Plank Family History
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Plank Name Meaning
English (chiefly Berkshire): from Middle English planke ‘plank’ (Late Latin planca). It is not clear how this word was applied as a surname: it may be a topographic name for someone who lived near a plank bridge over a stream, a metonymic occupational name for a carpenter, or a nickname for a thin person. North German: nickname for a cantankerous person, from Middle Low German plank ‘quarrel’, ‘discord’. North German: metonymic occupational name from Middle Low German plank ‘measure for liquids’. South German: topographic name from Middle High German plank ‘plank’, ‘palisade’. South German: nickname for a fair-haired person, from a variant of Middle High German blanc ‘light’, ‘shining’.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press