Little is a surname in the English language. The name is derived from the Middle English littel,[1] and the Old English lȳtel, which mean "little".[2] In some cases the name was originally a nickname for a little man. In other cases, the name was used to distinguish the younger of two bearers of the same personal name.[1] Early records of the name include: Litle, in 972; Litle, in about 1095; and le Lytle, in 1296.[2] The surname has absorbed several non English-language surnames. For example, Little is sometimes a translation of the Irish Ó Beagáin, meaning "descendant of Beagán". Little can also be a translation of the French Petit and Lepetit, as well as other surnames in various languages with the same meaning ("little"),[1] especially the German name Klein during World War II.


Fictional characters

  • Bingo Little, in P. G. Wodehouse stories
  • Stuart Little, fictional mouse in many of E. B. White's short stories, and in some films

See also


  1. ^ a b c Learn about the family history of your surname, Ancestry.com, retrieved 22 February 2011 , which cited: Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4 , for the surname "Little".
  2. ^ a b Reaney, Percy Hilde (1995), Wilson, Richard Middlewood, ed., A Dictionary of English Surnames (3rd ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 281, ISBN 0-19-863146-4 .