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Speed - Origins of the surname

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Surname origins and meaning

The surname Speed is thought to have its origins in the Middle English or Old English word sped, which meant "success, prosperity, wealth" and also "speed, quickness".

It evolved as a nickname for a fortunate, wealthy or successful person, or a swift runner.

Variants of the surname include Speid, Speede, Sped and Spede. The surname also exists in Scotland and in Ireland – where it was adopted for Ó Fuada, based on the Irish word fuad, meaning "haste".

The earliest known example of the surname is Godfrey Sped of Suffolk, recorded in the Pipe Rolls in 1185.


  • Patrick Hanks, Richard Coates, and Peter McClure, The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, Oxford University Press, 2016.

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