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Surname Whit - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'W'

Whit: What does the surname Whit mean?

The surname Whit is of Anglo-Saxon origin and can be traced back to early medieval England. Derived from the pre-7th century Old English word "hwit", meaning white, it was likely used as a nickname for someone with very bright, fair or white hair, or someone with a particularly pale complexion. Alternatively, it could have been used to describe someone who habitually wore white clothes, such as a priest or other holy figure. Like many surnames, its creation was based on distinguishing individuals by personal characteristics, occupations or locations. While Whit specifically has a strong presence in the United States and England, variations of this surname, like White, can be found worldwide. The first recorded spelling of this surname as 'Whit' appears in English church records dating back to the 16th century.

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Whit: Where does the name Whit come from?

The surname Whit is believed to have originated from the Old English word “hwit”, which translates to “white” or “fair”. As such, the name can be found all over the world in countries like the United States, Canada, Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Scotland. It is more common in certain areas of England, however, such as East Anglia.

In the United States, Whit is the 1,670th most common surname. The highest concentration is currently found in the states of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Other states with higher percentages of people with the Whit surname include North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Arkansas.

Whit is particularly uncommon in the United States, as it features in less than 0.2% of the population. The global population, however, does a bit better with a total of 118,219 Whit surname holders, making it the 6,523rd most common name on the planet.

Despite the fact that Whit is quite rare in the U.S., the name does form part of the larger Anglo-American surnames that feature heavily in the states of the Southern and Eastern United States. As such, the history of the name is deeply rooted in that region, with many of the original bearers believed to have descended from early English colonists. To this day, the Whit surname continues to be widely used by individuals throughout the United States, as well as in other countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Variations of the surname Whit

The surname Whit can have multiple variants and spellings. Whit/Wit and White/Wight are two of the most common spellings and variants. The surname Whit can also be seen spelled as Wright, Wiatt, Wyatt, Wyt, Whyt, Whyte, Whitie, Whittey, Witte, Whytt, Wyat, Wyett, Witt, Whitt, Whytt, Wiet, Whitel, Whittel, Whytlock, and Whittley.

The surnames Whit and White each derive from separate sources. The Whit spelling is derived from the Old English whit which is a reference to the color white, found in other Anglo-Saxon place and personal names. The White spelling is derived from the Old English hwit which is a reference to "pale" and is found also in other place and personal Anglo-Saxon names.

Some common alternative surnames linked to Whit and White include Witt, Wiseman, and Whyman. The surnames Wiseman and Whyman are derived from the Ancient Saxon name Wyhman or Wihman, which is a reference to the white colour. Witt is derived from the Germanic root Bavarian name Widu which is a reference to the woodcutter or woodworker.

Many variations of the Whit and White surname are found today due to the irregular nature of the spelling of surnames in the past, and due to immigration, emigration and naturally occurring deviations from the parent surname.

Famous people with the name Whit

  • Rebecca Hall: British-American actress.
  • Marty Whitford: English-American musician.
  • Cemeter Whit: British banker.
  • Laura Whitmore: Irish television actress.
  • David Whit: British actor and comedian.
  • John Whit: British-born actor and producer.
  • Blair Whit: Canadian ice hockey player.
  • Stan Whit: British singer and songwriter.
  • Zack Whit: American actor and producer.
  • Lisa Whit: Canadian television and film actress.
  • Donald Whit: American composer and music producer.
  • Brendan Whit: Canadian actor and voice actor.
  • Sarah Whit: American playwright and lyricist.
  • Kim Whit: American recording artist.
  • Clay Whit: Pulitzer Prize-nominated American composer.
  • Ed Whit: American actor, producer, and director.
  • Dan Whit: American film producer and director.
  • James Whit: English artist and sculptor.
  • Arden Whit: British television presenter and actress.
  • Ben Whit: British singer and songwriter.

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