King comes from Old English cyning meaning “king, ruler”, which is derived from Proto-Germanic *kuninggaz, coming from “kin, family, clan”, originally used in reference to someone who was a leader of the people or perhaps someone born of noble birth. It’s used as a royal title referring to a male monarch, though in the modern world it’s used less for someone who’s descended from noble birth and more as a modern appellation (or even from a woman’s maiden name). As a surname, it came about as a nickname for someone who acted in a kingly manner or someone who played the part of a king in a pageant.
Brandon is from an English surname derived from a place name meaning “hill covered with broom” from Old English brom (broom, gorse) and dun (hill), likely referring to someone who lived near a place covered with gorse or broom shrubs.
However, Brandon could also be derived from Old French brandon from Frankish *brand meaning “firebrand, torch, sword” which ultimately comes from Proto-Germanic *brandaz, a cognate of Old Norse brandr.
It could also be a various form of Brendan, an Irish name derived from Welsh brenin meaning “prince” from Celtic brigantinos meaning “king, prince”, “lord” or “high one”.
Origin: Old English, Proto-Germanic, Old Norse, Celtic
- Branden (English)
- Brendan (Irish, English)