Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > KNIVETT

Origin and popularity of the name KNIVETT


Knivett : perhaps as Reaney suggests a variant of Knight but this is far from proven. He attributes it to Norman difficulty in pronouncing the -h- in Old and Middle English cniht. This sound increasingly caused problems for native English speakers and was sometimes altered to [f] as early as the 13th century. This would account for Walter le Knift 1279 in Hundred Rolls (Oxon) but whether this is the source of Cnivet (11th century) and Knivet (13th and 14th centuries) with the intrusive -e- and voicing of [f] to [v] is quite uncertain. There is no evidence for knivet as a variant of knight in MED.perhaps from Middle English knivet knevet a diminutive form of knif ‘knife’ though the name is recorded much earlier than the word (15th-century in MED).


Source : FANBI : The Oxford Dictionary if Family Names in Britain and Ireland, ©2016, University of the West of England
DAFN2 : Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, ©2022 by Patrick Hanks and Oxford University Press

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Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 133 individuals with the name KNIVETT on Geneanet.


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    Variants of name KNIVETT