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

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Sorrel mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Sorrel

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective Sor"rel
Of a yellowish or redish brown color; as, a sorrel horse.

Etymology: F. saur saure, OF. sor sore, probably of Teutonic origin; cf. D. zoor dry, LG. soor; the meaning probably coming from the color of dry leaves. See Sear (a.), and cf. Sorel

noun Sor"rel
A yellowish or redish brown color.
noun Sor"rel
One of various plants having a sour juice; especially, a plant of the genus Rumex, as Rumex Acetosa Rumex Acetosella, etc.

Etymology: F. surelle, fr. sur sour, fr. OHG. s�r sour. See Sour

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A horse of a brownish orange to light brown color
  2. Large sour-tasting arrowhead-shaped leaves used in salads and sauces
  3. East Indian sparsely prickly annual herb or perennial subshrub widely cultivated for its fleshy calyxes used in tarts and jelly and for its bast fiber
  4. Any of certain coarse weedy plants with long taproots, sometimes used as table greens or in folk medicine
  5. Any plant or flower of the genus Oxalis
  6. Of a light brownish color

From Middle English sorel, from Old French sorel, surele (“sorrel”), from Old French sur (“sour”), of Germanic origin, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *sūraz (“sour”); equivalent to sour +‎ -el (diminutive suffix). Compare Old English sūre (“sorrel”), Icelandic súra (“sorrel”), Dutch zuring (“sorrel”). More at sour.

  1. A kind of plant with acidic leaves, especially Rumex acetosa (common sorrel), sometimes used as a salad vegetable.
  2. The roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa.
  3. A drink, consumed especially in the Caribbean around Christmas, made from the flowers of Hibiscus sabdariffa: hibiscus tea.

From Middle English *sorel, from Old French *sorel, sorrel, surrel, from Old French sor (“yellowish-brown, reddish-brown”), probably from Old Frankish *saur (“dried”), from Proto-Germanic *sauzaz (“dry”), from Proto-Indo-European *saus- (“dry, parched”); equivalent to sore (“reddish-brown”) +‎ -el (diminutive suffix). Cognate with Middle Dutch soor (“dry”), Old High German sōrēn (“to become dry”), and Old English sēar (“withered, barren”). See also sere.

  1. A brown colour, with a tint of red.

    Notable Persons Named Sorrel

    Sorrel was born in 1941.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Sorrel

    Gilbert Moxley Sorrel is a merchant and writer. His military service ended in 1865.


    Enrique Sorrel was a soccer player for the Audax Italiano, Colo-Colo, and Chile national football team. Enrique was born on February 3rd, 1912 in Linares, Chile. He left this life on October 20th, 1991.


    Where is the name Sorrel popular?

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    Popularity of Sorrel as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Sorrel as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Texas, Louisiana, or Georgia.

    Common first names for Sorrel

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Sorrel U.S.
      White 81.08% 64.26%
      African American 11.20% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 2.70% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 1.93% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 0.00% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Sorrel

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

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Sorrel

    • How Popular is the name Sorrel? Sorrel is the 40,771st most popular name of all time. As a last name Sorrel was the 74,608th most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name Sorrel have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 76 babies born with the first name Sorrel in the United States. That's more than enough people named Sorrel to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Sorrel? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1973 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
    • When was Sorrel first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Sorrel is Saturday, May 20th, 1893.
    • What year had the most people named Sorrel born? The highest recorded use of the first name Sorrel was in 2004 with a total of 8 babies.
    • Weird things about the name Sorrel: Your name in reverse order is Lerros. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Elsrro. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Sorrel? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 259 people with the last name Sorrel.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Sorrel? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Sorrel as their last name since less than 1 person in 1.1m people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

    What Sorrels Have Visited This Page?

    Name poster for Sorrel

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    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.