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 and Scottish: occupational name for a maker of objects of wood, metal, or bone by turning on a lathe, from Anglo-Norman French torner (Old French tornier, Latin tornarius, a derivative of tornus ‘lathe’). The surname may also derive from any of various other senses of Middle English turn, for example a turnspit, a translator or interpreter, or a tumbler.