Transferred use of the surname, in origin a local name from any of the numerous places in England so called from Old English brād ‘broad’ + lēah ‘wood, clearing’. The most famous American bearer of this surname was General Omar N. Bradley (1893–1981). As a given name it used to be found mainly in North America but of late has come into fashion in Britain.
English and Scottish: occupational name for a tailor, from Old French tailleur (Late Latin taliator, from taliare ‘to cut’). The surname is extremely common in Britain and Ireland, and its numbers have been swelled by its adoption as an Americanized form of the numerous equivalent European names, most of which are also very common among Ashkenazic Jews, for example Schneider, Szabó, and Portnov.