This unusual name is of early medieval English origin, and is a diminutive form of the medieval given name 'Pott', using 'kin' as a diminutive suffix, and also found in the patronymic form 'Potkins', where the 's' is the shortened 'son of'. Pott itself is a short 'pet' form of the medieval given name 'Phil(i)pot', a diminutive of the personal name 'Philip' with the 'pet' suffix '-ot'. Philip is Greek in origin, from 'Philippos', a compound of 'philein', to love and 'hippos', horse, and was a popular name in medieval Europe, generating a number of surnames. The given name 'Phil(i)pot(t)' is recorded as 'Phelipot' in 1377, and as 'Philipot' in 1379 (the latter being a female form), and appears first as a surname in the recording of one John Philipot in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1327. The short form, 'Pott', is first recorded as a surname in 1115, as Godwin Pot, in the Winton Rolls of Hampshire. The christening of one John Potkins was recorded at All Hallows, Staining, London, on June 2nd 1653. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Potechin, which was dated 1166, The Norfolk Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, 'The Builder of Churches', 1154-1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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