Recorded as Monet, Monot, Monnet (France) and in the same spellings plus Moni, Monni, and Monno (Italy), this is an aphetic surname of rather obscure origins. According to recent research the origin is from either of the early pre 7th century Germanic personal names Hamon or Emon, the later French d'Aymonet or d'Emonet, the later still British Hammond and Edmond. We have not seen any actual evidence for this research, but from the appearance of the surnames, they would seem to be quite likely origins. If so then the literal translation is 'Home protector' or similar, from the early German words 'haim mund'. This type of compound name redolent of power, war, loyalty and defence was very popular in the period of history known as 'The Dark Ages', probably because such things were in short supply. In this time most of Europe was in turmoil following the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the subsequent power vacuum. Some might say not unlike the late 20th century. This surname is of course most famous for its association with the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840 -1926), who is unusual in that not only was he famous in his day, but rich as well. Early examples of the surname spelling also include Jean Monnet of Finnistere, France, christened there in 1617, and in Italy Iayme Antonio Monni, recorded at Orosei, Nudro, on May 29th 1736.
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