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English and Scottish: from the Breton personal name Aeruiu or Haerviu, composed of the elements haer ‘battle’, ‘carnage’ + vy ‘worthy’, which was brought to England by Breton followers of William the Conqueror, for the most part in the Gallicized form Hervé. (The change from -er- to -ar- was a normal development in Middle English and Old French.) Reaney believes that the surname is also occasionally from a Norman personal name, Old German Herewig, composed of the Germanic elements hari, heri ‘army’ + wig ‘war’.