- This is an Anglo-Scottish medieval surname. There are two possible origins and over the centuries the two have often become fused in spelling. Originally if English it is or rather was, probably a nickname, one which on the face of it, described a small person, one who was 'lyt,' meaning little. However given the robust humour of those Chaucerian times anything is possible, and our inclination is to suggest that like the famous outlaw Little John or John Little, this surname referred to a particularly large person! However unless one was present when the name was first 'given', it is almost impossible after some six hundred years and more, to say for certain what was actually meant. The first recording adds some spice to the equation as it was female. This was Katherine Littelbod in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Cambridge in 1327. The second possible origin is Scottish. Here the origin was slightly different in that the name is believed to mean one who was light or frivolous from the pre 7th century Olde English word 'leoht'. The early recordings include William Leichtbody of Dalernok in 1552, and John Lightbody of Torphichen in 1621.
Surnames reference. 2013.