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

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Fork mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Fork

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Fork
  1. An instrument consisting of a handle with a shank terminating in two or more prongs or tines, which are usually of metal, parallel and slightly curved; -- used for piercing, holding, taking up, or pitching anything.
  2. Anything furcate or like a fork in shape, or furcate at the extremity; as, a tuning fork .
  3. One of the parts into which anything is furcated or divided; a prong; a branch of a stream, a road, etc.; a barbed point, as of an arrow."Let it fall . . . though the fork invade The region of my heart." [Shak.]"A thunderbolt with three forks." [Addison.]
  4. The place where a division or a union occurs; the angle or opening between two branches or limbs; as, the fork of a river, a tree, or a road.
  5. The gibbet.(Obs)

Etymology: AS. forc, fr. L. furca. Cf. Fourché Furcate

verb Fork
  1. To shoot into blades, as corn."The corn beginneth to fork." [Mortimer.]
  2. To divide into two or more branches; as, a road, a tree, or a stream forks .
verb Fork
To raise, or pitch with a fork, as hay; to dig or turn over with a fork, as the soil.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. The act of branching out or dividing into branches
  2. Cutlery used for serving and eating food
  3. An agricultural tool used for lifting or digging; has a handle and metal prongs
  4. The angle formed by the inner sides of the legs where they join the human trunk
  5. The region of the angle formed by the junction of two branches ("they took the south fork")
  6. Shape like a fork ("She forked her fingers")
  7. Divide into two or more branches so as to form a fork ("The road forks")
  8. Place under attack with one's own pieces, of two enemy pieces
  9. Lift with a pitchfork ("pitchfork hay")

From Middle English forke (“digging fork”), from Old English force, forca (“forked instrument used to torture”), from Proto-Germanic *furkǭ, *furkô (“fork”), from Latin furca (“pitchfork, forked stake", also "gallows, beam, stake, support post, yoke”), of uncertain origin. The Middle English word was later reinforced by Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French forque (= Old French forche whence French fourche), also from the Latin. Cognate also with North Frisian forck (“fork”), Dutch vork (“fork”), Danish fork (“fork”), German Forke (“pitchfork”). Displaced native gafol, ġeafel, ġeafle (“fork”), from Old English.

In its primary sense of "fork", Latin furca appears to be derived from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰerk(ʷ)-, *ǵʰerg(ʷ)- (“fork”), although the development of the -c- is difficult to explain. In other senses this derivation is unlikely. For these, perhaps it is connected to Proto-Germanic *furkaz, *firkalaz (“stake, stick, pole, post”), from Proto-Indo-European *perg- (“pole, post”). If so, this would relate the word to Old English forclas (“bolt”) (plural), Old Saxon ferkal (“lock, bolt, bar”), Old Norse forkr (“pole, staff, stick”), Norwegian fork (“stick, bat”), Swedish fork (“pole”).

  1. A pronged tool having a long straight handle, used for digging, lifting, throwing etc.
  2. (obsolete) A gallows.
  3. A utensil with spikes used to put solid food into the mouth, or to hold food down while cutting.
  4. A tuning fork.
  5. An intersection in a road or path where one road is split into two.
  6. One of the parts into which anything is furcated or divided; a prong; a branch of a stream, a road, etc.; a barbed point, as of an arrow.
  7. A point where a waterway, such as a river, splits and goes two (or more) different directions.
  8. (geography) Used in the names of some river tributaries, e.g. West Fork White River and East Fork White River, joining together to form the White River of Indiana
  9. (figuratively) A point in time where one has to make a decision between two life paths.
  10. (chess) The simultaneous attack of two adversary pieces with one single attacking piece (especially a knight).
  11. (computer science) A splitting-up of an existing process into itself and a child process executing parts of the same program.
  12. (computer science) An event where development of some free software or open-source software is split into two or more separate projects.
  13. (computer science) The, or one of the, software project(s) that underwent changes in such an event; a software project split off from a main project.
  14. (Britain) Crotch.
  15. (colloquial) A forklift.
  16. The individual blades of a forklift.
  17. (cycling) In a bicycle, the portion of the frameset holding the front wheel, allowing the rider to steer and balance.
    The can be equipped with a suspension on mountain bikes.

fork was also found in the following language(s): Danish and Dutch

Where is the name Fork popular?

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Popularity of Fork as a last name

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

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Fork U.S.
  White 87.89% 64.26%
  African American 8.07% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 0.00% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 0.00% 16.26%

Of Last Name Fork

People with the last name Fork are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Fork

  • How Popular is the name Fork? As a last name Fork was the 84,136th most popular name in 2010.
  • When was the first name Fork first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Fork is Friday, June 23rd, 1899.
  • How unique is the name Fork? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Fork. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Fork: Your name in reverse order is Krof. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Okrf. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Fork? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 223 people with the last name Fork.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Fork? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Fork as their last name since less than 1 person in 1.3m people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Forks Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Fork born Jun 24, 1985

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Yugoslavia approximately on 1450. Your profession was chemist, alchemist, and poison manufacturer.

You were sane, practical person, materialist with no spiritual consciousness. Your simple wisdom helped the weak and the poor. Your lesson - to conquer jealousy and anger in yourself and then in those, who will select you as their guide. You should understand that these weaknesses are caused by fear and self-regret.

Name poster for Fork

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

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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.