A Dictionary of English Surnames, Paperback / softback Book

A Dictionary of English Surnames Paperback / softback

Edited by P. H. Reaney, R. M. Wilson

Part of the Oxford Quick Reference series


Did you know that Batts, may have had stout ancestors?

That Dennes could be descended from swineherds? That Herons might come from thin men with long legs?

How much do you know about the origin of your own surname?

This fascinating dictionary covers the origin and meaning of over 16,000 surnames, giving detailed information on early name-forms and how names have changed over the centuries.

Alternative forms of names are cross-referenced to make it easy to find variants.

Popular names such as Brown, Clark and Smith are all covered, alongside rarer names from Clapper to Cutterbuck, Stocking to Twitchen.

An authoritative introduction sets in context the popular topic of name-studies, and guides the reader through the history of English surnames.

The dictionary also includes an appendix in which the distinguished family historian, Professor David Hey (author of the Oxford Companion to Local and Family History) gives advice on how to locate the home of a family name.

He explains, with examples, how to discover the current distribution of a name in the UK, and how to trace its origins. Quirky and interesting, informative and accessible, this is an excellent guide for anyone with an interest in English family names.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 594 pages, 3 maps
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Reference works
  • ISBN: 9780192806635

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