Arthurian legends & myths, F names, Fairy, Female, Gaelic, Male, Mythological creatures, Nature, Nickname names, Proto-Germanic, Proto-Indo-European, Surname names, Unisex, Virtues/Attributes, Word names


Fay is an English unisex name which derives from several sources:

  • the first is that it’s another word for “fairy”, coming from Middle English faie via Latin fata meaning “destiny, fate” derived from PIE root word *bʰeh₂- (to speak, say). In Arthurian legend, it’s the epithet of Morgan le Fay (meaning Morgan the fairy);
  • it’s also been used as a nickname for names such as Faith (referring to someone who has complete confidence and trust in something or someone, coming from Latin fides meaning “faith, belief, trust” via a PIE root word) and Frances (meaning “Frenchman” which is derived from the name of a Germanic tribe known as the Franks, either meaning “free” or “free man”, or the name could be derived from a type of spear they used);
  • Fay is also an English surname that came about as a nickname for someone who was trustworthy; the term comes from an archaic English word derived from Old French fei meaning “loyalty, trust”;
  • as a French surname it also comes from Old French fau/fou meaning “beech (tree)”, originally a locational surname for someone who lived near some beech trees; it comes from Latin fagus via a PIE root word;
  • Fay is also a Gaelic surname, a variant spelling of Fahey, an anglicized form of Ó Fathaidh or Ó Fathaigh meaning “descendant of Fathadh”, the latter a given name meaning “base” or “foundation”;
  • Spelled Fey, it has a different meaning such as “fated to die” from Old English fǣge (fated to die; doomed) derived from a Proto-Germanic source.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Gaelic, Proto-Germanic



  • Faye (English)
  • Fae (English)
  • Fey (English, German, Scottish)
  • Feye (English)
  • Feya (English)


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