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Ballard is a surname of English origin. It likely derives from Middle English "ball," meaning "white spot," plus the suffix "-ard," and would therefore mean "bald head." Indeed, Wyclif translated 2 Kings 2:23 as "Stye up, ballard," where Coverdale translated the same passage as "Come up here thou balde head."

There are other sources for this name, besides the Anglo-Saxon. Not all people bearing the name are of English origins. It is common, with native etymology among several Celtic nations, although the British Celtic form is likely the original, and it may be that "Bald head" is a false etymology designed to give the name English roots. The earliest form is Ap Alard, meaning the "son of the fox" in Welsh, and it passed from Wales to Brittany as Aballard, whence it became popular in France under the form Aballaird, and thence to Spain.

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