This is a surname which may not appear so but is ultimately of Russian origins. Recorded in some twenty forms including: Borodin, Bezborodko, Brodewicz, Boroda, Brada, Bradac, Bradtke, and Borodic, and in found in all the countries of eastern and middle Europe including: Germany, Poland, Croatia, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Belarussia, Serbia, and Hungary, as well as Russia itself, it derives from the original Russian word 'boroda' meaning 'beardless'. As such it was probably an ethnic nickname and a reference to clean shaven people, at a time when to be bearded was the norm, and certainly so amongst the many Jewish tribes, which inhabited various parts of the continent in the 12th to 16th centuries.Nickname surnames were a major feature of the medieval period, at a time when surnames first came into general use. It was then, and arguably remains so today, that one of the easiest ways to identify a "stranger", was to call him or sometimes her, by a characteristic associated with them personally, such as stub for a short person or cruckshank for someone with a physical deformity, or perhaps the country or region from which they came. The 'beardless' tribes becoming predominant after the Middle Ages, it is perhaps not surprising that like popular surnames such as Smit of Germany or Smith of England, they spread far from their original homelands.
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