2017, Volume 14, Issue 1

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George Broderick
University of Mannheim
Mannheim, Germany


Voprosy onomastiki, 2017, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp. 132–139
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2017.14.1.007

Received 6 December 2016

Abstract: The paper focuses on the British family name Broderick that for many years was believed, but never adequately explained, to derive from the British personal name Rhydderch. However, in the recently published Oxford Dictionary of Family Surnames in Britain and Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2016) the editors have changed tack and suggested that the name may in fact be a nickname derived from Middle English meaning ‘broad-backed, broad shouldered’, found also in English place-names in the north of England to mean ‘broad ridge’, etc. The editors supply ample examples of both the family name and the place-name in all its spellings. Whilst the forms may be suitable in place-names the given forms in the context of the family name Broderick seem to be late, as the name itself looks to be of much earlier provenance. In looking at the name the author argues that the family name Broderick in fact derives from the British personal name Rhydderch and seeks to explain the relevant phonological developments.

Key words: Welsh language, Celtic languages, English language, British anthroponymy, surname, personal name, nickname, etymology


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