This surname has three origins; firstly, it may be of Welsh origin, a variant of the name Griffith, from the Old Welsh personal name "Gruffydd", composed of the elements "griff" of uncertain etymology, plus "udd", chief, lord. Secondly, it may have been of Old German origin, a nickname for a fierce person, deriving from the Middle English "griffin" meaning gryphon (dragon), a development of the Old High German "grifan", to snatch, grasp. Thirdly, it may be of Irish origin, an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Griobhtha", the prefix "O", denoting descendant of, plus the personal name "Grioghtha", from "griobh" meaning gryphon.
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