Recorded as Cutten, Cuttin, Cutton, Cutting and the patronymic Cuttings, this interesting and unusual surname is medieval English. In a sense it is a nickname being a short form of the early given name Cudbeort, the later Cuthbert, and meaning bright-famous! "Cuth" was the original 14th century nickname to which was added the diminutive ending of -en, -in, or - ing all broadly meaning "Little Cuth", or more logically son of Cuth. It is said that the name developed its popularity because of St Cuthbeort, a 7th Century saint, who was firstly bishop of Hexham, and later of bishop of Lindisfarne. He created such a christian cult around him that the name remained very popular as a personal name, (as well as being a surname with some forty spellings), as late as the 20th century in Northern England, and parts of Scotland. Examples of early recordings include John Cutting, master of the ship "Francis," which sailed to New England from Ipswich, Suffolk, on April 30th 1634, whilst a John Cuttin and his wife Lidia were christening witnesses at the church of St Mary Whitechapel in the city of London, on March 11th 1641. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cutting. This was dated 1221, in the pipe rolls of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry IIIrd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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