Transferred use of the surname, in origin an occupational name for a ‘dispenser’ of supplies in a manor house. This is the name of a great English noble family, traditionally supposed to be descended from someone who performed this function in the royal household. Its popularity as a given name was influenced in the mid-20th century by the American film actor Spencer Tracy (1900–67).
English: metonymic occupational name for a cattleman, from Middle English stott ‘steer’, ‘bullock’. The term was also occasionally used in Middle English of a horse or of a heifer (and so as a term of abuse for a woman), and these senses may also lie behind some examples of the surname.