Hawkins (name)

Surname Edward Hawkins Erskine Hawkins
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Word/nameforename Hawkin
Meaningson of Hawkin
Region of originEngland; Ireland
Other names
Variant form(s)Hawking

The English language surname Hawkins is said by FaNUK (Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland) [1] to have three possible origins.

The most usual origin is the forename Hawkin with an original genitival -s (that is, "Hawkin's son"), (or else it is Hawkin used as a surname [2] with a later excrescent -s in the early modern period to bring it into line with the predominant style of hereditary surnames with such a genitival -s).

It is one of many personal names with the diminutive Middle English suffix -kin (originally from Low German or Dutch) added to a single-syllable hypocoristic form (Robert > Hob > Hopkin, Walter > Wat > Watkin, William > Will > Wilkin, etc.). The Middle English personal name Haw is a rhyming fond form of Raw, that is, Ralph).

Another possible origin is the place name Hawkinge (i.e. "Hawking"), near Folkestone, in Kent, England. (‘Hauekinge’ in 1204) [3] ), based on Old English heafoc (hawk), or more likely this same word used as a personal name. A final 'ng' was (and is) simplified to 'n' in English generally; the final -s would be the excrescent -s added to the locative surname in the belief that it was the personal name Hawkin.

In Ireland, Hawkins may be the result of Anglicising a native surname - it was used as a substitute for Ó hEacháin ‘descendant of Eachán' (= little Eachaidh, i.e. a pet form of the personal name Eachaidh meaning ‘horseman’), as it had a vague similarity in sound to the Irish name.



  1. ^ "UWE (University of the West of England) - BCL (Bristol Centre for Linguistics) - FaNUK examples of family names (The Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland is a research project led by UWE Bristol which details the linguistic origins, history, and geographical distribution of the 45,000 most frequent surnames in Britain and Ireland)". Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  2. ^ "National Archives, Kew. 13 February 1462. Debtor: William Hawkin, of [?Saffron] Walden in Essex [Uttlesford & Freshwell Hundred]". Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  3. ^ "Kent Past". Retrieved 2020-01-19.