Arrow Downward Arrow Downward Close Close Done Done Cart Cart clock clock
Personal guidance

We are always happy to help you! Contact us via e-mail or Whatsapp.

If you would like us to call you back, please provide your phone number and how you can be reached. We will be happy to call you for a personal consultation. WhatsApp

Surname Wait - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Wait: What does the surname Wait mean?

The surname Wait originates from the Old Norse term "Vætr", which translates to "guard" or "watchman". It later evolved into "Waite" in Anglo-Saxon or Old English, retaining the same meaning. During the Middle Ages in England, Town Waits were official musicians appointed by the city or town to play music at public events, serving a function similar to a town crier. Hence, the surname Wait may also indicate one's ancestors were town musicians. Like many surnames, Wait might have been a professional surname referring to the occupation of the initial bearer. The profession associated with 'Wait' was often held in high regard, given its affiliation with maintaining security if taken to mean ‘watchman’ or cultural enrichment, if taken to denote ‘musician’. Variations of the surname include Waite, Waites, and Waits. As with many other surnames of occupational or descriptive origin, it possibly may not always have been hereditary, often being adopted by a son as his last name even when he did not follow his father’s profession.

Order DNA origin analysis

Wait: Where does the name Wait come from?

The last name “Wait” is a common surname in many parts of the world, with the largest concentration found in the United States. Most Wait families originated in England, where the name has existed since at least 1477, when Henry Wait was recorded as living in Oxfordshire. It is thought that the name was brought to the United States by immigrant settlers during the colonial era.

Today, Wait is particularly common in the northeast part of the US, particularly in the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. It is estimated that around 13,000 individuals with the last name Wait are living in the United States today.

The Wait surname is also prominent in Canada, especially in the eastern provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. It is estimated that 6,500 Canadians bear the Wait name.

Other countries where the surname Wait is common include Australia and New Zealand, where it is thought to have been introduced by immigrants from England. In England, the surname is still most often found in the counties of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire.

The Wait surname is also often found in Scotland, where it is thought to have been introduced during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Wait family is also common in Ireland, where it is thought to have been introduced in the 17th century.

The Wait surname has also spread to other countries around the world, mainly through the process of emigration from countries of European origin, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Variations of the surname Wait

The surname Wait is an English occupational name for a ‘watchman’ or ‘guard’. It derives from the Old English word ‘waet’ meaning ‘watchful.’

The most common variant of the Wait surname is Waite, and this spelling is still popular today. Other variants of this surname include Wait, Waits, Weight, Waitt, and Weyt.

The Wait surname can also be found in variations based on regional dialects. For example, in Scotland the Wait surname was once written as ‘Waight’ and today it is pronounced ‘wayt.’

The Wait surname has also been found in other countries such as Germany, where it is spelled ‘Wacht’ or ‘Wachtmeister.’

The Wait surname has also been found in various surnames derived from the same origin. These include Watkin, Watt, Watkins, Waite, and Waitt.

The spelling of the Wait surname has also changed over time. For example, in the United States, the name was written as ‘Waight’ in the 19th century and ‘Waite’ in the 20th century.

Overall, the Wait surname is a very popular one with many variations that have emerged over the years. It is a testament to the occupation of ‘watchman’ and ‘guard’, which was a popular job in the past. It is also interesting to see how the spelling has changed over time depending on region as well as different surnames that have derived from Wait.

Famous people with the name Wait

  • Evan Wait, professional rugby player
  • Brad Wait, actor and screenwriter
  • Carolyn Wait, actress and author
  • Thomas Wait, American Revolutionary soldier
  • George Wait, American composer and conductor
  • Richard Wait, producer and director
  • Sarah Wait, actress
  • Jerry Wait, pro body builder
  • Nigel Wait, British engineer
  • William Wait, actor
  • John Wait, British sailor
  • Alice Wait, British librarian
  • Corey Wait, snowboarder
  • James Wait, actor
  • Roger Wait, politician
  • Jack Wait, Canadian football player
  • Julia Wait, nurse
  • Allen Wait, singer
  • Shane Wait, singer
  • David Wait, English diplomat

Other surnames


Write comments or make additions to the name "Wait"

Your origin analysis