What is the origin of the last name Rhodes?

The last name Rhodes has its origin in the Old English word "rod" or "roda," meaning "a clearing in the woods" or "a fringe or border." The name is topographical in nature, often given to individuals who lived near or owned land in clearings or the outskirts of forests. This surname also has a Greek connection, derived from the Greek island of Rhodes, where inhabitants or descendants of the island became known as Rhodes. Additionally, the name Rhodes may also have roots in the Germanic personal name "Hroð," signifying "fame" or "renown." Overall, the surname Rhodes encompasses diverse linguistic and geographical origins, making it an intriguing topic for genealogical and etymological research.

Countries of origin for the last name Rhodes

The last name Rhodes originated from the Old English word “rod” which means “clearing” or “forest”, and the Old Norse word “hross” which means “horse”. The name is derived from the place name Rhodes, which can be found in various parts of England. It is also believed to have originated from the Germanic personal name Hrod, which means “fame” or “glory”. In addition, the name Rhodes can be traced back to the Greek island of Rhodes.

One notable historical figure with the last name Rhodes is Cecil John Rhodes, a British businessman, politician, and mining magnate in the late 19th century. He played a significant role in the expansion of the British Empire in southern Africa and is known for founding the state of Rhodesia, which is now modern-day Zimbabwe.

Several variations of the surname Rhodes exist, including Rhoades, Rhoads, Rhoad, and Rhode. These variations may have different origins or spellings due to regional dialects or spelling changes over time.

The surname Rhodes is most prevalent in the United States, particularly in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. It ranks among the top 1000 surnames in the country, indicating its relatively high frequency.

People with the last name Rhodes have been associated with various professions and fields, including politics, business, education, and entertainment. Notable individuals include Joseph Rhodes, a British engineer and inventor known for his work in the steel industry; Bernie Rhodes, a British music manager who worked with bands such as The Clash; and Alicia Rhodes, an English pornographic actress.

While the exact origins and meaning of the last name Rhodes may have some variation, it is clear that the name is rooted in English, Norse, and Germanic languages. The association with the Greek island of Rhodes adds another layer to its etymology. Through its diverse history, notable figures, and varied geographical distribution, the surname Rhodes continues to carry an air of intrigue and curiosity.

Interesting facts about the last name Rhodes

  • The surname Rhodes is of English origin.
  • It is derived from a place name, specifically from the town of Rhodos in Greece.
  • The town of Rhodos, which is situated on an island in the Aegean Sea, was famous in ancient times for its Colossus, a giant statue considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • The name Rhodes was likely adopted by people who lived in or had associations with the town of Rhodos.
  • The surname Rhodes is fairly common in English-speaking countries, particularly in the United States.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Rhodes include Cecil Rhodes, a British businessman, mining magnate, and politician; and Dusty Rhodes, an American professional wrestler.
  • The Rhodes Scholarship, one of the most prestigious international scholarships in the world, was established by the will of Cecil Rhodes.
  • The Rhodesian Ridgeback, a breed of dog, is named after Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and has a distinctive ridge of hair on its back.
  • Variant spellings of the surname include Rhoades and Roades.
  • The meaning of the surname Rhodes is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated from a Greek word that means “rose” or “rosy.”

Name Rank


There are around 90670 people with the last name Rhodes in the US

Related Names

Related Regions