Recorded in the spellings of Game, Gaman, Gamman, Gammon, the patronymics Games, Gammans, Gammons and Gammonds, this is an English surname. It can be described as one of those quite rare occurences, a surname which does mean precisely what it says. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "gamen" and translates as "one who is good at games". As such it was a medieval descriptive nickname. In its earliest forms the surname was also found as Goodgame, with John Goodgame being recorded in the county of Huntingdonshire in 1549.A quotation of the year 1380 which appears in the New Oxford Dictionary of 1888, states "and he that cometh first to his ende shall have the gamen, and the sett", which probably refers to a game of what is now known as "Real Tennis", being distinct from the much later Lawn Tennis. Early examples of the surname recording include Roger Game, in the register of the Somerset Assize Court in 1268, and John Garmene of Hampshire in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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