Mainly U.S.: usual English form of the name of the most celebrated of Roman poets, Publius Vergilius Maro (70–19 bc). The correct Latin spelling is Vergilius, but it was early altered to Virgilius by association with virgo ‘maiden’ or virga ‘stick’. Today the name is almost always given with direct reference to the poet, but medieval instances may have been intended to honour instead a 6th-century bishop of Arles or an 8th-century Irish monk who evangelized Carinthia and became archbishop of Salzburg, both of whom also bore the name. In the case of the later saint, it was a classicized form of the Gaelic name Fearghal.
English: topographic name for someone who lived near a ford, Middle English, Old English ford, or a habitational name from one of the many places named with this word, such as Ford in Northumberland, Shropshire, and West Sussex, or Forde in Dorset.