The four basic surnames Barbary, Barbe, Barber, and Barbera, all of whom have quite different origins, have between them produced over one hundred cognate, intermixed and overlapping forms. Barbary is of French - Provencal origins, and celebrates St Barbara from the Greek and Latin word 'barbarus' meaning stranger. She was apparently executed by her own father for her Christian beliefs. Barbe, also recorded as Barbie, Barbey and Barby is often French, and a nickname apparently for a person with a beard, although confusingly it can also be a short form of Barbara, and possibly locational from a village in Northamptonshire, England, called Barby! The surname Barber or Barbier is also French, occupational for a barber or surgeon and a derivation of 'barbe,' a beard, whilst Barbera is also recorded as Barbara, but is locational from a town called Barbera, in Spain.From these we have a myriad of spellings which include such forms as Barabisch, Barabich, Barbisch (German), Barbara, Barbarey (English), Barbe, Alabarbe, Barba (France), Barbarin, Barbaroux (Provencal), Barbara, Varvara, Varveri, Barbarelli, Barbarino, Barabarotto (Italian), Barbara, Barberan, Barbosa (Spanish) and Varvarin and Varvarinsky (Russian). One of the ,many curiosities of this name is that as a personal name it is always female and yet it derives ultimately from the Ancient Greek word 'barbaros', which has the meaning of stranger or foreigner, but was generally applied to a barbarian, which was anybody who was not Greek! Early recordings include Cunrad Barrabish of Rheinfelden, Germany, in 1306, in England Henrie Barbery was a witness at St James Clerkenwell, in the city of London, in 1606, whilst in Spain we have Pera Barbosa and his wife Marianna, who were baptissmal witnesses at Olot, Gerona, on March 5th 1667
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