Surname

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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now Tallinn music school graduate Hannah (yes, she's so big in Estonia that she needs no second name) is being launched into the UK pop charts.
The television presenter and stand-up comic will be the second name to be immortalised on the Hollywood style star trail.
But the premier had the power to select the second name, or even to ask for more nominees.
He also gave me his father's name, Benjamin, as my second name.' In his hometown he has the affectionate name of Tamin, after his second name.
When Marc Estrin, in the preface to his second novel, poses the question of what an education in post-World War II America would be like "for someone whose second name was Hitler," the project sounds curiously academic.
If you know the second name of Duncan from Blue, call our hotline on 0901 562 8708 and leave your answer, name, address, phone number, and date of birth.
The other pics are Carlos Saura's latest, "Bunuel and King Solomon's Table," and "Second Name," from first-timer Paco Plaza.