This very unusual name is of English medieval origins, of which it has two, both quite separate. The first is a variant of the surname Pott. This is either a shortened form of the medieval given name Philpott, from the popular name Phillip, meaning "lover of horses", or is residential or locational, and describes a person who lived by a depression in the ground, or who came from a place such as Potcote in the county of Northamptonshire, or Potsgrove in Bedfordshire. The change in spelling from "tt" to "dd" is a common one and due to regional and dialectual differences as well as careless spelling. Another possible explanation is that it is a variant of Poad, a surname which means 'toad', and was a nickname surname for a person who was thought in someway to represent this animal. The church records of the Southwold Independent church in Suffolk records the baptism of James Pott in 1741 and of Elizabeth Podd in 1757. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Pode. This was dated 1230, in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry IIIrd of England, 1216 - 1272. 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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