In the Bible, the name of the first man (Genesis 2–3). It probably derives from Hebrew adama ‘earth’ it is a common feature of creation legends that God or a god fashioned the first human beings from earth or clay and breathed life into them. The name was subsequently borne by a 7th-century Irish abbot of Fermo in Italy. It has been very popular in the English-speaking world since the 1960s. In Hebrew it is a generic term for ‘man’ (Genesis 5:2) and has never been considered a personal name, although Hava ‘Eve’ has enjoyed popularity as a Jewish name.
English (especially Yorkshire) and Scottish: occupational name for a fuller, Middle English walkere, Old English wealcere, an agent derivative of wealcan ‘to walk, tread’. This was the regular term for the occupation during the Middle Ages in western and northern England. Compare Fuller and Tucker. As a Scottish surname it has also been used as a translation of Gaelic Mac an Fhucadair ‘son of the fuller’.