Recorded in the spellings of Tallard, Tallant, Taillard, Taillant, and Tallent, this is a surname of French origins. It is occupational and describes either a professional swordsman, or possibly a skilled tailor. The origin is from the early pre 7th century word 'tailant' meaning to cut, from the even older Roman (Latin) word 'taliare', which curiously itself derives from 'talea', a word meaning 'to take a cutting (of a plant)'. Probably the largest group of European surnames originate from a nickname, and this is a good example.Nicknames to surnames came about as a result of habitual use of a word or expression. It is difficult to imagine that a swordsman would last long enough to have a family with a son to inherit his name, but perhaps this is possible. The surname when found in England almost certainly originates from Huguenot protestant refugees, who fled France mainly in the 17th century to escape the persecution by the religious bigot King Louis X1V (!643 - 1715).
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