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the North of England where certain lakes are found. After a similar manner we speak of the Highlands.
The figure termed Personification (ascribing personal qualities to inanimate objects) may give to a common noun the attributes of a proper noun. “ Reason is the highest gift of God; may we, O Divine Reason, listen reverently to thy voice !” In the first member or part of the sentence, reason is a common noun; in the second, in consequence of being the object of a direct address, it is a proper noun.
We have already seen that common nouns may represent an individual or a class. Thus a pigeon is one bird, but the pigeon is the class of birds so denominated. Some common nouns in their essential import denote a number; such as a fleet, a navy, a flock. These nouns are called collective, or nouns of multitude. Singular in form, they are plural in import. Indeed, they denote a class. Thus a crowd is a number of individuals considered as forming one body; a council is a number of men met for consultation, forming the class councillor, in relation to some particular ocality. Thus we say, I am in the council; I am of the council ; hat is, I am one of the class or body known under that general erm.
Proper nouns may be distinguished as names of places and names of persons. Names of places were originally descriptive; they described the places to which they were assigned. The Bible furnishes such names in abundance ; for instance, a place in the Wilderness of Sinai was denominated Kibroth-Hattaavah, that is, graves of lust, from an historical event recorded in the book of Numbers xi. 34. Names of places have, to the unlearned, ceased to be descriptive, because the terms have lost their meaning. Those who would know the meaning of the names in English topography must study the Teutonic and the Celtic languages, which contain the original elements out of which those names were formed. Some instances have been given-I add two or three. Orc, the name given to the Orkney islands in the Welsh Triads, signifies that which is extreme, so that Orkney is the extreme or last country, the ultima Thule, Ramsgate means the gate or pass leading into Ram, or Ruim, the British name for the Isle of Thanet. Canterbury is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon Cantwara byrig, the forts or strongholds of the Cantware, that is, the men of Kent. Cant itself comes from Caint, which, in Welsh, means a plain or open country; and it was probably the old Welsh name for the slip of open land lying between the Weald and the Thames. The word Winchester is a hybrid, that is a cross between the British and the Latin. Chester is the Latin Castra, a camp, and denotes a Roman station. It is frequent in our names of places; e.g. Manchester, Dorchester, Chester. The first syllable Win is the Welsh Gwent, which like Caint (probably the same word) signifies an open country. It seems to have been a name given to several districts in this island. Monmouthshire is still called Gwent by the Welsh, and was called Went by our English chroniclers as late as the 10th century. The
Tamar, a palm-tree.
Names also of Greek orgin are found in our tongue. These hare for the most part come to us through the medium of the Bible, at one time the only cyclopædia of the English people,
son of a hero. Phebe, shining. In Augustus, sacred, Clement, merci:ul, Priscilla, ancient, &c., we have in English names of Latin urigin which have come to us through the same medium.
In primitive times, and while population was small, the son was distinguished from his father by a different name. Thus, in the book of Genesis we find Terah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph. The same name, however, might in different families be given to different persons. How could they be distinguished the une from the other? The name of the father was employed sometimes with, sometimes without, the proper name of the son, as in these lines (Numbers xxiii, 18):
Rise up, Balak, and hear,
Harken unto me, thou son of Zipporah. Thus David is called “the son of Jesse” (1 Sam. xxy. 10.) In genealogical tables the word son is omitted, its force being given by the genitive case, as in Luke iii. 24 : " which was (the son) of Matthat, which was (the son) of Levi; which was (the son) of Melchi ; which was the son) of Janna ; which was the son of Joseph.” Sometimes the Hebrew for son coalesced with the name of the father, as Benaiah, Benjamin, Ben-Hadad ; Bar-Jesus ; Bar-Jona; Bartholomew; Bartimaeus. If honour was implied, contempt was also expressed in such forms; e. g. (Judg. ix. 28) “ and Gaal, the son of Ebed, said, who is Abimelech and who is Shechem, that we should serve bim ? Is not be the son of Jerubbaal?” Instead of the father the grandfather's name was employed for the sake of distinction; "and David said to Abiathar, the priest, Abimelech's son (grandson)” (1 Sam. xxx. 7). In this way a step was taken towards the formation of what are called patronymics or family names, that is, names which denote the progenitor as well as one or more of his descendants; as the Abrahamidae, the offspring of the patriarch Abraham,
For a model of patronymics (from the Greek pater, father, and onoma, a name) we must advert to the Greek language. There we find the patronymic Peleides. Peleides signifies the son of Pelevs. By comparing these two names together you see that Peleides is from
Peleus by a change of termination, eus is changed into eides. A change strictly similar for the same purpose is found only in the Anglo-Saxon, where the addition of ing to the father's name gives the import of a son, as Ida waes Eopping, that is, Ida was the son of Eoppa. If, however, we look at the meaning rather than the form, we may find patronymics in other tongues.
