Gorman is a relatively common name in England, where it is derived from the Middle English personal name Gormund, from gar, meaning "spear", and mund, meaning "protection". A few Irish Gormans may be of this connection, but in the vast majority of cases in Ireland, the surname comes from the original Irish Mac Gormain, from a diminutive of gorm, meaning "blue". The original homeland was in Co. Laois, in Slievmargy, but they were dispossessed by the Prestons, a Norman family, and removed to counties Clare and Monaghan. The Clare branch became well-known in later years for the extent of their wealth and hospitality, and for their patronage of poetry. From Clare they spread also into the adjoining county of Tipperary. When the native Irish began to resume the old O and Mac prefixes to their names in the nineteenth century, the Clare family mistakenly became "O'Gorman", probably following the error of the then best known bearer of the surname, Chevalier Thomas O'gorman (1725-1808), an Irish exile in France. In Tipperary, the name has generally remained "Gorman", while in Monaghan the original MacGorman still exists, along with the other two versions.