1. English, Scottish, and Irish: from Middle English whit 'white', hence a nickname for someone with white hair or an unnaturally pale complexion. In some cases it represents a Middle English personal name, from an Old English byname, Hwīt(a), of this origin. As a Scottish and Irish surname it has been widely used as a translation of the many Gaelic names based on bán 'white' or fionn 'fair' . There has also been some confusion with Wight. 2. Translated form of cognate and equivalent names in other languages, such as German Weiss, French Blanc, Polish Białas.