Recorded as Harkin, Harkins and Harkiss, this is an English diminutive and patronymic surname. It is said to originate from either the pre 7th century personal name Heard or the later Norman-French Harry. If the former it is Anglo-Saxon from the word hard, meaning hardy or brave. It is also found as a short form of various compound names with Hard as a first element, such as the Heardwulf, meaning brave wolf, or Heardmann, meaning brave man. In some cases the surname may derive from the Norman personal name Harry, with the same origin.
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