The meaning of Read is ‘red-haired’, 'son of red-haired'. A male given name of English origin, this name can be used as a nickname for a person who has red hair or a ruddy complexion. Read is a topographic name for someone who lived in a woodland clearning. Derived from the Anglo-Saxon term for the color red, there is a settlement in Lancashire called Read. This name was used in the earliest stages of English history and has become a popular surname. George Read of Delaware, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution was a famous personality who had this name. Another notable mention is Deborah Read, wife of Benjamin Franklin, the founding father of the United States.