What’s in a name? Recently I was staring at the names in a mailing list, and the name “Butcher” reminded me that it’s spelled exactly like the professional tradespeople behind the meat counter for a reason. Names tell us something about our heritage.
How many “occupational” names can you think of? I tried to list as many such names as I could think of, below. My list is mostly English surnames. I didn’t try to branch out into other languages: “Schmidt” is German for Smith. “Muller” or “Mueller” is the German variant of Miller. My own surname “Forbes” is from the ancient Gaelic “forba” meaning field – possibly indicating agricultural origin.
If you get stuck, I found a useful genealogy link at About.com which offers etymologies on hundreds of names.
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