Recorded in several forms including Dear, Deare, Deer, and the compounds Dearlove, Dearman, and possibly others, this interesting name is English. It has two possible origins. The first is derived from the Old English pre 7th century word "deora", meaning beloved and used originally as a 'given' name of affection. The second possible origin is from the similar Old English word "deor", used to describe a wild, swift animal, specifically a deer, and hence it may have been given to a messenger or athlete, one who had some of the characteristics of a deer. The compounds are slightly later and again can be nicknames as in the recording of Joseph Derlof in the Poll Tax rolls of 1379. He might have been a person who in someway bought love dearly, or it may have been simply an expression of affection for somebody who 'loved dearly', as in the surnames Truelove or Sweetlove. Without being present six hundred or more years ago when the (nick)name was originally given, it is quite impossible to say for certain what was the intention. What we do know is that it was probably complimentary. Had it not been it would have become extinct many years ago. Other recordings include those of Elizabeth Dearlove who married one Henry Benson at Knaresborough, Yorkshire, in 1633, whilst Richard Darlove married Margaret Harkus, at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1708. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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