These patronymics may be called Sirnames; names, that is, of the sire or ancestor. In this sense the term sirname is correctly used by Hume in his “History of England.” “ The Normans introduced the use of sirnames which tend to preserve the knowledge of families and pedigrees.” (ii App. 2.) In Scotland Mac produces a kind of patronymic, as Macdonald. The Irish employ O abbreviated for the same purpose, as O'Leary, O'Neale. The Normans used the Celtic term Fitz (Latin filius, a son) to denote this relationship, as Fitz-Symons. This Fitz in Russian is Witz ; thus Peter Paulo. witz, Peter Paulson. To the same effect the Welsh employ their Ap, as David ap Howell, that is, David the son of towell. Ap Howell has been abridged into Powell, so Ap Rhys has given rise to Price. At no very remote period such combinations as the following were not uncommon in Wales, namely, Evan-ap-Griffith-ap-David-ap-Jenkin, and so on to the seventh or eight generation. As a burlesque on this genealogical simplicity, cheese has been described as
Adam's own cousin-german by its birth,
Ap curds-ap-milk-ap-cow-ap-grass-ap-earth. In English the term son is an adjunct prolific in sirnames. By its aid we have Williamson, Wilson, Billson, Richardson, Richson and Dickson, Johnson and Jackson, Harrison, Davidson, Davison, and Davis with many more.
With sirname writers often confound a word of very different import, namely, surname. Surname, from the French, properly signifies an additional name,-a name that is given to describe some quality or peculiarity of the individual. Such additional or descriptive names or epithets were common among the Romans, as, Scipio Africanus, Scipio of Africa, or of African repute. They are also found in our own history, as, William the Conqueror; William Rufus ; Richard Cour de lion (of the lion-heart); John, Lack-land; Edward Long-shanks. So the French had for kings Charles, the Bald; Louis the stutterer; and Philip the fair.
After the same manner, we have now Mr. Beard, Mr. White, Mr. Brown, Mr. Black, Mr. Whitelock, Mr. Whiteley, Mr. Blackbeard, Mr. Redhead, Mr. Long, Mr. Short, Mr. Great, Mr. Small, Mr. Stout, Mr. Swift, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Longstaff; and a host of others. The origin of some descriptive names is not easily given. The Germans have Herr Manteufel, in English, Mandevi!, common as Mandeville, We have our Mr. Death, Mr. Hogsflesh, Mr. Heaviside Mr. Turnbull. Mr. Stumpy, Mr. Dangerfield. Among these surnames may be placed appellations derived from places. In the olden time it was very usual to describe a person by reference to the locality where he lived, or whence he came. We cite some instances from ancient docu.
ments :-"John over the water ;” “William at Bishopgate ;" “ John of the sheephouse;" “John at the castle-gate ;" * John in the lane;' " Peter at the Bell;"“ Thomas in the Willows,” “Stephen de Portico ;" “ William of London-bridge;" “ Watt at the well;" “ Jack at the stile.” Of, in such cases, was very common, as “William of Normandy.” The correspondent French term de, and the correspondent German term von, are in constant use among the French and the Germans, with whom they are a faint intimation of gentle or noble blood.
