It has been said the sweetest sound to someone is the sound of their own name. Would you agree?
Names are important because they represent our entity. Our first name is our given name at childbirth. Our last name, also known as surnames or family names are a reference to who we are in relation to our family, who we were, where we came from, what we did for a living or even the physical place of where we lived.
Surnames were not so common way back when. Growing populations created problems with too many people carrying the same given (first) name. Surname comes from the Latin sur, meaning “over or above” combined with -name. Surnames can reflect the occupation of the person. For example:
Carpenter—one who builds with wood.
Fletcher—one who makes feathered arrows.
Mason—a brick layer or stone mason.
Taylor—one who makes clothing.
Smith—a blacksmith or metalworker
They can also reflect geographical locations:
Hill—one who lives on a hill.
Valley—one who lives in a valley.
Moor—one who resides on a moor or open marsh land.
Dale—one who lives in a wide valley.
Milford—one who lived near a mill on a ford.
Other surnames reflect a persons physical appearance:
Long—a tall person
Swift—a fast person
Young—one not yet old as between generations.
Strong—a person of great physical strength.
Brown—someone with brown hair.
Surnames could also indicate positions or associations with important people in a community:
King—a person associated with a king.
Abbott—a person associated with an Abbott.
Steward—an appointee of royalty to act on their behalf.
Lord—one associated with a Lord.
Prince—one associated with a prince.
What is in a name? In many cases lots of things!