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English: habitational name from a place in Herefordshire, the etymology of which is uncertain. The second element is Old English eg ‘island’, ‘piece of higher ground in a low-lying area’; the first appears to be hwitan, which is either the genitive singular of an Old English byname Hwita (meaning ‘white’), or the weak dative case (originally used after a preposition and article) of the adjective hwit ‘white’.