What is the origin of the last name Ball?

The last name Ball originates from multiple sources, making it a common surname in many cultures. The English derivation of the name comes from the Middle English word "bal," meaning a ball or a round object, and was likely used as a nickname for someone with a round or rotund physique. Another possible origin is the Germanic name "Bald," a short form of names such as Baldwin or Baldrick. In some cases, the name Ball can be attributed to its Norse origin "Balle," which referred to a person who lived near a rounded hill or enclosed settlement. Alternatively, Ball may also have originated from the Gaelic surname Mac Giolla Bhaill, meaning "son of the servant of Baill." Overall, the surname Ball demonstrates various linguistic roots, reflecting the diverse origins and meanings associated with this common surname.

Countries of origin for the last name Ball

The last name Ball is a common surname with a rich history that can be traced back to different origins. One significant origin of the name is derived from the term “ball,” which referred to a dance or a gathering during the medieval period. This meaning suggests that those who bear the name might have been associated with social events or possibly even professional ballroom dancers.

Another possible origin of the surname Ball is from the Old English word “beall,” meaning a ball or rounded object. This suggests that the name might have been given to individuals who were associated with ball-like objects, such as those involved in sports like cricket or football, or people who worked as craftsmen, producing round objects.

The surname Ball is also found as a shortened form of other surnames, such as Baldwin or Balderston. In these cases, the name Ball could have been adopted as an alternative or easier-to-pronounce version of the original surname.

It is worth noting that the spelling of the last name Ball can vary. Variations include Balle, Bal, Baal, and Baale, among others. These differences in spelling can be attributed to various factors, such as regional accents or distinct pronunciations over time.

Throughout history, individuals with the surname Ball have made notable contributions in various fields. For example, Mary Ball Washington, the mother of the first President of the United States, George Washington, bore the surname Ball. The name has also been associated with other prominent figures, such as Sir Robert Stawell Ball, an Irish astronomer and mathematician, known for his work on celestial mechanics.

In conclusion, the last name Ball has multiple origins and potential meanings. It can be associated with social events, round objects, or serve as a variant of other surnames. The diverse individuals who have carried this surname throughout history demonstrate its varied associations and the possibilities it holds for those who bear it today.

Interesting facts about the last name Ball

  • The surname Ball is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the Old Norse word “bǫllr,” meaning “round, spherical object.”
  • The surname Ball is considered to be a metonymic occupational name, referring to someone who played ball games or worked with balls.
  • Ball is one of the oldest recorded surnames in England, dating back to the 12th century.
  • Historically, the surname Ball is associated with the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk in England.
  • There are several variations of the surname Ball, including Balle, Ballew, Ballen, Ballard, and Balloch.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Ball include Lucille Ball, an iconic American actress and comedian, and Michael Ball, an English singer and actor.
  • The name Ball is relatively common in English-speaking countries, with a higher concentration in the United States and England.
  • In heraldry, the Ball surname is associated with symbols representing strength and unity.
  • The Ball Family DNA Project was established to help individuals with the Ball surname trace their ancestry through genetic testing.

Name Rank


There are around 66059 people with the last name Ball in the US

Related Names

Related Regions