is an English surname
, with variants including Lardge
, and Larg
. Its meaning is variable, though it may derive from the Norman French
(meaning "generous" or "big" [as in, "that's big of you", meaning generous, as well as large in size]), as it is found in the surname "le Large" in English records dating back as far as the 13th century
. Harrison's work on English surnames gives the following:
"LARGE (adjectival: French, Latin) BIG; GENEROUS [Middle English Old French large; Latin larg-us, -a, [meaning] abundant, liberal]"
He gives an early citation for the name: William le Large from the Hundred Rolls, a reference dating to 1273.
He also provides a quotation showing the word in its older sense of generous, full, liberal or ample in its literary context:
So large of yift [gift] and free was she (from Chaucer's Romance of the Rose I168)
Another variant surname, "de Large", appears to be continental European rather than English in origin.
Henry Brougham Guppy's survey circa 1881, based on local British directories, places Large as a surname local to North Wiltshire, and considers it to have particular prevalence among yeoman farmers.(Guppy, 1890)
According to the International Genealogical Index, the surname is also found in many other English counties; in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and other English language countries; in France and Germany, and, more rarely, in the Scandinavian countries. People with the name Large or its variants include:
- Sir Andrew Large (born 1942), British, Monetary Policy Committee member
- Bonnie Large (born 1952), American, Playboy model
- Brian Large (born 1939), British opera video director
- Eddie Large (born 1941), British comedian
- John Large (b. ?), British engineer
- Josaphat-Robert Large (born 1942), Haitian-American poet
- Robert Large (died 1441), English, Lord Mayor of London (1439-1440) and apprentice master of William Caxton, England's first printer
- Storm Large (born 1969), American singer
- Carroll, Linda Largin, The Largin Legacy, 1995, p. 15 (date of reference to William le Large from the Hundred Rolls)
- Guppy, Henry Brougham. Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. London: Harrison, 1890.
- International Genealogical Index, www.familysearch.org
- Harrison, Henry Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary, 1912/1918, reprinted 1969 and 1996, p. 264
- Reidy, John; Kurath, Hans; Lewis, Robert E.; Kuhn, Sherman M., Middle English Dictionary, Language Arts & Disciplines, 1971, p. 663 (for instances of the surname) pp. 657-663 (for the adjectival and adverbial uses of the word)