Shaw is most commonly a surname and rarely a given name. The name is of English and Scottish origin.
In England and Scotland the name is a topographic name for someone who lived by a copse or thicket. This name is derived from the Middle English s(c)hage, s(c)hawe, from the Old English sceaga meaning "dweller by the wood". The name can also be a habitational name derived from places named after these words. The English surname was established in Ireland in the 17th century. In Scotland and Ireland the surname can also be an English form of several surnames derived from the Gaelic personal name Sitheach meaning "wolf".