Transferred use of the surname, in origin a local name from the city of Leicester. The place name is recorded in the 10th century as Ligora cæster, representing a British name of obscure origin + Old English cæster ‘Roman fort’.
English: nickname from Middle English finch ‘finch’ (Old English finc). In the Middle Ages this bird had a reputation for stupidity. It may perhaps also in part represent a metonymic occupational name for someone who caught finches and sold them as songsters or for the cooking pot. The surname is found in all parts of Britain but is most common in Lancashire. See also Fink.