A very popular name, of uncertain derivation. Until the 20th century it was confined mainly to Scotland and Ireland. It is probably of Scandinavian rather than Celtic origin, however: a short form of any of the various compound names derived from Old Norse brand ‘sword’. Its popularity in Gaelic-speaking countries has no doubt been influenced by its similarity to Brendan.
English: 1. habitational name, probably from Bardfield in Essex, which is named with an unattested Old English byrde ‘(river) bank’, ‘border’ + feld ‘open land’. The name is still most common in northern Essex. 2. topographic name for someone who lived in an area where barley was cultivated, from Middle English berefeld.