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Surname Taff - Meaning and Origin

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Taff: What does the surname Taff mean?

The surname Taff is of Welsh origin and is derived from the River Taff, which flows through Cardiff, the capital of Wales. It is a locational surname, indicating that the original bearers of the name were likely from areas near or along this river. The term "Taff" itself is believed to stem from the Welsh word "Taf," meaning a boundary. Therefore, the surname Taff could be seen to denote someone dwelling near or at the boundary, possibly symbolizing a border area of land or division between two places. Because of the migratory nature of early Welsh inhabitants, the surname spread across different parts of Wales and into England, leading to different variations such as Taffe, Taffs, Taf, and others. In addition to this primary meaning, "Taff" could also be a nickname for someone named David, as "Dafydd" is a common Welsh spelling of the name, and "Taff" is a common rendering of the sound of the initial consonant of the name in Welsh. Like many surnames, Taff's exact meaning can vary based upon context and geographical location.

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Taff: Where does the name Taff come from?

The last name Taff is most commonly found in the United States and the United Kingdom today. In the United States, Taff can be found mostly in the eastern half of the country, including New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. In the United Kingdom, the highest concentration of Taff is found in Wales, where it is one of the most popular surnames. Even more specifically, it is prominent in the South Wales Valleys such as the Rhondda Valley and the Rhymney Valley.

The surname's origins can be traced back to Wales and Scotland. In Wales, it is a derivative of the Welsh word "taf", which means 'end', and it is believed to have been given to families that lived at the edge of a village or town. In Scotland, it is thought to be derived from the Gaelic Mac T$\bar{a}$idh, meaning 'son of Tadhd', and it was popular in the Scottish Highlands.

The variant spelling Taffe exists as well, and can be found in smaller numbers across the United States, with the highest concentration being in California and Florida. It is also present in smaller numbers in Wales, Scotland, and other parts of the United Kingdom.

Despite its propensity to the United States and the United Kingdom, occasional instances of Taff can be found across the world, from Canada to Australia. It is even present in countries like Japan, where it can be seen on company business cards and in documents of foreign nationals.

Variations of the surname Taff

The variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for the surname Taff are all related, but not necessarily the same name. The Taff surname has its origin in Wales, likely derived from the River Taff, and can be found as far back as records exist.

Spelling variations include Taft, Taff, Taffe, Taffee, Tafey, Tafie, Taffy, Tafoya, Tafoya, Taffs, Taffey, Taffy, Tiptaft, and Tift. All of these variations are related and can also be found in a variety of combinations of these variants.

Surnames of the same origin also include variations such as Tuff, Duff, Duffy, Duffey, Daffey and Daffy. These variations are likely born from name changes due to misunderstanding or pronunciation, or even just for the purpose of distinguishing family lines.

In England, the Taff surname can also be found mapped as Taft and Tuft. In France, Taffé can be found, while from Scotland, the Tufts spelling is found, as well as its variations.

One of the more popular variations of Taff is Taft. This is famously used with William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States, which is featured on the U.S. one-dollar bill.

Taff is a popular surname throughout Europe, most predominantly in Wales, England, Ireland, and Scotland. The frequent variations and spellings of Taff make it difficult for genealogists to trace family histories. Regardless, all are related and likely began with the River Taff.

Famous people with the name Taff

  • Jimmy Taff: television producer and executive who has worked on shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Inside Amy Schumer, and Tosh.0.
  • Nathan Taff: professional baseball player who has played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, and San Francisco Giants.
  • Billy Taff: former NASCAR driver who competed in more than 150 races from 1979 to 1989.
  • Terry Taff: veteran actor, whose most notable role was as Dr. Harris on the Emmy-Award Winning television series M*A*S*H.
  • CSM Stanley Leonard Taff: United States Army soldier who earned a Purple Heart and the Silver Star after being wounded in World War II.
  • Austin Taff: professional rodeo trick rider, known for competing in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and for creating a unique trick riding style.
  • Matt Taff: FIA World Rally Championship radio presenter and United States Rally Championship commentator.
  • Karen Taff: American politician who served as member of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2002-2018.
  • Timothy Taff: film producer and director who has worked on movies like The Crown, Big Little Lies, and Room 9.
  • Guy Taff: professional golfer who won the Utah Open in 1984 and has competed in major golf tournaments, such as the PGA Tour and the U.S. Open.

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