From the Germanic word brun ‘brown’. This was in use as a name in many of the ruling families of Germany during the Middle Ages. It was borne by a 10th-century saint, son of the Emperor Henry the Fowler, and by the Saxon duke who gave his name to Brunswick (German Braunschweig, i.e. ‘Bruno's settlement’). Its use in the English-speaking world, which dates from the end of the 19th century, may have been partly influenced by Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno (1889), but more probably it was first used by settlers of German ancestry in the United States.