This interesting and unusual name is of English and early medieval origin. It is occupational in a sense, and derives from the word 'slingen', which seems to have been a building term for a method of tying ropes around blocks of stone in order to hoist them. Whether this preceded 'the sling' as used by hunters is not clear, probably both developed at much the same time. A 'slinger' therefore could have been either a builder or a soldier or hunter, a person armed with a sling. It has also been suggested that the word would have been used in a nickname sense to distinguish a person who was particularly skilful with this weapon, a good shot. The sling as a weapon of war, was rarely used by European forces, who preferred the crossbow and occasionally the longbow, so it is probable that for most nameholders the original meaning was a specific type of construction engineer. Early examples of the recordings include John Slingere in the 1297 account of the Duchy of Cornwall, and Adam Le Sclyngere in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Essex. Later recordings include Henricus Slenger in the 1379 Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire, and Peter Slinger who married Jennet Atkinson on February 12th 1592 at St. Cuthberts church, Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire. In so far as the name has an epi-centre, this seems to be Yorkshire, where the coat of arms was granted. This has the blazon of a blue field, a silver fretty, a border nebulee in gold, a chief indented, also gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Slinger, which was dated 1248, in the rolls of the Abbey of Bec, Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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