By P. H. Reaney, R. M. Wilson
This vintage dictionary solutions questions comparable to those and explains the origins of over 16,000 names in present English use. it will likely be a resource of fascination to everybody with an curiosity in names and their background.
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Extra info for A Dictionary of English Surnames
A newlywedded wife of my acquaintance regularly addressed her young husband as sweetheart, which gradually became weetheart, sweetie, weetie and finally weet, a pet-name used for many years. There must be many similar pet-names confined to a particular family and never seen in print. With such developments, it is not difficult to realize that a pet-name may have more than one origin, and that a single name may give rise to a variety of petnames. Diminutives A few diminutives in -uc of OE origin survive (Haddock, Whittock, Willock), but most are derivatives of French names.
A wreath sent recently by the Queen was from Lilibet, the name by which Her Majesty is known in the family circle, a deliberate perpetuation of her early attempts to pronounce her own name. My own daughter still answers to the name of Titt, a shortening of Titter, her first attempts at sister. A newlywedded wife of my acquaintance regularly addressed her young husband as sweetheart, which gradually became weetheart, sweetie, weetie and finally weet, a pet-name used for many years. There must be many similar pet-names confined to a particular family and never seen in print.
Whether local surnames, because of their frequency, had any influence on the fixing of surnames is doubtful. For barons and important land-holders to derive their surnames from their fiefs or manors was natural, but these form only a small proportion of the whole. , became hereditary is a problem for which material is seldom available. In London, local surnames indicated the place from which the man had come, and became hereditary early. 54 Robert de Stafford, a brother of Ralph de Toeni (a surname surviving into the fourteenth century), took his surname from the head of his English barony.
A Dictionary of English Surnames by P. H. Reaney, R. M. Wilson