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Still Waters

What our surnames tell us about ourselves

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The point about surnames is their inevitability. Your forename is one that was chosen: your parents picked it and blessed you (or saddled you) with it; but the surname involves no choice: they are the ones we were born with.

We no longer possess some of the more extraordinary names of people you might have met in the streets of medieval England: Chaceporc, Crakpot, Drunkard, Gyldenbollockes (centuries before David Beckham), Halfenaked, Scrapetrough, Swetinbedde - though the London phone book still serves up many that can amuse and surprise.

http://www.theguardi...ll-us-ourselves

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Pretty cool. My surname is English. In 1881 Most with my name lived in York. By 1998 I guess they all moved to Lincoln.

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My surname is West, with the shockingly original meaning of "From the West" Makes sense since dad's family is Welsh. :)

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My surname means insipid, dull or soothing. Wow. Wonder what my ancestors were up to.

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