Of Norman origin but uncertain derivation. Unlike most Norman names it is, as far as can be ascertained, not derived from any known Old French or Germanic name element. It may be a greatly altered pet form of Michael, which came to be associated with the Latin word miles ‘soldier’ because of the military attributes of the archangel Michael. However, the usual Latin form of the name in the Middle Ages was Milo. There is a common Slavic name element mil ‘grace, favour’, with which it may possibly have some connection. The name has been in regular use in England since the 16th century. See also Milo and Myles.