Recorded as Fretter and sometimes Fritter, this is an English medieval occupational surname. It originates from the Olde French pre 10th century word 'frete,' meaning interlaced or ornamental work, and hence was given as a metonymic or nickname to a worker who was skilled in making fret-work. The making of 'frete' was a skill that was probably introduced by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, although it may have been much later, and if so it came about through the usual market forces of trade.Occupational surnames were however amongst the earliest to be created in abouth the 12th century, but they did not become hereditary unless a son followed a father into the same line of business. Many did not, and thereafter were often known by both their fathers occupation and their own. The New English Dictionary of 1888 quoting from ancient records in the time of King Edward 1st describes how a 'fretter' created ornaments 'for the hair, consisting of jewels and flowers set in a network', these ornaments then being known as a 'frette of goold or perle'. The earliest known example of the surname in a recording is believed to be that of Henry le Fretter in the Tax Subsidy Rolls of the county of Warwickshire in the year1332
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2022
Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift.