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What's in a Surname?: A Journey from Abercrombie to Zwicker Hardcover – International Edition, September 9, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
The research required must have been phenomenal. Mr McKie's approach is systematic and although every page is packed with names and facts, it's a delightfully easy and entertaining read. I now know that Farmers may have originated as tax collectors, Walkers were cloth treaders and on the way have read about Gyldeballes and Sweatenbollockes.
But this is no lightweight work. It's a detailed social history going back to medieval times, looking at the origins of surnames and their distribution and change. As people migrated from one place to another, so their name was seeded. Tin mines in Cornwall closed and the next thing predominantly Cornish names appeared in the North East as people moved to look for work. This is predominantly a book about people and culture. It's quirky, fascinating, intriguing and in part raises as many questions as it answers. This is not just a tedious list of names, its a celebration of the richness and diversity of the English language. Anyone who enjoys reading will take something from this book. I found it a complete joy and one that I'll be dipping into again and again. Brilliant!
Copy of my Amazon UK review.
But it would make a wonderful gift for anyone who loves to read.