What is the origin of the last name Sharp?

The last name Sharp originates from medieval England and Scotland. It is derived from the Old English word "scearp," meaning sharp or cutting, and was originally used as a nickname for someone with a sharp or keen personality. Over time, the name evolved into a hereditary surname and has been passed down through generations, often denoting individuals with a sharp wit or intellect.

Countries of origin for the last name Sharp

The last name Sharp is an English surname that can be traced back to the Middle Ages. It is derived from the Old English word “scearp,” meaning “sharp” or “keen.” This surname is classified as an occupational name, indicating that it was originally used to describe a person who worked as a cutler or knife sharpener.

The geographical distribution of the surname Sharp is widespread throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. In the US, it ranks as the 1,213th most common surname, while in the UK it is the 366th most frequent surname. The highest concentration of individuals with the Sharp surname can be found in the states of Texas, California, and Ohio in the US, and in the county of Durham in England.

Historical records suggest that the Sharp surname has ancient roots. It was first documented in the Domesday Book of 1086, an extensive survey of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror. In this record, the name appears as “Scarp” in the county of Lincolnshire. Over time, the spelling and pronunciation of the surname evolved to its present form.

Interestingly, the surname Sharp has also been associated with various notable individuals throughout history. For instance, William Sharp (1907-1980) was a renowned English landscape and portrait painter. Additionally, Granville Sharp (1735-1813) was an influential British abolitionist who played a significant role in the movement to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire.

Furthermore, the surname Sharp has generated different variants and spellings as it traveled across generations and geographical locations. These variations include Sharpe, Sharpp, Shurp, and even Sharpman. Such adaptations are common in the evolution of surnames, reflecting changes in pronunciation and spelling conventions over time.

In conclusion, the last name Sharp derives from the Old English word “scearp” and denotes an occupational surname associated with cutlery or knife sharpening. It has a widespread presence in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with notable concentrations in certain regions. With its ancient origins documented in historical records, the Sharp surname has left behind a rich legacy, associated with accomplished individuals and demonstrating variations in spelling and pronunciation. The surname persists today as a testament to the lasting impact of ancestral professions and the intricacies of linguistic evolution.

Interesting facts about the last name Sharp

  • The surname Sharp is of English origin and is one of the oldest recorded surnames in England.
  • The name derives from the Old English word “scearp” meaning “sharp” or “keen,” referring to someone who was sharp-witted or had a keen intellect.
  • Sharp can also be a nickname for someone who had a sharp or pointed nose.
  • The name has various spellings including Sharpe, Sharpp, and Sharpey.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Sharp include Sir Archibald Sharp, a Scottish shipbuilder, and Philip Sharp, an American politician and congressman.

Name Rank


There are around 78990 people with the last name Sharp in the US

Related Names

    Related Regions