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English: one of the most common and widespread of English
surnames, either a nickname for someone who was fond of dressing in
this color (Old English grene) or who had played the part of
the ‘Green Man’ in the May Day celebrations, or a topographic name for
someone who lived near a village green, Middle English grene (a
transferred use of the color term). In North America this name has no
doubt assimilated cognates from other European languages, notably
German Grün (see