Recorded as Dibb, Dibbs, Dybbe and possibly others, this is an English medieval surname. It was originally associated with the county of Yorkshire. The famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in the year 1880, suggested that it was one of the many derivative from the pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon personal name Theobald. This was definately the source of the surnames Dibble, Dybald, Dipple, and others in a similar vein. However Canon Bardsley hedges his bets in that he gives as another alternative that it may be a short form of the female name Isabella, of which the spellings are usually Tibb, Tebb, and the diminutives Tebbett and Tibbett. Professor Reaney a century later and with access to much earlier and more recently researched charters, gives yet another origin, with which we would agree. Professor Reaney concluded that the development was from the Olde English word dib, a dialectal form of dip, and meaning a hollow. He quotes the early register recording of John del Dybbe, in the Friary Rolls of Yorkshire in 1464. This would seem to suggest that there was a place called Dybbe or similar, and this may well have been Dibb, a now lost medieval hamlet near Burnsall in North Yorkshire.
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