SDB Popularity Ranking: 27176

Last name: Fearfull

SDB Popularity ranking: 27176

The two surnames Fearfull and Fearless are very similar to the equally interesting Lawfull and Lawless. They all basically mean the opposite of what they appear to say. They are all English, medieval and essentially of pre 7th century origins. Fearless originates from the phrase "fera-laessa" where "fera" translates as sociable, but with laessa added means "less sociable," and as such apparently described a person who was not loved by all those around him! Fearfull on the other hand is from the same root, but means "one who is very sociable". Nicknames form one of the largest groupings in the British surname listings, and it is quite obvious from the many surviving records that they often translate as the total reverse of what they appear to describe. A good example of the genre is that of Little John, the second in command to Robin Hood, and the largest man in the band of outlaws. Surprisingly none of these surnames are to be found in the usual directories of surnames, although why this should be so, is not known. This surname is apparently recorded as Fearfull, as well as Fairfull and Farfall, which would seem to be attempts to "gentrify" it. Early examples of recordings taken from surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Thomas Fairefowl at St Peters church, Pauls Wharf, on June 17th 1657, and Thomas Fearfull, a christening witness at St Dunstans in th East, Stepney, on July 5th 1720

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Surname scroll for: Fearfull

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift.

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