Posts Tagged ‘Powell’

This Thursday, we’ll be celebrating St David’s Day here in Wales. So to mark the occasion, this week will have an entirely Welsh theme.

Today it overlaps with a name category which has been on my mind a lot recently: the “son” names.

These are most familiar, of course, as names ending in –son itself, or beginning with Mac-

But there is also the Welsh equivalent – ap.

Wales holds the distinction of being the last place in the British Isles where surnames became universally hereditary.

In many parts of the principality where Welsh remained the dominant language, the patronymic system — in which a person was formally known as ap “son of” or ferch “daughter of” — remained common until the nineteenth century.

But across the centuries, the ap also gave rise to hereditary surnames, surviving as an initial “b” or “p.”

And many of these make interesting first name options.

Here then, are the sons of Wales:

  • Barry – ap Harry (although it has a number of other origins too)
  • Beddard, Bedward – ap Edward
  • Bellis, Belliss – ap Ellis
  • Benian, Benyon, Beynon, Baynham, Binyon – ap Einion
  • Bevan, Beven, Beavan, Beaven, Beavon – ap Evan
  • Bowen – ap Owen
  • Breese, Breeze – ap Rhys
  • Brobyn – ap Robin
  • Brodrick, Broderick – ap Rhydderch/Roderick
  • Parry – ap Harry
  • Penry, Pendry – ap Henry
  • Pinyon – ap Einion
  • Pleaden, Pleavin, Pleven, Plevin – ap Blethyn
  • Pluthero — ap Rhydderch/Roderick
  • Pomfrey, Pomphrey – ap Humphrey
  • Powell, Poel – ap Howel
  • Preece, Prees – ap Rhys
  • Price, Pryce, Prise, Pryse – ap Rhys
  • Prichard, Pritchard – ap Richard
  • Probert – ap Robert
  • Probin, Probyn — ap Robin
  • Probus – ap Robert
  • Prodger – ad Roger
  • Prosser – ap Rosser (an old Welsh form of Roger)
  • Prothero, Protheroe – ap Rhydderch/Roderick
  • Prytherick – ap Rhydderch/Roderick
  • Pugh , Pughe – ap Hugh/Huw
  • Upjohn — ap John
  • Uprichard – ap Richard

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Here are the last of the “p” English surnames of Old English, Old Norse and Anglo-French origin, which have great first name potential but have so far seen little use:

