Recorded as Ody, Oddie, and Oddy, this is a medieval English surname. It is or was a diminutive of the male given name Ode. This personal name has a complicated derivation, since it is in effect a result of the coalescence of various given names of different origins. These include the pre 7th Century English and Old Norse Oda and the German Odo and Otto. The first two are short forms of various compound names having as their first element either the English "ord" or the Old Norse "odd", both meaning "point of a weapon". The German names are also from short forms of compound names with the first element "od", meaning prosperity or riches. Odo was the Latinized form of all the above names, and was itself borne by several notable personages including Odo, archbishop of Bayeux, and half- brother of the Conqueror, and Odo or Otto Van Wittelsbach, who founded the Bavarian ruling dynasty in the 11th Century. The personal names as Ode, Odo and Otho are all recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, whilst the first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Ody. This was dated 1280, in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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