(French) feminine form of Michel, the French form of Michael. This name is now also used extensively in the English-speaking world. It was popular in the 1970s and 80s, possibly influenced in part by a Beatles song with this name as its title (1966).
English, North German, Danish, and Norwegian: topographic name for someone who lived in or by a small wood, Middle English, Middle Low German, Danish, Norwegian holt, or a habitational name from one of the very many places named with this word. In England the surname is widely distributed, but rather more common in Lancashire than elsewhere.