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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Surname Saturday ~ The Name Game

The author of the New Dictionary of American Family Names, Elsdon C. Smith writes, "Surnames were most commonly derived from a person's place of residence, his occupation, a prominent physical characterstic, or from a father's given name."

Will that information help you in Round Three of the Name Game?

Step right up and try your luck guessing the country of origin and the meaning of these names:

Abt
Chambers
Erdos
Gach
Infelise
Kauppinen
Mavros
Orfevre
Quail
Ryerson
Taddei
Vaher
Xanthopoulos
Zajicek

Give yourself one point for each country guessed correctly and another point for each correct meaning.

Scroll down...



to see...



the answers...


Abt (German) A member of an abbott's entourage; sometimes the lay abbott of a monastery who inherited his office.

Chambers (English) The officer in charge of the private household of a king or important nobleman; one who worked in the chamber, sometimes the reception room of an important household.

Erdos (Hungarian) Dweller in, or near, the forest or wooded land.

Gach, Gache (Polish) One who is fond of women, a ladies' man.

Infelise (Italian) The poor, wretched, miserable man.

Kauppinen (Finnish) One who kept a shop, a merchant or tradesman.

Mavros (Greek) One with a dark or swarthy complexion.

Orfevre (French) One who made and sold gold articles, a goldsmith.

Quail (Manx) The son of Fhail, Manx form of Paul (small).

Ryerson (Dutch) The son of Ryer or Reijer (rider).

Taddei (Russian) Descendant of Taddei, a Slavic form of Thaddeus (praising God).

Vaher (Estonian) Dweller near a maple tree.

Xanthopoulos (Greek) The son of Ksanthos (blond).

Zajicek (Czech) Dweller at the sign of the hare; one who hunts hares.

Which of your scores was the highest; this time or Round One or Round Two? How many of the names listed above surprised you?

2 comments:

Heather Rojo said...

OK, I flunked! I think I had only two correct. This was an excellent list, you really had me stumped!

Laura Aanenson said...

There were some surprises - you're right about that! I have a fun surprise in store for the next round too!

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