Transferred use of the Scottish surname derived from the medieval given name Brice, found in the Latinized forms Bri(c)tius and Bricius. It is probably of Gaulish origin, possibly derived from a word meaning ‘speckled’ (compare Welsh brych), and was the name of a saint who was a disciple and successor of St Martin of Tours.
English and Scottish: patronymic from the personal name John. As an American family name, Johnson has absorbed patronymics and many other derivatives of this name in continental European languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.)