Out of these circumlocutions what we commonly mean by family names were readily formed. Thus, "John in the lane, by a very usual process of abbreviation, became Jobn Lane ; and " Peter at the Bell,” Peter Bell. Here you have one very abundant source of prevalent English names. Sometimes the names of persons are names of countries, as, England, Ireland, Bourgoyne, France, Holland, Man; sometimes they are adjectives derived from the names of countries, as, Scott, Welsh, Dean. Our several counties give us names of persons in Cheshire, Kent, Somerset, Hertford. We derive such names, also, from cities, towns, vil. lages, rivers, and other parts, as, London, Warwick, Leicester, Hartfield, Balcomb, Hurst, Coombs, Croft, Thorpe, Hill, Down, Derwentwater, Trent, Calder, Beck and Beckett, Banks, Barrow, Gill, Grave, Halliwell. Trees, also, and their productions, have supplied us with names. Sometimes ton (town, residence) is united with such names, and with names of places, as, Ashton, Milton, &c. A play on the name Berry is found in the following epitaph':
Hark! bow! who's buried here?
Be only buried to rise up again. Professional names gave rise to a great multitude of family names, I can enumerate only a few : King, Prince, Duke, Lord, Pope, Bishop, Prior, Parsons, Priest, Monk, Stewart, Constable, Hunter, Falconer, Palmer (a pilgrim), Cook, Smith, Tailor. Originally, most of these names were descriptive, a kind of surname to distinguish individuals. Thus, in old documents, we read of “Colgrin my reeve,” Bailiff (whence Bailey) or Steward ; “Harding, the Smith;” “ Lefstan, the Carpenter;" “ Elstan, the Fisherman ;" “Osmund, the Miller."
Signs are now very unusual in connexion with ordinary trades. The public-house keeper and the pawnbroker are almost the only business-men who retain signs. Even the barber's pole has all but vanished. In days of yore signs were very common, and, for the most part, they were symbolical, that is, they-on the ground of some resemblance-set forth the kind of business which each chapman conducted. Signs, as being distinctive, offered a means of Jenoting individuals. This fact is exemplified in the following lines, which were printed in 1612 :
First, there is maister Peter at the Bell,
A linnen-draper and a wealthy man ;
Then maister Thomas that doth stockings sell;
And maister Timothie, the woollen draper:
And maister Phillip with the fiery nose.
And Harry Haberdasher at the Horne ;
And Moses, merchant-tailor, at the Needle. When these verses were written, the correspondence between the sign and the thing signified must have generally vanished, for there is little congruity between a plow and a silkman, a cow and a vintner, or a fiddle and a barber-surgeon; though the needle woulu serve as well as “a goose” as an emblem for a merchant-tailor,
What are called Christian names were in England, at a very early period, the sole name borne by individuals. The Christian name is the name given at christening, that is, baptism. The pame given at the solemnity was the name of some saint. The saint, whose name was thus taken, was thereby recognised as the patron saint of the individual. Here is the feeling that introduced into our language so many scriptural names. Very natural was it that, in a peligious ceremony, a religious name should be given to tbe infant received by water into the fostering arms of the church. Accordingly, we have Anthony, Bartholomew, Boniface, Barnard, Cuthbert, Dunstan, Daniel, Godfrey, George, Gerard, Hilary, Leonard, Martin, &c.
The Christian name alone is found in times anterior to the Norman conquest. Thus in old legal documents we have, together with the sign of the cross (made originally as a sanction, and afterwards as a substitute, kings, princes, and nobles being then unable to write even their own name), e. g., + Ego Edredus confirmavi, + Ego Edmundus corroboravi, I Edmund have thus confirmed (my act).
l'hese Christian names passed into family names. For instance, Edward gave rise to Mr. Edward ; more commonly, Mr. Edwards, that is, Edwardson. The transformation is sometimes attended by the abridgment or the addition of a syllable, so as to give rise to diminutives, as Batty, a diminutive of Bateson. Thus, we say, little John, or Johnny. From little John comes the name Mr. Littlejobn. Ot and Kin, perhaps also Cock (or Cox), are syllables which have a diminutive force. Here follow instances of family names derived from Christian names :