The English surname Hale is primarily a locational surname derived from several places named Hale or Hales, which were common in different parts of the country. The name originated from the Old English word "hæl" or "healh," meaning "nook" or "recess." It referred to a secluded or sheltered place, often near a river or on a hillside. Over time, individuals living in or near these locations adopted the surname "Hale" to indicate their association with those places. Another possible origin for the surname "Hale" is from the Old English word "halh," meaning "hollow" or "low-lying land." In this context, the surname could have referred to someone who lived in a hollow or a valley. Today there are more than 86,000 people with the surname Hale living in the US.