Transferred use of the surname, which is of Norman origin, a coalescence of two different surnames, one derived from a Germanic personal name based on the element war(in) ‘guard’ and the other from a place in Normandy called La Varenne ‘the game park’. The Norman personal name survived at least into the 17th century in Yorkshire, where it was particularly associated with the Scargill family. In America this name has sometimes been chosen in honour of General Joseph Warren, the first hero of the American Revolution, who was killed at Bunker Hill (1775). Among modern influences on the choice of the name has been the film actor Warren Beatty (b. 1937).
English, German, Dutch, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for a lively person or for a traveling entertainer, from an agent derivative of Middle English, Middle High German springen, Middle Dutch springhen, Yiddish shpringen ‘to jump or leap’.