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All you have to know about the last name WITHERSPOON

Last name frequency

WITHERSPOON : This last name is indexed 22,269 times on Geneanet!

Origin of last name

WITHERSPOON : Scottish: nickname probably for a quarrelsome or stubborn person perhaps ultimately of European continental rather than English or Scottish origin. The name is recorded as Widerspon in late 12th-century Lynn (Norfolk) an important east coast port and as Withyrspon in late 13th-century SW Scotland where the surname became established as a Scottish family name perhaps through migration there of a member of the Lynn family. Its early presence in an east coast port where many of its residents were foreign migrants from the continent suggests a possible Germanic origin on the North Sea or Baltic coast. The name is an exact parallel for Middle High German widerspān ‘quarrel dispute’ which forms German surnames such as Widerspan Widerspon modern Wiederspahn; compare the Modern German word widerspenstig ‘stubborn’. The Middle English name may be borrowed from a cognate word in a coastal dialect such as Middle Low German or Old Frisian. Alternatively it may be from a native Middle English word corresponding in form and sense to the continental name but that is not attested.

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