Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is an English surname. It is derived from the pre 7th century word "twigge", meaning a twig or shoot, used as a nickname for a particularly thin person. Curiously whilst the development of surnames from nicknames is regarded as a medieval form of identification, even in the 1960's the famous model Twiggy obtained her name from a similar background. Early nickname surnames were taken from a wide variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, or even habits of dress. The word "twigge" only occurs late in the Olde English period, and was initially confined to northern regions where even today it is still to be mainly found. In the modern idiom the spellings include Twigg, Twigge, Twiggs and Twigges, the plural forms being patronymics, meaning "son of Twigg". A coat of arms recorded in Burke's General Armory gives the blazon as Azure, three bends Or, a chief Argent. Early recordings from surviving English church registers include: the christening of John Twygge at St. Margaret's Westminster, on October 23rd 1543, and the marriage of Nicholas Twigg and Alice Burton on November 28th 1569, at Sheffield Cathedral, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Twyg. This was dated 1296, in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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