Bradford – Meaning of the Name

The name Bradford is of English origin and is derived from a place name. The original place name was derived from the Old English words “brad” meaning broad, and “ford” meaning a shallow crossing point over a river or stream. Thus, the literal meaning of the name Bradford is “broad ford”.

History of the Name

The first recorded use of the name Bradford dates back to the 11th century when it was used as a surname. It was also used as a given name in England during the Middle Ages. The first recorded use of the name as a given name in America was in 1635 when William Bradford arrived in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts. He was one of the leaders of the Mayflower voyage and served as Governor of Plymouth Colony for many years.

The name Bradford has been popular throughout history and has been used by several notable people including American actor Brad Pitt, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and American author William Bradford Huie.


The name Bradford has been steadily increasing in popularity since its introduction to America in 1635. In recent years, it has become one of the top 500 most popular names for boys in both England and Wales. In 2019, it ranked at number 437 on the list of most popular baby boy names in England and Wales.


There are several variations of the name Bradford including Bradfurd, Bradferd, Bradfort, Bradforth, Bradfirth, and Bradfurde. There are also several diminutives such as Brad, Fordy, and Fuzzy.

By Ava Isabella Hartley

Ava Isabella Hartley is a renowned expert in the field of onomastics, the study of names and their meanings, with a particular focus on baby names. She holds a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge and has over 15 years of experience in the study of etymology, name trends, and cultural naming practices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *