First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
On This Page

How to Pronounce Chess

  • Automated Male (English)
    Is this an accurate pronunciation?
  • Automated Female (English)
    Is this an accurate pronunciation?
  • User from Netherlands
    Is this an accurate pronunciation?
How difficult is it to pronounce Chess?

Meaning and Origin

What does the name Chess mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Chess

Submit the origin and/or meaning of Chess to us below

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Chess
A game played on a chessboard, by two persons, with two differently colored sets of men, sixteen in each set. Each player has a king, a queen, two bishops, two knights, two castles or rooks, and eight pawns.

Etymology: OE. ches, F. échecs, prop. pl. of échec check. See 1st Check

noun Chess
A species of brome grass (Bromus secalinus) which is a troublesome weed in wheat fields, and is often erroneously regarded as degenerate or changed wheat; it bears a very slight resemblance to oats, and if reaped and ground up with wheat, so as to be used for food, is said to produce narcotic effects; -- called also cheat and Willard's bromus.

Note: ☞ Other species of brome grass are called upright chess soft chess, etc.

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A board game for two players who move their 16 pieces according to specific rules; the object is to checkmate the opponent's king
  2. Weedy annual native to Europe but widely distributed as a weed especially in wheat

From Old French eschés, plural of eschec, from Vulgar Latin *scaccus, from Arabic شَاه (šāh, “king in chess”), from Persian شاه (šāh, “shah, king”), from Middle Persian 𐭬𐭫𐭪𐭠 (šāh), from Old Persian 𐏋 (xšāyaθiya). See check.

  1. A board game for two players with each beginning with sixteen chess pieces moving according to fixed rules across a chessboard with the objective to checkmate the opposing king.

Origin uncertain; perhaps linked to Etymology 1, above, from the sense of being arranged in rows or lines.

  1. (now chiefly US) Any of several species of grass in the genus Bromus, generally considered weeds.

Compare French chassis (“a framework of carpentry”).

  1. (military, chiefly in the plural) One of the platforms, consisting of two or more planks dowelled together, for the flooring of a temporary military bridge.

    Notable Persons With the Last Name Chess

    Leonard Chess was a chicago blues, electric blues, blues, rock, roll, rhythm, and soul music musician. His career lasted from 1938 to 1969. Leonard was given the name Lejzor Shmuel Czyż on March 12th, 1917 in Motal, Poland. He breathed his last breath on October 16th, 1969.


    Phil was born on March 27th, 1921 in Częstochowa. Phil is also known as Czyż and Fiszel.


    Marshall was born on March 13th, 1942 in Chicago.



    Harry Chess is a secret agent and espionage.


    Lisa Chess is an actor and actress. Lisa was born in United States.


    Where is the name Chess popular?

    View popular names by state or region.

    Popularity of Chess as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Chess as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Pennsylvania, New York, or California.

    Common first names for Chess

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Chess U.S.
      White 68.27% 64.26%
      African American 27.14% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.75% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.40% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 1.78% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 1.66% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Chess

    People with the last name Chess are most frequently White or African American

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Chess

    • How Popular is the name Chess? Chess is the 58,797th most popular name of all time. As a last name Chess was the 16,481st most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name Chess have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 24 babies born with the first name Chess in the United States.
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Chess? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1915 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
    • When was Chess first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Chess is Monday, June 22nd, 1874.
    • What year had the most people named Chess born? The highest recorded use of the first name Chess was in 1953 with a total of 8 babies.
    • Weird things about the name Chess: Your name in reverse order is Ssehc. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Cshse. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Chess? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,743 people with the last name Chess.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Chess? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Chess as their last name since less than 1 person in 169k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

    What Chesss Have Visited This Page?

    Name poster for Chess

    Name poster for Chess(click to save the high quality version)

    Most Popular Names

    All Name Lists

    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (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.