This is an English surname, but probably of either French or Greek origins. It may be either a diminutive form of the personal name "Pip", a derivative of the Greek Philip, with the French diminutive suffix of either "-ett" or "-kin", both effectively meaning small, as in son of Pip. The second possible origin and also owing something to the French, derives from the ancient word "pep", originally used as a personal name meaning "awe-inspiring". This name was popular in France in memory of the founders of the Carolingian monarchy, Pepin d'Meristal, and Pepin le Bref.In England it has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book (see below). Other early examples include: Walter Pipun (Berkshire, 1176), and William Peps (Essex, 1377). The name Philip means lover of horses, with Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, being an early namebearer. It came to Europe through the famous Crusaders in the 12th Century, and is first recorded as "Philipus" (without surname) in Lincolnshire. The subsequent popularity of the name gave rise to a wide variety of diminutive and pet forms including: Phil, Phip, Pip, and diminutives Pipkin, Pikins, Pepiatt, Pippet, Pipet or Pipett. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Pipin. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Leicestershire, during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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