This interesting surname has a number of possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be of Old French origin, and would have been a nickname for a hunchback, deriving from the Old French "bosse", hump, lump, hunchback. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. Secondly, the surname may be from the Old Germanic personal name "Boso", from an element meaning "audacious, wicked". Bosse filius (son of) Edrici is noted in the 1296 Pipe Rolls of Sussex. Finally, the surname may be from a vessel called "bos", which was used for carrying mortar at Westminster in 1333; hence, a "bos(s)" would have been a plasterer's tray or hood, and the surname would have been a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of these. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Boss and Bosse. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Edward Boss and Agnes Wall on February 20th 1586, at St. Botolph's, London; the christening of Ann, daughter of Arnold Boss, on September 21st 1596, at Leconfield, Yorkshire; and the marriage of Isabel Boss and Robert Rigby at Wigan, Lancashire, on September 28th 1626. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Bosse, which was dated 1179, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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