Form Preposition Le Unmodified -er Although most –er endings reflect an occupational origin, there are many exceptions. Some may be topographical e,g, Bridger, Fielder, or toponymical, e.g. Hamer, Bamber, Bedser, Isbister, Hamer, Loder, etc. Also note personal names ending in –er e.g. Aylmer, Armer, Gummer, Fulcher, Rayner and the nicknames Pettifer and Tulliver Modified Noun + agent: Ledbetter Verb stem + noun: Catchpole Genitival Usually indicating a servant of *, (or son of someone in a particular occupation): Parsons, Butchers, Wrightson, Sheppardson. See also other genitival forms, e.g. patronyms, topographical, relationship. Prefixes Gil + personal name (occupational sense) The Gaelic element gille = servant of e.g. Gilchrist, GilPatrick, Gilmartin. Distinguish from devotional names, as often prefixed to the name of the saint on whose day, the child was born? – Gillies (Highland, Western Isles) < gille Iosa ‘servant of Jesus’ – Gilmour (Strathcyde, Western Isles) < gille Moir ‘servant of (The Virgin) Mary’ But Gillespie = servant of the bishop, similarly Gwas + personal name = devotional name MacPherson, MacIntyre, MacTaggart, MacMaster Mac + English or Gaelic occupational term Mac + personal name Suffixes Noun + noun-suffix personal name + man (as servant) Bateman = servant of Bartholomew This is Reaney’s view. The modern interpretation is to interpret –man with a personal name as a hypocoristic extension (Peter McClure). “The element –man may have had different applications in different regions. The suggestion that, when combined with a personal name, the element signified a servant, certainly does not apply to Devon. In this county the element almost exclusively denoted a topographical or occupational sense.” (Postles Surnames of Devon p 25) But there is “a need to distinguish –man in its ME lexical senses from –man (and –wine) as second elements in CG and OE personal names.” (McClure, Nomina, 2001, p110) e.g Dudeman is an OE personal name. mayden (female servant) knave (male servant) Noun + suffix -herd Particularly associated with animal husbandry in the North where specialism in sheep and cattle is evident, e.g. Shephird, Nethird, Cowhird, Swineherd, Oxhird, Lambhird, Calfhyrd, Ewehyrd, Geldhyrd, Gaythyrd, Wetherhyrd, Colthyrd, Hoghyrd, Tuphyrd. “Significantly most of these bynames from livestock husbandry had already been transposed into the vernacular in the 1327 lay subsidy for the North Riding. Few bynames remained in their Latin form. Their conversion into vernacular form suggests a close familiarity” [which the scribes absorbed.] (Postles (2007) The north through its names p172) -herd linguistic mutation “their later transmutation, involving the conversion of final d to t (dental suffix variation), (as well as the loss of the aspirant h in both, and, in Calvert, the substitution of the fricative v/f). Amongst these developments are encountered the surnames Calvert, Stoddart, and through a different process, Coward. In Calvert and Stoddart, there was a mutation of the dental suffix stops.” (Postles (2007) The north through its names p172) -man -maker, e.g. Cheeseman, developed earliest in the north in the late 13th C. (other regions in the late Middle Ages). “Since they were Middle English compounds and later in their formation, these –maker bynames were both creative and unusual, designed either to indicate newer trades or to fill interstices in the lexis of occupations.” (Postles, 2007, The north through its names p165) Particularly associated with urban environments, where specialisation of trades and occupations advanced. “Their composition suggests that they functioned more as bynames than hereditary surnames even into the late 14th C.” -monger -smith -ward -wright e.g. Wainwright But Woolwright is an exception, deriving from the personal name Wulfric. -ester Two views: It represents the feminine form of –er (traditional viewpoint) or As the distributions of the likes of Baxster, Brewster, Dempster, Lister and Webster are particularly characteristic of the north, then the distinction reflects not gender but geography. (Hough, 2003, p41, citing distributions in Rogers, 1995) Other -ster examples (You may like to check distributions, in the light of the above): Dyster, Folster, Hewster, Hollister, Litster, Pallister, Sangster, Shapster.