Reed comes from an English surname which comes from multiple sources:
- it comes from Old English rēad meaning “red” from Proto-Germanic *raudaz via Proto-Indo-European *h₁rewdʰ- (red); it was originally a nickname given to someone with red hair or a ruddy complexion;
- it’s also from Old English ried meaning “clearing”, likely a topographical surname for someone who lived in or near one;
- it comes from Old English hreod meaning “reeds” from Proto-Germanic *kreut- (reed);
- it’s also possible that it may derive from Middle English rede from Old English ræd meaning “advice, counsel”, from Proto-Germanic which ultimately comes from a PIE source;
- I’ve also seen it listed as meaning “female roe deer” though I’m not too certain on the accuracy of that.
Reed also refers to several tall grasses that usually grows in swamps and shallow water. They have jointed hollow stalks from which wind instruments are made from it.
Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Old English, Proto-Germanic
- Reid (English)
- Read (English)