where did last names come from?

did someone just decide like 3498752348 years ago "hey, i want to have a last name, i'll call myself Bob Saget"?

*bob saget was the first name that came to mind ._.

this obviously came out of boredom....

and i wish there was a category for curiosity...

im sure i placed this wrongly.

but some of you philosophists may know this answer?

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In earlier times your last name was usually just your trade, for example "Harry the Blacksmith" would just become "Harry Smith." Last names were originally just a way of distinguishing certain people. Other last names like "Williamson" come from "son of William," Jake O'Riley means "jake, son of Riley."

  • Linda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    In Europe it was mostly Napoleon who brought it into common use. The French Empire (thus Napoleon) maintained a very thorough administration largely to keep fresh and steady supply of men for their army/military. So they needed a way to identify them and register them... So a lot of the nations that were conquered by Napoleon (virtually all of us) adopted their system. That's why a lot of people are called 'Janszoon' or 'Johansson' (translation: "John's Son" (or Johnson)). My surname is Salomons - it's a Jewish surname. I think they used surnames quite early on. I know King Solomon comes from that story, about the baby and two mothers, so I guess they named themselves after that?

  • 1 decade ago

    last names originated by location or profession.

    someone like a miller, or a smith...had jobs as such.

    and others may have been someone from somewhere. Like maybe, Bob's ancestors came from the town of Saget or something.

  • 1 decade ago

    well i aint no phlolgist or watever i just saw that stewie picture and came.... um but i think i know how we got them.... im not sure but i think it was a while back like wen england came to america.... well i think there last name had to do with their job.... u know how there was a lot of black smiths and now a days a lot of people have the last name Smith.... thats probably cuz there anscester was a black smith or something.... sorry i dont know this stuff very well im only 13 its just something i heard in class!!!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    i actually know this answer...

    Up until about 500 years ago, most people didnt have second names, but when the populatuion was growing, ppl were runnig out of names, so instead of saying, im going to johs house, theyd say john, who is small or whatever, so small would become that second name!

    and that happened with all the opther names we have...

  • 1 decade ago

    They came from many sources.

    Some names reflect birthplaces, such as Kerry, Shannon, and De Gaulle

    Some names come from professions, such as Smith, Schmidt, Miller, and Creelman

    Some names come from relatives, such as McNeil, MacBeth, and Jacobson.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Some from a profession(like plumber, miller, cook etc) or area (London, Hogg)

    Or like McGregor, MacFarlane, McFergus, all mean "son of" so like McGregor would be "son of Gregor" or even by the profession or honored name "McGuirk" meaning "son of knife." these names vary between the Scottish and Irish.

    *i like ur icon btw* ^_^

  • Naguru
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It generally denotes the ancestral place or ancestral profession, ancestral qualification.

    Source(s): own
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    they came from racism/ prejudism. one group of people that looked similar decided i want my people to have this "emblem" and that was the first last name. as these tribes got larger, individual families wanted to distiguish themselves, and chose other "emblems" or last names

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