PREFACE A long and somewhat varied experience in language teaching has convinced me that there are still, in spite of the march of science, many people who are capable of getting intellectual pleasure from word-history. I hope that to such people this little book, the amusement of occasional leisure, will not be unwelcome. It differs, I believe, from any other popular book on language in that it deals essentially with the origins of words, and... more...

CHAPTER I OF SURNAMES IN GENERAL "The French and we termed them Surnames, not because they are the names of the Sire, or the father,but because they are super-added to Christian names." (CAMDEN, Remains concerning Britain.) The study of the origin of family names is at the same time quite simple and very difficult. Its simplicity consists in the fact that surnames can only come into existence in certain well-understood ways. Its difficulty... more...