Recorded as Ebbett, Ebbitt, Ebbot, Ebbott, Ebbutt, and the patronymics Ebbetts, Ebbitts, and Ebbotts, this is an English medieval nickname surname. In the singular, it is the diminutive form of Ebb or Ibb, itself a short form of the popular French female name Isabel. Curiously although the origin is female, the personal name as Ebb or Ebben can be masculine. Strictly speaking the surname is or was a metronymic which is to say that it descended from the mother not the father. This often happened when the mother was a land owner or at least a person of status in her own right, and therefore whoever succeeded took her name as in Ebbett or Ebbitt, which meant Little Ebb, or in the plural the son of Little Ebb. The surname is well recorded in the early surviving tax rolls and registers of England and examples include Adam Ebboth in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in the year 1327, Ralph Ebbotts in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379, and John Ebbitt in the Friary Rolls of Yorkshire in 1674.
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