Curtis Shoal- Preacher, author and songwriter from Georgia.
  • Zac Shoal: Professional mixed martial artist and high school wrestling coach.
  • Mark Shoal: Professional boxer, competing in the super-middleweight division.
  • Hope Shoal: Art curator and gallery owner based in Philadelphia.
  • Ezra Shoal: Famous rock musician from Austin, known for his work in the bands Polymorph and Oddstar.
  • Rosemary Shoal: Daughter of Hollywood starlets, Tajuankine and Jack Shoal.
  • Shane Shoal: Contemporary artist from Louisiana, famed for his work in oil painting and metal sculpture.
  • Adam Shoal: Award-winning chef and author of the Healthy Eating Collection cookbooks.

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