- Means dark or dark-haired
- Can also mean the reverse (fair-haired or pale)
- Commonly used as a last name
History of the name Blake
Blake is a modern form of the old English Bleke, a name applied to a man of pale complexion.
You might despair of the good sense of anyone who declared that black was white, and yet it seems that sometimes the surname Blake has much the same meaning as White.
This name in some cases may mean black, but it is said on good authority they are more often derived from the Anglo-Saxon word, blac or blaec, meaning wan or pale.
John Black or John Blake then simply meant John of a pale complexion, and John White was usually named for the same reason.
When these names did become black, as they sometimes did, they had reference either to a dark complexion, dark hair and eyes, or to black clothes.
The Black Prince of English history was known by the color of this coat of chainmail [armor], and so it was that some of the Blacks and Whites and Browns are descended, no doubt, from ancestors who came to be known by the color of their clothes.