This is one of a group of medieval English surnames which are sometimes nicknames and sometimes locational. The group includes Longbone, Longbottom, Longfoot, Longfellow, Longman, Longstaff and possibly others. Longfoot for instance is probably not a nickname for someone with noticeably large feet, but a dialectal variant of Langford, a village name. The survivining registers of the North Midlands show the surname development from Langford to Longfoot includes Longforthe in Nottinghamshire in 1574, Longfat in Yorkshirein 1608; and Longfut in Lincolnshire in 1676. Longfellow and Longman are both nicknames for a tall man, with Jacobus Langfelly being recorded in the Friary Rolls of Yorkshire in 1474, and Marie Longfellow in the Priory Rolls of Rothwell, also Yorkshire, in 1639, although the earliest recording is for Agnes Longeman of Worcester in the Hundred Rolls of landowners in 1275. Longbottom is also a Yorkshire name, and this is first recorded in the Poll Tax Rolls of the county in 1379. This is definatedly residential from a place called Longbottom. Longstaff has several possible origins. The most popular theory is that it is 'Chaucerian', and like Hardstaff referred to a man who was a bit of a lad with the ladies. The Victorians rather primly suggested that it was a name for a bailiff. The jury is still out. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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