Discuss and learn French: French vocabulary, French grammar, French culture etc.
My surname is "Gardemal," which first appears in Northeastern France in the early 1600s.
Members of the family have provided numerous proposed interpretations of the name and its source - "keeper of the ill" for example. I wonder whether the members of the forum might be able to offer any insight?
My very little amount of insight sugests ,initially , that it might mean "keeping the ill/evil away" (as in "garder contre").
Could that make more sense?
In the dictionary "Petit Robert" French to Dutch, there is an entry "Garde-malade" translated into "nurse, he/she who takes care of the sick".
Perhaps your surname is derived from this word.
Better than "keeper of the ill", isn't ;-)