What is the origin of the last name Smiley?

The origin of the last name Smiley can be traced back to medieval England, where it originally derived from the Middle English word "smile," meaning "to smile." The surname Smiley likely emerged as a nickname for someone with a cheerful or pleasant demeanor. Over time, as surnames became hereditary, this name was passed down through generations, eventually becoming a distinctive family name.

Countries of origin for the last name Smiley

The last name Smiley is of English origin. It is derived from the Middle English word “smele,” meaning “placename of Smalley” or “pleasant place.” The surname was likely given to individuals who resided in or near a small village called Smalley.

Historical records indicate that the Smiley surname dates back to the 12th century in England. It is believed to have originated in the Derbyshire region. Over time, individuals with the Smiley surname migrated to different parts of England, and eventually to other parts of the world, including the United States.

As with many surnames, the spelling of Smiley has evolved over time. Variations of the surname include Smyly, Smele, and Smalley. These variants reflect regional dialects and individual family preferences in different geographic locations.

The Smiley surname has seen some notable individuals bearing the name. One such individual is George W. Smiley, a fictional character created by author John le Carré for his espionage novels. The character of George Smiley is a British intelligence officer, known for his keen analytical skills and deep understanding of human nature.

Research into the etymology of the Smiley surname reveals interesting connections to other surnames. For example, the surname Smiley shares a similar root with the surname Smiles. Both surnames are derived from the Old English word “smyl,” meaning “smile” or “laughter.” This suggests a historical association with positive attributes such as happiness and joy.

The Smiley surname has spread across the United States, with concentrations in various states such as Pennsylvania, Texas, and California. This distribution may be attributed to migration patterns and historical events that led individuals and families with the Smiley surname to settle in different regions.

Overall, the last name Smiley carries a rich history and cultural significance. Its English origins, connection to specific places, and associations with positive attributes contribute to its unique identity. While much has been uncovered about the Smiley surname, there are still lingering possibilities for further exploration and research.

Interesting facts about the last name Smiley

  • The surname Smiley is derived from the Old English word “smeagol,” meaning “to smile or laugh.”
  • Smiley is a relatively rare surname, but it is most commonly found in the United States, particularly in states like Texas, Ohio, and Illinois.
  • The name Smiley can also be found in other countries such as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
  • The surname Smiley may have originated as a nickname for a cheerful or optimistic person.
  • There are variations of the surname Smiley, including Smilie, Smilley, Smylie, and Smyly.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Smiley include Tavis Smiley, an American talk show host, and Jane Smiley, an American novelist.
  • In some cultures, the surname Smiley is associated with happiness, laughter, and a positive outlook on life.
  • The Smiley family name is believed to have ancient Anglo-Saxon origins.
  • The surname Smiley may have been originally spelled as “Smylie” or “Smyley” in earlier times.

Name Rank


There are around 19829 people with the last name Smiley in the US

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