Shakespeare once asked that age old question, “What’s in a name?” But there is more in a name than we may be really aware of. Etymology, for example, is referencing the meaning behind the name. When a first name is selected, it is often chosen because of the meaning or as a namesake. Last names are a different story, being passed down the generations to the males and in many cultures, the women marrying into the family will take on the last name. With so much in a name, we at Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings would like to share the basics of Etymology.
Last Name Meaning & Origin
Though it took a few hundred years for the majority of Europeans to use last names throughout the continent, 12th century Europe began the use of the last name. To give individuals more distinction, the last name was used, especially since by the 13th century a third of the population was named John, William, and Richard. So the last name reference started and it went along the lines of William son of Andrew for example. Not only would the surnames bear the father’s name, put as they evolved places, personal characteristics, and occupations would come into play.
Surnames from Places: In some applications, people would get their surname from the places they live or have lived. There are several origins when it comes to using the place as a surname. The town where a person was born in or currently living in was common. More often than not though, the place was from the place of their birth. For instance, John born in New York would be John of York or more simply put John York. A surname would also derive from a geographical feature that they lived on or close to as another example. Original country would shape the last name as well as landmarks such ac woods, brooks, fields, and so forth.
Last Names Based on Personal Characteristics: Another option to give some distinctions for last name was from the different characteristics; hair color, weight, height for example. Those with red hair coloring, for instance, would adapt the surname red, With each language having their own spellings and variations; French- Rousseau, Italian- Rossi, English- Reid, German- Roth, Irish- Flynn, and Czech- Cerveny. Some might inherit a surname due to a unique ability or personality trait as well as a physical feature. Some surnames could translate to fast, slow, dumb, and smart, and so on according to the old languages used. Another characteristic might be associated with animals, such as a good swimmer might be given the surname Fish.
Surnames of Occupations: People would get their surname do to their occupations in centuries past. English alone has common examples; Baker, Fisher, Shepherd, or Taylor. Smith, an obvious and very common last name was derived from the blacksmiths or those that worked with metal. Other countries, using their native languages, would do the same and offer surnames to the people in association to their occupation.
Wood Chainsaw Carved Name Signs & More Carved in Las Vegas, NV & Helena, MT
Learning the ancestry of your bloodlines can be an interesting research adventure. There are many professionals and online tools that can help you trace back your ancestry and learn the hidden meanings to surnames. Display your surname proudly above your threshold or somewhere in the front of your property with a beautiful chainsaw carving. Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings can craft your name to help people find your home easier and to use as an excellent icebreaker. Call us today to get started!