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Surname Watts - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Watts: What does the surname Watts mean?

The surname Watts is of English origin and is derived from the common medieval given name Watt, which itself is a short form of the name Walter. Walter is composed of the elements "wald", meaning rule, and "heri", meaning army. Hence, Watts can be interpreted as 'son of Walter' or 'son of Watt'. The name became popular due to Walter FitzOther, chamberlain to King Henry I, who was the founder of the Scottish Clan Walter. The surname Watts could also have originated as a nickname for someone who acted like a lord or ruler, referring to the "wald" element meaning rule. Like many surnames, over centuries, numerous variations of spelling have evolved including Watt, Wattes, Wathes, and others. It was common for a person to be known by his occupation or place of residence or by the name of his father. As such, the suffix "s" in Watts likely refers to "son of", hence 'Watt's son' or 'son of Watt'. It is worth noting that the meaning of surnames can vary based on regional and historical contexts. Today, Watts is a common surname in England and the United States.

Watts: Where does the name Watts come from?

The surname Watts is a common last name found mainly throughout the English-speaking world. In the United Kingdom, it is most commonly found in the county of Lancashire, although in more recent times Watts can be found elsewhere throughout England. In the United States, Watts is the 505th most common surname and is most commonly found in the south-west states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas. It is likely that many of these Watts families originated from the south of England – particularly from the areas of Hampshire and Wiltshire. The surname is also fairly common in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

It is believed that many Watts families who lived in Lancashire were descended from the Viking invaders who colonized the region in the 9th and 10th centuries. The Watts name is believed to be derived from the Old English pre 7th century personal name ‘Wat’, meaning ‘watchful’. As the surname spread throughout England, it is likely that other families acquired the name from their dominant lord or By its adoption.

In more recent times, Watts is also becoming increasingly common throughout various other countries, especially in parts of North and South America. This reflects the increasing mobility of people and families around the world.

Variations of the surname Watts

The surname Watts can have numerous variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. These variants can include names such as Watt, Wats, Wat, Wattson, Watteson, and Wattman. Although these names may appear to be derived from different origins, they can all have the same roots and be forms of the same surname.

Watt may be a variation of the Middle English ‘watt,’ which translates to ‘white’ in Old English, which can be a reference to a person's hair or complexion. It may also be derived from the Northern Middle English phrase ‘wate’ which is connected to water and can be a reference to a person living close to a water source.

Wats is another variant of Watts which can derive from the patronymic form of Wat, meaning ‘son of Watt.’ This variant is found most commonly found in Scotland and Ireland.

Wattman is derived from ‘Watt’s man’ and is generally found in the north of England. This variation is used to refer to someone employed by, or connected to someone named Watt.

The surname Watteson originates from the Old English ‘Wat’s son’ and is also a patronymic form of Wat. This variant is found mostly in the Scottish region and is the most common of the Watt variations found in Scotland.

Despite these slight variations, all of these names originate from the surname, Watts. It is believed that these surnames may all have been established in some point during the Middle Ages in the English regions or may even be derived from Old Norse given names. These surnames of the same origin have taken numerous forms throughout the years and suggest that those who carry this name are part of a larger social group.

Famous people with the name Watts

  • Naomi Watts: Naomi Watts is an acclaimed British-Australian actress who has starred in many Hollywood films, including King Kong, Mulholland Drive, and Eastern Promises.
  • Ricky Watts: Ricky Watts is an American professional skateboarder and the founder of the skateboard brand Baker skateboards.
  • Charlie Watts: Charlie Watts is an English rock drummer and a member of the legendary band The Rolling Stones.
  • Robert Watts: Robert Watts is a British film producer and executive producer of the popular Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • Marni Nixon: Marni Nixon is an American singer whose singing was used for some of the most iconic film musicals, including The King and I, My Fair Lady, and West Side Story.
  • Lemmy Kilmister: Lemmy Kilmister was an English sing and bassist who was the founder and leader of the iconic heavy metal band Motorhead.
  • Joss Stone: Joss Stone is a British musician and soul singer best known for her songs "You Had Me," "Super Duper Love" and her Grammy-winning album, Mind Body & Soul.
  • Samira Wiley: Samira Wiley is an American actress best known for her role as Poussey Washington on the popular Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
  • Blac Chyna: Blac Chyna is an American model, entrepreneur, and social media personality, best known for her appearances in rap music videos and her infamous relationship with Rob Kardashian.
  • Alan Watts: Alan Watts was an English philosopher and spiritual teacher best known for popularising Eastern philosophy in the west and writing a number of books about spirituality and religion.

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