This most unusual name is of early medieval English origin, and is one of that fascinating group of early surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of distinguishing qualities, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, and personal relationships. In this case, the surname Friend, also found as Frend, derives from the Middle English "frend", friend, a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "freond", which was used as a nickname for a particularly friendly, companionable person.
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