What is the origin of the last name Short?

The last name Short has English origins, derived from the Middle English word "schort," which later became "short." It was originally used as a nickname for someone of small stature or a person with a short temper. The surname Short can also be a locational name, derived from places in England named "Short" or "Schort." As with many surnames, variations and spellings may exist due to regional accents and dialects throughout history.

Countries of origin for the last name Short

The last name Short is of English origin and is classified as a surname, which is a hereditary name passed down through generations within a family.

As suggested by the name itself, Short is derived from the Middle English word “schort,” meaning “short” in modern English. The name is an example of a descriptive surname, as it was likely originally used to describe someone of short stature. Descriptive surnames were commonly used to differentiate individuals within a community based on physical characteristics, occupations, or other distinctive features.

The surname Short can be traced back to medieval times in England. It is believed to have originated in various regions across the country, including Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the West Midlands. During this period, surnames became more prevalent as the population grew and a need for clearer identification emerged.

Similar variations of the surname Short can be found in other languages. In Scotland, the Gaelic form of the name is “Gearr,” while in Ireland, it is “Gear.” These variations reflect the influence of regional languages and dialects on the evolution of surnames.

Over time, variations of the name Short have emerged, such as Shorter and Shorthouse. These variants may have resulted from phonetic changes or regional dialects. They are considered separate surnames but share a common origin with Short.

The distribution of the surname Short is concentrated mainly in the United Kingdom and the United States. England remains the primary country of origin, followed by Australia and Canada. Due to historical migration patterns and colonization, the name has spread to other English-speaking regions around the world.

As with many surnames, the meaning and usage of Short have evolved over time. While the original meaning likely referred to physical stature, surnames often change in meaning or lose their original significance as generations pass. Today, the surname Short serves as a marker of a person’s ancestral connection and heritage.

In conclusion, the last name Short derives from the Middle English word meaning “short.” It is an English descriptive surname that likely originated in various regions of England. The surname has spread to other English-speaking countries, with the United Kingdom and the United States having the highest concentration of individuals with this name. Despite its literal meaning, the surname Short may not necessarily describe the physical characteristics of current bearers but rather serves as an identification of their ancestral lineage.

Interesting facts about the last name Short

  • The surname Short is of English origin.
  • It derives from the Old English word “sceort” meaning “not tall” or “of small height”.
  • The surname may have initially been a nickname for a person of short stature.
  • Alternatively, it could have been a descriptive name for someone with a short temper or a short attention span.
  • The surname Short is fairly common in English-speaking countries.
  • Short is among the top 1000 surnames in the United States.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Short include American writer and poet Frank Short, and British actor Christopher Short.
  • Variations of the surname Short include Shorte, Shortt, Shortman, and Shortell.
  • In Ireland, the surname Short is primarily found in County Cork.
  • The Short surname may have been anglicized from the Irish surname Ó Searraigh.

Name Rank


There are around 57477 people with the last name Short in the US

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