This unusual and interesting surname has two distinct possible origins, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Cobbing may belong to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were given with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, and mental and moral characteristics. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Middle English personal byname "Cobbe", found as "Cobba" in Records of Cornwall, dated 1201. The name, literally meaning "lump", was used to denote a large, well-built, impressive man, and its equivalent "Kobbi" is found in the Old Norse. The forms "Cobbing" and "Cobbin" result from the addition of the diminutive suffix "in" or "en" to the given name, with possiblly a later excrescent of "g". The surname may also represent a short form of the male given name Jacob, from the Hebrew "Yaakov", traditionally taken to mean "he supplanted" as in the biblical story Jacob tricked his elder brother Esau out of his inheritance. On August 15th 1790, Isaac, son of Samuel Cobbing, was christened at Friar Street, Blackfriars, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Cobin, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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