(redirected from surnames)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
See: call, title

SURNAME. A name which is added to the christian name, and which, in modern times, have become family names.
     2. They are called surnames, because originally they were written over the name in judicial writings and contracts. They were and are still used for the purpose of distinguishing persons of the same name. They were taken from something attached to the persons assuming them, as John Carpenter, Joseph Black, Samuel Little, &c. See Name.

References in classic literature ?
Recollecting, however, that the valiant Amadis was not content to call himself curtly Amadis and nothing more, but added the name of his kingdom and country to make it famous, and called himself Amadis of Gaul, he, like a good knight, resolved to add on the name of his, and to style himself Don Quixote of La Mancha, whereby, he considered, he described accurately his origin and country, and did honour to it in taking his surname from it.
Sometimes parents compromise and agree a double-barreled surname so the children are known by both surnames.
Certain surnames are often found amongst the gypsy travelling families," says Society expert Dianne Sutton.
Surnames are ubiquitous in American society and have existed in Anglo-Saxon culture for about a thousand years.
The updated, expanded version of THE SURNAMES OF WALES provides historians with a powerful revision of a 1996 classic, which has been considered an indispensable guide to the field.
The Surnames of Wales, Updated and Expanded , by John and Sheila Rowlands First published in 1996, The Surnames of Wales has long been regarded as an indispensable guide.
For, surnames signifying specific castes hold key to success in the poll battle since many candidates in the fray believe that they would get votes from those belonging to their communities if they revealed their castes through their family surnames.
The Surnames of Wales John & Sheila Rowlands (Gomer, PS19.
Now, in a new and updated edition The Surnames Of Wales by John and Sheila Rowlands, the percentage of the population covered by the 10 most common surnames is revealed for the country.
Where only 35 characters were allowed on the licence, now 40 characters can be permitted for surnames.
Author David McKie has found out where some of the most common - and more unusual - surnames come from.
WJ Reed mentioned in his article, Taiwanese distribution of surnames in line with the 1.