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A Dictionary of English Surnames [Hardcover]

P. H. Reaney , R. M. Wilson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 160.00
Price: 148.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Sep 1991 041505737X 978-0415057370 3rd Revised edition
This classic dictionary answers questions such as these and explains the origins of over 16,000 names in current English use. It will be a source of fascination to everyone with an interest in names and their history.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 3rd Revised edition edition (26 Sep 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041505737X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415057370
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 19 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,024,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

P. H. Reaney is the author of The Origin of English Surnames (RKP, 1980). R. M. Wilson is Professor Emeritus of English Language at Sheffield University.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This paperback is brilliant value at 18 names per penny, and my heavily used copy is dog-eared, battered and always within reach like favourite books should be. It lists surnames and variants, dates and sources of first mentions, origins and meanings. The Introduction about types of names, their historical roots and how and why they vary is a book in itself. There are 10 pages of obscure reference sources which take me into another world. An Appendix tells how to plot the distribution of surnames and locate their home. I run a very large genealogical website for Derbyshire and get many hundreds of e-mail enquiries about strange names. Looking the surnames up in this book is always rather exciting and the information often surprising. The book has been a pleasure to use. Sometimes when I can't find a name I wish I had a larger book, but I haven't come across a better reference work yet. The sheer volume of detail and the effort spent collecting it is amazing. If there were six stars this paperback would get them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant resource 20 Nov 2010
I bought this book along with a couple of other surname books for a little project I have been doing on the names that appear in my family tree.
Out of the books I bought this book was by far the most used, it gave me everything I needed and more. If you are interested in the Origins of your families name I suggest you get this book. Even when not doing the project I had it by my side and just kept dipping in and out of it, it is that good.
If you want a companion book to go with it I'd suggest you get A Dictionary of British Place-Names (Oxford Paperback Reference), as this will help you understand where the places that relate to your family names come from.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says 9 Sep 2009
By Pliny
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A Dictionary of English Surnames (Oxford Paperback Reference)

A lovely book to own. Does what it says on the tin, and well laid out. I use it for family history studies and reference for different spellings of the same name. Well priced and a fascinating 'dip in' book for a bit of interesting entertainment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Name search 12 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this book after attending a talk about the origins of surnames. Packed with information and found it absolutely fascinating finding out the origins of surnames within our families.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dictionary of English Surnames 13 Dec 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been writing a book on a certain Cornish names using references which thanks to this little book have been proven to be unreliable. It also has helped question which way my particular book should now be driven. So even though it has created more work many thanks go to Reaney and Wilson for all their work into the subject matter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Help- in Certain Areas! 10 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book in conjunction with dictionary on old professions,trades and occupations,A Dictionary of Old Trades, Titles and Occupations in relation to my genealogy studies.The entries are relatively clear but the paper seems a little yellow to me,meaning that it's quite hard on my eyes after a while. On the whole it's been very useful -I just wish that I could get books on Irish and French names,then I'd be in genealogical heaven -so to speak!
It's great value for money,though and I'd recommend it but at the risk of seeming to state the obvious,please read the introduction notes first,on the origins of various names,(ie,Celtic,Norman,Scandinavian,etc)if you want to start making rapid headway into the book's entries (or perhaps it's just me -it's been while since I had to plough through reference books!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpfulness 1 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book has enabled me to go ahead with some family research, many thanks
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