There are two possible sources of this interesting medieval English name, the first being that it is a dialectal variant of a locational name Diss, from a place so called in Norfolk. The earliest recording of Diss appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Dice', and in the Pipe Rolls of 1191 as 'Disce', with the change of the 'c' to 's' due to the Norman influence after the Invasion, and derives from the Old English pre 7th Century 'dic' an embankment, often referring to a prehistoric dike. However, it may be that Dicey derives from the Latin 'dixi', translating as 'I have spoken', and like the French 'Dixi', a name for a chorister, derived from the beginning of a psalm. An example of a namebearer from the locational source is one Miles de Disce, Rector of Haylesdon, Norfolk in 1329, and in London at St. Bartholomew-the-Great, on March 9th 1759, one John Dicey was christened. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Laurence Dixi, which was dated 1279, The Hundred Rolls of Camebridge, during the reign of King Edward 1, '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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