Recorded in several spelling forms including Playdon, Playden, and Pladen, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place called Playden in the county of Sussex, the village itself being recorded as Pleidena in the famous Domesday Book of 1066. The precise meaning of the name is uncertain, but the etymolgy from the pre 7th century Olde English words plega denu suggests that the translation is "the deer's hollow" presumably a reference to an area where the deer grazed. As deer hunting and deer farming were popular occupations in ancient times, this seems a reasonable explanation. The surname itself is hardly ever encountered in its home county. This in itself is not wholly unusual as locatiuonal surnames by their very nature were "from" names. That is to say that they were surnames given as identification to people when they left their original homes for whatever reason, and moved elsewhere. It was in medieval times, and it remains so today, that one of the easiest ways to identify a stranger was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Over the centuries spelling being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case the surname appears in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London in the 18th century. This is late and probably there are other earlier recordings to be discovered elsewhere. These examples include Mary Playdon, the daughter of Samuel Playdon, who was christened at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on September 29th 1723, and Edward Pladen, a witness at St Lukes church, Chelsea, on May 25th 1787.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017