  • Plaistow — from one of the places of the name. Old English: pleg-stōw “place for play or sport.”
  • Planter — from Old French plant “a plant”; used of a gardener
  • Plash — from Plash, Somerset, or Plaish, Shropshire. Old English: plæsc “muddy pool.”
  • Plater — Middle English plate “armor,” used of someone who made armor.
  • Playden — from Playden, Sussex. Old English: pleg “play” + denn “woodland pasture.”
  • Pledger — Middle English plegere “some-one who stands bail in a law-suit.”
  • Plessis — from Pleshey, Essex and Plessey, Northumberland. Old French: plaisseis “enclosure made with interlaced fencing.”
  • Plumley — from one of the places of the name. Old English: plūme “plum-tree” + lēah “wood,” “woodland clearing,” “glade,” “pasture” and “meadow.”
  • Poe — Old Norse and Middle English po “peacock.”
  • Polden — from Polden Hill, Somerset. Celtic place-name Bouelt “cow-pasture” + Old English dūn “hill.”
  • Polder — from one of the places of the name. Old English *polra “marshy-land.”
  • Polton — from one of the places called Poulton. Old English: pōl “pool” + tūn “enclosure,” “farmstead,” “estate,” “manor,” “village.”
  • Pomeroy — from La Pommeraye, Calvados. Old French: pommeraie “apple-orchard.”
  • Ponter — Middle English pont, through French from Latin pons “bridge.” Used of someone who lived by a bridge.
  • Ponton — from one of the Pontons in Lincolnshire. Old English *pamp “hill” + tūn “enclosure,” “farmstead,” “estate,” “manor,” “village.”
  • Popham — from Popham, Hampshire. Possibly Old English *pop(p) “pebble” + hām ‘homestead,’ ‘village,’ ‘estate,’ ‘manor or hamm “enclosure.”
  • Popley — Old English popel “stony” + lēah “wood,” “woodland clearing,” “glade,” “pasture” and “meadow.”
  • Popple — from the lost village of Pophall, Sussex, or Pophills, Warwickshire. Old English *pop(p) “pebble” + hall or hill.
  • Porcher — Old French porcher “swine-herd.”
  • Porteous — Anglo-French: porte-hors, literally “carry-hours”, a porte-hors was a small, “portable” prayer book. The surname arose as a name for someone who wrote them.
  • Portno, Portnoy, Portner — Anglo-French: port-nuit, literally “carry-night.” Perhaps used of a night-watchman, or a night-owl.
  • Possell, Postle — Old French apostle “apostle.” As well as arising as a pageant name, there is some evidence Apostle was used as a first name in the Middle Ages.
  • Pothecary, Potticary — Middle English: apotecarie, ultimately from Latin apothecarius “store-keeper” (specifically of spices and drugs — only later came to mean some-one who prepared drugs, an apothecary).
  • Potter — Old English: potere “a potter.” Intriguingly has never been in the top 1000…
  • Potterell — Old French: poutrel “colt.”
  • Potton — from Potton, Bedfordshire. Old English pott “pot” + tūn “enclosure,” “farmstead,” “estate,” “manor,” “village.”
  • Pougher — Old English: pohha “bag”; used of someone who made bags.
  • Poulter — Old French: poultier “poultry-dealer.”
  • Powell — appeared once in the ranks in 1891. Sometimes from Paul, sometimes from Old English pōl “pool” — and sometimes from the Welsh ap Howel “son of Howel.”
  • Poyle — sometimes from Apulia, Italy; othertimes from Pulley, Shropshire. Old English pōl “pool”  + lēah “wood,” “woodland clearing,” “glade,” “pasture” and “meadow.”
  • Poyner — Old French: poigner “fighter.”
  • Poynter — Middle English: poynte “a tagged lace/cord,” used of someone who made them.
  • Poynton — from Pointon, Lincolnshire and Poynton, Cheshire.  Pointon is from the personal name *Pohha, Poynton from *Pofa + tūn “enclosure,” “farmstead,” “estate,” “manor,” “village.”
  • Poyntz — from the Old French personal name Ponz, from the Latin Pontius (ultimately from pons “bridge.”).
  • Prater — ultimately from Latin praetor, which was used in the Middle Ages to mean “reeve.”
  • Prentice — Old French: aprentis “apprentice.”
  • Prescott — Old English: prēost “priest” + cot “cottage.” Used of someone who worked at the priest’s cottage.
  • Pressney, Prestney — from Prestney’s Farm, Essex. Old English prēost “priest” + haga “enclosure.”
  • Prester — Old French: prestre “priest.”
  • Proust — Middle English: provost “a provost.”
  • Pryer — Old French: priour “a prior.”
  • Pryke — Middle English: prike “point (of a weapon)”, also a type of weapon; probably used of someone who made them.
  • Prynne — Old French: prin “first,” “superior.”
  • Pulham — from one of the places called Pulham. Old English: pōl “pool” + hām ‘homestead,’ ‘village,’ ‘estate,’ ‘manor or hamm “enclosure.”
  • Pullan — Old French: poulan “colt.”
  • Purcifer — a variant of Percival.
  • Purdey — Old French: pour Dieu “for God!” — an “oath” name.
  • Purden — Old French: prudhomme “honest man.”
  • Purefoy — Anglo-French: par fei  “by faith!” — another “oath” name.
  • Purley — From one of the places called Purley or Purleigh. Old English: pūr “snipe” or pirige “pear-tree” + lēah “wood,” “woodland clearing,” “glade,” “pasture” and “meadow.”
  • Pyrah — probably a variant of the surname Perry, from pirige “pear-tree.”

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