Originally a transferred use of the surname, but in independent use as a given name since the 18th century, when it was bestowed in honour of Admiral Lord Rodney (1719–92), who defeated the French navy in 1759–60. The surname probably derives ultimately from a place name, but the location and etymology of this are uncertain. Stoke Rodney in Somerset is named for the family: the manor was held by Richard de Rodene in the early 14th century. Rodden in Somerset was Reddene in Domesday Book; this may be the source of the surname.
English: topographic name for someone who lived near a hazelnut tree or grove, Middle English hasel, hesel, or perhaps a habitational name from a minor place named with this word such as Heazille Barton or Heazle Farm in Devon, or from Hessle in East Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, both named from Old English hæsel ‘hazel’ (influenced by Old Norse hesli).