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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: December ::
Nicknames as Surnames
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2211  Tuesday, 14 December 1999.

From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Dec 1999 08:50:23 -0000
Subject:        Nicknames as Surnames

News from the world of Onomastics:

A paper by David Postles (University of Leicester), " 'Oneself as
Another' and Middle English nickname bynames", Nomina, Vol. 22 (1999),
pages 117-132, has just been published.  Although interesting, this
paper would be considerably off-topic if the author had not discussed
(briefly, and in passing) the question of whether the surname
Shakespeare and its cognates Shakeshaft, Shakelaunce and Wagstaff were
sexually-marked or -charged nickname bynames or simply indicative of
persons with violent tempers.  Other nickname bynames are unmistakably
sexually-charged and as such are unsuitable for a moderated list ...

Professional Honigmann sceptics may be interested to note that a John
Shakeshaft is to be found in the Lancashire Poll Tax of 1379.

John Briggs
 

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