Scottish: of uncertain origin. The earliest recorded forms of this family name, dating from the mid-12th century, are de Fresel, de Friselle, and de Freseliere. These appear to be Norman, but there is no place in France with a name answering to them. It is possible, therefore, that they represent a Gaelic name corrupted beyond recognition by an Anglo-Norman scribe. The modern Gaelic form is Friseal, sometimes Anglicized as Frizzell. The surname Fraser is also borne by Jews, in which case it represents an Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.