Transferred use of the surname, recorded as a given name from the 17th century. There are several places (e.g. in Glos., Herefords., and Yorks.) so named, from Old English clif ‘cliff, slope, riverbank’ + ford ‘ford’.
English: nickname for a clever trickster, from Old English prætt ‘trick’, ‘tricky’, ‘cunning’ (which is found in use as a byname in the 11th century). This surname is quite common in southeastern Ireland.