This unusual name has two possible origins, the first of which is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word "leof", meaning "dear, beloved", used as an affectionate nickname or as part of various compound names with "leof" as the first element and recorded as "leofa", masculine and "leofe", the feminine form. These are short forms of for example, "leofric, composed of "leof" and "ric", meaning "power" and Leofwine, composed of "leof" and "wine", meaning "friend". The second possible origin is topographical and was used of someone living in a densely wooded area, as in one "Robert Intheleaves", recorded in London in the 14th Century. The derivation here is from the Middle English "leaf", leaf. The modern surname can be found as "leefe", "leaf(e)", "Lief", "Leif", "life", and "Liff". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Lief, which was dated 1198, in the "Norfolk Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Liff — or LIFF may refer to:*Liff, Angus, village in Scotland * The Meaning of Liff , a book by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd *Vincent Liff (19150 2003), American film director from West Hartford, ConnecticutLIFF as abbreviation: *Layered Image File… …   Wikipedia

  • líffæst — líffæst1 adj living, quickened, full of life, vigorous; life giving; settled …   Old to modern English dictionary

  • liff — liff(e obs. forms of lief, life, live …   Useful english dictionary

  • liff — bai·liff; bai·liff·ry; bum·bai·liff; wick·liff·ian; wyc·liff·ian; wyc·liff·ism; wyc·liff·ist; wyc·liff·ite; bai·liff·ship; wick·liff·ite; …   English syllables

  • LIFF — Lifschultz Industries, Inc. (Business » NASDAQ Symbols) …   Abbreviations dictionary

  • líffæc — n ( es/ facu) lifetime, life …   Old to modern English dictionary

  • LIFF — abbr. LIFSCHULTZ INDUSTRIES INC NASDAQ …   Dictionary of abbreviations

  • LİFF — (C: Elfâf) Sıklığından yanındaki ağaca girmiş ve dolaşmış olan ağaç …   Yeni Lügat Türkçe Sözlük

  • Liff, Angus — Liff is a small hamlet northwest of Dundee in Scotland.It was the site of Royal Dundee Liff Hospital, a large psychiatric institution which was situated in the grounds of an expansive estate. The hospital has recently closed and the area is now… …   Wikipedia

  • líffæstan — líffæstan1 wv/t1b to quicken, endow with life …   Old to modern English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.