What's in a name (Colours)

johnnydodStarred Page By johnnydod, 27th Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2a2r66oo/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Languages

This is the second in my "What's in a Name" series, this time I look at Colours, and why a certain colour is given as a name.

Black

English family names are derived from many sources, I have already dealt with the surname “Smith” lets look now look at surnames that come from the names of colours. One of the oldest name deriving from a colour name is. Black

This is a very old and illustrious name, the native Celts and Britons (who were predominately dark haired) were given the name black, by the invading Angles and Saxons who were on the whole light haired and had a lighter skin tone, there is an old tale, that a certain Wulfricus Niger, otherwise known as Wulfric the Black circa 980 blackened his face to intermingle with the Saxons allowing him to go freely among them to learn of there war plans. It could be a deviation from the name blacksmith.

White

So given that the name black was given to the Celts and Britons by the Saxons, it is pretty clear the name White would have been given to the Saxons by the Celts and Britons. The name is recorded as White, Wight, Whyte, and Whight

In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the pre 9th century a.d. As well as the name given to the Saxons it was also the name for a baby who was born without any blemishes or marks, this was quite unusual in those days. People from an island off the south coast of England called the Isle of White where often referred to as white.

Brown

This is the forth most common name in the United Kingdom and is one of the most common family names in English-speaking countries, this too refers to hair colour, the name is also known as

Bruin in Holland, Le Brun, Le Brune or Le Brunne in France, Braun in Germany, the Italians, use Bruno, Bruni, Moro, Mori, Mora or Moretti, in Norway its Brun and in Russia its Brunetov as well as Brunetev, finally in Spain we have a collection including Castaño, Castaña, Moreno, Morreno, Morena and Morrena. Brown is yet another name of Norman origin dated from the 11th century.

Green

Once again another very common name and as you can imagine this time its not because of the colour of the hair, but rather someone who often dresses in Green, (sometimes spelt as grene) or was the one who plays the “Green man” in the May Day celebrations (See my article on this) it is also quite common in Sweden spelt Gren which comes from the Swedish word for tree.
It is even possible to register colours as trademarks, BP oil registered green as part of their identity, with both Marks and Spencer and Heineken using green as their corporate colour

It could well have come from someone who lived by the village green, don’t forget surnames were mostly nick-names, surnames were not needed until the introduction of a tax called “the poll tax” or head tax introduced in the 14th Century by John of Gaunt, poll means head, it was then written in law that all men should have a surname. But then you knew that didn’t you?

Gray

Sometimes spelt Grey, This time the name stems from Scottish or Irish origin from a Gaelic source, when translated into English its McGrath meaning son of grace, or to be more correct the direct translation is Mac Giolla Riabhaigh, Mac Riabhaigh, or Ó Riabhaigh, meaning Son/grandson of the gray.

Silver

This is a pre 7th century origin name with roots from English, Scottish, German, and Hebrew, silversmith seems to be one of the favourite sources but a rich man was often known as Silver also someone who lived by water was frequently called Silver and takes the name from their village such as Silverley in Cumbria or Silverdale in Lancashire.

Most surname names have a meaning of some sort, including colours in my next article I will look at the professional names, I do so hope you have enjoyed this look at names, who knows your name might just tell you more about your past than you think

Now it’s time for you to get some colour in your life, get that writing habit licked, and get yourself Red (Sorry that should be Read.)

Do you write Story's, Poems, Factual articles, why not let Wikinut publish them for you? have you published them already on other sites? no matter Wikinut can republish them and allow you to double your earnings.

You can be as artistic as you like, the magic of seeing YOUR poem or story in print is wonderful, and to makes things better we will pay you for it, why not give it a try?

Tags

Black, Colour, Colourful, Colours, Gold, Gold And Silver, Green, Name, Name Meanings, Name Tags, Silver, White

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author avatar johnnydod
Writers write while dreamers procrastinate.

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Comments

author avatar LOVERME
8th Nov 2011 (#)

u r funtastic
the colours which govern the human mind basically are
RED
BLACK
WHITE
BLUE
YELLOW

AND
mixed multiple colours Johnny just have a rethink

I still await the management to permit me to publish
four are still in the pipe line awaiting clearance
and so many still read me What crime have i committed do tell me please....

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
8th Nov 2011 (#)

You always come up woith such interesting stuff johnnydod. But how come orange, yellow and purple aren't anyone's surname?

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author avatar avery sandiego
8th Nov 2011 (#)

Very interesting

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
8th Nov 2011 (#)

How ironic that I was born blonde, now have no hair, and should be named Brown.

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author avatar Buzz
9th Nov 2011 (#)

Wow, thanks for the colourful bits of history, Johnny.

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author avatar johnnydod
9th Nov 2011 (#)

Your very welcome Buzz

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author avatar Sam Bralley
9th Nov 2011 (#)

Good and interesting read. Congrats on the star...

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author avatar johnnydod
9th Nov 2011 (#)

Ta Sam

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author avatar Buzz
9th Nov 2011 (#)

Johnny, the "green man" photo. Just wondering what the girl on the right are looking at?

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author avatar Buzz
10th Nov 2011 (#)

are=is..lol

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author avatar johnnydod
9th Nov 2011 (#)

ahahahhahah I think she might be thinking she ought to be eating up her Greens lol

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author avatar Delicia Powers
9th Nov 2011 (#)

Very interesting and enlightening, thanks johnnydod:0)

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author avatar johnnydod
9th Nov 2011 (#)

Glad you liked it
delicia

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author avatar LOVERME
10th Nov 2011 (#)

u depict the protrusions
with lovely greenery
perhaps
you could show a fountain emanating
all will love it
including me...

u will get more philanderers cumming
what say you friendly starrrrrrrrrer Johnny

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author avatar Retired
10th Nov 2011 (#)

Interesting, unique and well presented, too. Bravo on your star.

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author avatar Randy Duckworth
10th Nov 2011 (#)

A fascinating read! I always learn a lot from your articles! Thank you for sharing! :-)

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author avatar Maria Malone
10th Nov 2011 (#)

Interesting read about some colorful names : )

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
11th Nov 2011 (#)

Thank you, Johnnydod: You have such interesting information, and the pictures are wonderful.

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author avatar Songbird B
20th Nov 2011 (#)

Another great Star page, Johnny, and yet more fascinating history to muse over...

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
8th Feb 2012 (#)

Makes one ponder, Johnny. Great work, thanks - siva

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