Humanities › History & Culture The Origin and Meaning of the Last Name, "Long" Share Flipboard Email Print Hero Images / Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated February 17, 2019 Long is the 86th most popular surname in the United States with origins in English, Irish, and Chinese. The most common alternate surname spellings include Longe, Lang, Delong, and Laing. Learn about the famous Longs, genealogy resources and the three main plausible origins for the common last name below. Possible Surname Origins Long was most commonly a nickname that was often given to a man who was especially tall and lanky, from the Old English lang and Old French long, meaning "long" or "tall."The Long surname may also be a reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic name Ó Longáin, meaning "descendant of Longán," a personal name probably derived from long, meaning "tall."If the family is Chinese, the name may indicate descent from an official treasurer called Long, who lived during the reign of the model emperor Shun (2257–2205 BC). Notable Longs Nia Long: American actress who is best known as her characters on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Third Watch on TV. She was also in the popular movies Friday and Too Deep.Howie Long: Former American NFL defensive end. Howie currently works at Fox Sports as a studio analyst.Shelley Long: Actress popular on the comedy television shows Cheers and Frasier. She has five Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe Awards.Shorty Long: American soul singer, record producer, and musician who was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Genealogy Resources 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings: Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?Long Family Genealogy Forum: Search this popular genealogy forum for the Long surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Long query.FamilySearch - Long Genealogy: Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Long surname and its variations.Long Surname & Family Mailing Lists: RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Long surname.Cousin Connect - Long Genealogy Queries: Read or post genealogy queries for the surname Long, and sign up for free notification when new Long queries are added.DistantCousin.com - Long Genealogy & Family History: Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Long. Resources and Further Reading Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.Hanks, Patrick, and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.