- Recorded in over one hundred spellings ranging from Philip, Phillip and Filip, to Lippi, Filippeli, Filipichov, and Khilkov, and found in the relevant spellings throughout Europe from Spain to the Russian Steppes, in the Medieval period, this famous surname is of Ancient Greek origin. It derives from the word 'philippos', a compound made up of two elements 'philein' meaning 'to love, and 'hippos, a horse, hence ' lover of horses'. In the great Christian revival period of the 11th and 12th centuries, a large number of expeditions were launched to 'free' the Holy Land and specifically Jerusalem, from the control of the 'infidel Muslim'. These expeditions were lead by the kings of the various participating Christian countries, the most famous being Richard, Coeur de Leon, King of England 1189 - 1199. Soldiers returning from these 'Crusades' took to naming their children after biblical characters or ones associated with Christianity. In this case the association appears to be more romantic than actual, since the most famous 'Philip' of ancient times was the father of Alexander, the Great, whose activities were barely Christian. Even though all Crusader expeditions were ultimately unsuccessful, the biblical names largely replaced the earlier (often) pagan names throughout Europe, and formed the root of many modern surnames, such as this one. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic early European registers include: Wernherus Philippi of Worms in Germany in 1274, and in England in the following year Henry Philip, in the famous charters known as 'The Hundred Rolls' for the county of Norfolk. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.