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.

References in periodicals archive ?
The 62-year-old comedian, originally from Acocks Green, will become the second name on the Walk of Stars on Broad Street.
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.
We were trying to think of a second name for her,'' said Yessica Vallegos, 24, of Panorama City, as she cradled her newborn, surrounded by her husband; her 3-year-old son, Yesse,; her parents; two brothers; two sisters; and a niece and a nephew.