Transferred use of the Welsh surname, in origin a variant of Lloyd. This form of the name results from an attempt to represent the sound of the Welsh initial Ll- using traditional English pronunciation and orthography. From the 1890s to the 1930s it was at its most popular in the United States.
English (mainly Devon): from the medieval female personal name Peronel, Pernel, Parnell, a vernacular form of Latin Petronilla. This is a diminutive of Petronia, feminine of Petronius, a Roman family name of uncertain etymology. It was borne by an early Roman martyr about whom little is known.