The surname Burns has several origins. In some cases it derived from the Middle English or Scots burn, and originated as a topographic name for an individual who lived by a stream. In other cases the surname is a variant form of the surname Burnhouse, which originated as habitational name, derived from a place name made up of the word elements burn and house. In other cases the surname Burns originated as a nickname meaning "burn house". In other cases, the surname Burns is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic Ó Broin, which means "descendant of Bran". In some cases the surname Burns is an Americanized form of the Jewish surname Bernstein, which is derived from the German bernstein ("amber").