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

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Espy mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Espy

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Es*py"
  1. To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd. "As one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, . . . he espied his money." [Gen. xlii. 27.]"A goodly vessel did I then espy Come like a giant from a haven broad." [Wordsworth.]
  2. To inspect narrowly; to examine and keep watch upon; to watch; to observe."He sends angels to espy us in all our ways." [Jer. Taylor.]
    synonyms: To discern; discover; detect; descry; spy.

Etymology: OF. espier, F. épier, from OHG. speh�n to watch, spy, G. spähen; akin to L. specere to look, species sight, shape, appearance, kind. See Spice Spy, and cf. Espionage

verb Es*py"
To look or search narrowly; to look about; to watch; to take notice; to spy.
noun Es*py"
A spy; a scout.

Etymology: OF. espie. See Espy, v., Spy

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Catch sight of

From Old French espier (French épier). More at spy.

Notable Persons Named Espy

Espy was born in 1795. He breathed his last breath on August 25th, 1829.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Espy

Mike Espy is an office holder. Mike was born on November 30th, 1953 in Yazoo City, Mississippi.


Willard R. Espy was a light poetry and local history writer. Willard was born on December 11th, 1910 in Olympia, Washington. He passed away on February 20th, 1999.


M. was born on March 2nd, 1933. M. is also known as Espey, Major Watt, Jr.; Espey, and M. Watt. He died on August 13th, 2009.



James Pollard Espy is a scientist in the field of meteorology. James was born on May 9th, 1785.


Cecil Espy is a baseball player. Cecil was born on January 20th, 1963 in San Diego.


Where is the name Espy popular?

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Popularity of Espy as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Espy as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Alabama, Georgia, or Tennessee.

Common last names for Espy

  • Smith

Common first names for Espy

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Espy U.S.
  White 77.15% 64.26%
  African American 16.32% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.65% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.70% 16.26%

Of Last Name Espy

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

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Espy

  • How Popular is the name Espy? Espy is the 62,595th most popular name of all time. As a last name Espy was the 15,748th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Espy have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 19 babies born with the first name Espy in the United States.
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Espy? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1920 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
  • When was Espy first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Espy is Wednesday, January 10th, 1872.
  • What year had the most people named Espy born? The highest recorded use of the first name Espy was in 1922 with a total of 8 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Espy: Your name in reverse order is Ypse. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Epsy. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Espy? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,851 people with the last name Espy.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Espy? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Espy as their last name since less than 1 person in 159k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

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  • 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.