Recorded as Bunney, Bunny, and originally Bony or Buny, this is an English medieval surname. Whatever its true meaning, it can be said categorically that it has nothing whatsoever to do with rabbits, an animal introduced into the British Isles by the Norman-French after the famous Conquest of 1066. The French word was coney, and Coney Street's appear in a number of ancient towns of England. This surname is believed to derive either from the word "buigne", which as it happens was French, and translates literally as a knob or swelling. As such it could be residential and describe a dweller on a small hill, or a nickname of endearment for a small, rounded, person. Another more logical origin is from another French word "beignet." This was used to describe a cook, one who specialised in the making of pasties or patties. Given the importance of food production in medieval times, this would seem to be logical explanation, but logic was not something which greatly troubled many members of the human race, seven centuries ago, or now! The first known recording of the surname is that of Botte Buny in the Assize Rolls of the city of Warwick in 1222, whilst Richard Bunny appears in the register of the manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire, in 1309.
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