First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Big

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Big mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Big

User Submitted Meanings

  • According to a user from Kansas, United States, the name Big is of African origin and means "Large".
  • A user from California, United States says the name Big is of African origin and means "Small".

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective Big
  1. Having largeness of size; of much bulk or magnitude; of great size; large."He's too bigto go in there." [Shak.]
  2. Great with young; pregnant; swelling; ready to give birth or produce; -- often figuratively."Day big with the fate of Cato and of Rome." [Addison.]
  3. Having greatness, fullness, importance, inflation, distention, etc., whether in a good or a bad sense; as, a big heart; a big voice; big looks; to look big . As applied to looks, it indicates haughtiness or pride."God hath not in heaven a bigger argument." [Jer. Taylor.]"I talked big to them at first." [De Foe.]
    synonyms: Bulky; large; great; massive; gross.

Note: Big is often used in self-explaining compounds; as, big-boned; big-sounding; big-named; big-voiced.

Etymology: Perh. from Celtic; cf. W. beichiog beichiawg, pregnant, with child, fr. baich burden, Arm. beac'h; or cf. OE. bygly, Icel. biggiligr, (properly) habitable; (then) magnigicent, excellent, fr. OE. biggen, Icel. byggja, to dwell, build, akin to E. be

Barley, especially the hardy four-rowed kind.

Etymology: OE. bif bigge; akin to Icel. bygg, Dan. byg, Sw. bjugg

To build.

Etymology: OE. biggen, fr. Icel. byggja to inhabit, to build, b�aneut.) to dwell (active) to make ready. See Boor, and Bound

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. In an advanced stage of pregnancy ("was big with child")
  2. Conspicuous in position or importance ("a big figure in the movement" and "big man on campus")
  3. Given or giving freely ("was a big tipper")
  4. Generous and understanding and tolerant ("a heart big enough to hold no grudges" and "that's very big of you to be so forgiving")
  5. Marked by intense physical force ("a big wind")
  6. Significant ("graduation was a big day in his life")
  7. Above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent ("set out for the big city", "a big (or large) barn", "big businesses", "a big expenditure", and "a big group of scientists")
  8. Loud and firm ("a big voice" and "big bold piano sounds")
  9. (of animals) fully developed
  10. Very intense ("in a big rage" and "had a big (or bad) shock")
  11. Feeling self-importance ("too big for his britches")
  12. Exhibiting self-importance ("big talk")
  13. Prodigious ("big spender" and "big eater")
  14. In a boastful manner ("he talked big all evening")
  15. In a major way ("the play failed big at the box office")
  16. On a grand scale ("think big")
  17. Extremely well ("his performance went over big")

From a northern Middle English dialectal term big, bigge (“powerful, strong”), of uncertain origin, possibly from a dialect of Old Norse. Compare dialectal Norwegian bugge (“great man”).

  1. Someone or something that is large in stature
  2. An important or powerful person; a celebrity; a big name.
  3. (as plural) The big leagues, big time.

From Middle English biggen, byggen, from Old Norse byggja, byggva (“to build, dwell in, inhabit”), a secondary form of Old Norse búa (“to dwell”), related to Old English būan (“to dwell”). Cognate with Danish bygge, Swedish bygga.

From Middle English byge, from Old Norse bygg (“barley, probably Hordeum vulgare, common barley”), from Proto-Germanic *bewwuz (“crop, barley”). Cognate with Old English bēow (“barley”).

  1. One or more kinds of barley, especially six-rowed barley.

    big was also found in the following language(s): Dutch, Irish, Italian, Lojban, Scots, Torres Strait Creole, Welsh, and Western Apache

    Notable Persons Named Big

    Big Show is a wrestler. Big was born on February 8th, 1972 in Aiken, South Carolina.


    Big Sean is a hip hop music musician. His most notable accomplishments were from 2007 to present. Big was given the name Sean Michael Leonard Anderson on March 25th, 1988 in Santa Monica, California, U.S.


    Big Brother is a fictional character.


    Big Pun was a hip hop music rapping. His career lasted from 1992 to 2000. Big was given the name Christopher Lee Rios on November 10th, 1971 in The Bronx. Big is also known as Big Punisher, Pun, Big Moon Dawg, Rios, and Christopher. He died on February 7th, 2000.


    Big L was a hip hop music rapping. He plays Vocals. He holds the title Ebonics". His career lasted from 1991 to 1999. Big was given the name Lamont Coleman . Big is also known as Corleone and Mr. MVP. He passed away on February 15th, 1999.


    Big Boi is a hip hop music rapping, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He plays Rapping and Keyboard instrument. His ongoing career started in 1991. Big was given the name Antwan André Patton on February 1st, 1975 in Savannah, Georgia, U.S.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Big

    Mr. Big is a financier and entrepreneurship. Mr. is also known as Big.


    Guy Big was an actor and social worker. His most notable accomplishments were from 1970 to 1970. Guy was given the name Alan Hoffman in 1946 in Ebenezer, Saskatchewan. He died on May 2nd, 1978.


    Konan was born on July 13th, 1957 in Monterrey. Konan is also known as Torres Villarreal and Eugenio.


    His military service ended in 1920. Ahmet was born in 1871 in Düzce. He died in 1947.


    Where is the name Big popular?

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    Popularity of Big as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Big as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Arizona, Ohio, or Illinois.

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Big U.S.
      White 46.51% 64.26%
      African American 3.72% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 6.05% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 39.53% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 0.00% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 0.00% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Big

    People with the last name Big are most frequently White or American Indian and Alaska Native

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Big

    • How Popular is the name Big? As a last name Big was the 86,645th most popular name in 2010.
    • When was the first name Big first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Big is Wednesday, January 25th, 1882.
    • How unique is the name Big? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Big. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
    • Weird things about the name Big: Your name in reverse order is Gib. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Gbi. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Big? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 215 people with the last name Big.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Big? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Big as their last name since less than 1 person in 1.4m people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

    What Bigs Have Visited This Page?

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.