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View Diary: Icelandic Exceptionalism (211 comments)

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  •  True... but occupation surnames... (3+ / 0-)
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    elfling, Orinoco, terjeanderson

    ... are not used as often in the Scandinavian countries.  Mostly it's farm/location names.

    England, which had a huge influx of Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlers, has many, many occupation surnames.  [The name England is a contraction of Angle Land.]  I have several from different parts of England that are occupation names in my own family tree.

    While searching one web site in England while looking for ancestors in Yorkshire, I ran across a 1379 Subsidy Roll (Poll Tax) and spent many hours going through the lists of names.  York is the port where ships landed, and both Anglo-Saxons and Vikings landed there, came back and settled and became traders, merchants, and spread inland and became farmers; lots of towns end in "by" which (to this day) is the Scandinavian word for 'town.'  The 1379 Subsidy Roll is an etymologist's idea of heaven!  Surnames were occupation, location, personal characteristics (red head, for instance), country of origin (of the person or her/his ancestors), landmarks, and women's names were included.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:03:37 AM PST

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    •  No, not a surname (1+ / 0-)
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      Jon, son of Jon, would be Jon Jonson. But because it's such a common name, the phone book also lists (at least it used to) Jon's actual occupation, not as part of his name, but just as a way to disambiguate one from another. Actually, many of the Jons I knew also had distinct middle names, so one could refer to Jon Haldor or Jon Ricard to tell them apart.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 01:03:38 AM PST

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