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How are last names invented?

2 Answers

There isn't one way last names are developed. Some last names reveal family lines, like who the person's father or mother was. Other last names may mean a location of where the family resided. A third way last names were created was by the profession of the person.

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Family names frequently developed from hypocoristic forms of given names. ... A great number of family names come from patronymic surnames; in English they are usually formed by the suffixation of -son. Patronymic surnames can be formed from the father's given name or from any of its variants.

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