Recorded in many spellings including Bramble, Brambell, Brambill, Bremmell, Bremell, Brimmell, Brimble, Brombell, and Brumble, this is an English surname. It originates from the Olde English pre 7th century word "bremel", meaning bramble, and as such there are two possible origins. The first is topographical for a person who lived in an area overrun with bramble, or where bramble had been deliberately grown to provide hedging to contain cattle, however the most likely origin is that it was a nickname. This would have been given to a person with a prickly temperment or perhaps the reverse! In the Chaucerian period of history around the14th century and onwards, such nicknames were all the rage. Some were highly personal and even obscene, others like this one, a more gentle comment on a person's social attitude. Perhaps not surprisingly, few of the more "robust" examples have survived. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Thomas Bremell, a christening witness at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on December 12th 1574, William Bramble and his wife Gartrud (?), who were witnesses at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 17th 1621, Geoffrey Brimble, christened at the church of St Andrews Undershaft, city of London, on July 11th 1651, during the "reign" of Oliver Cromwell, and William Brimmell, christened at St Katherines by the Tower (of London) on September 12th 1741. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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