Recorded as Peverall, Pevreal, Peverell, Peperall, Pepperell, and Pepperill, this is an English surname. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in the year 1880 'William Peverel was a natural son of William the Conqueror, who entered England in 1066'. He went on to say that the name was a corruption of the Latinized French name 'Peurerellus' meaning 'Littleboy', and hence a baptismal name of endearment. Professor Reaney writing in about 1955 has a slightly different translation taking it from the Latin word 'piper' meaning pepper, and a nickname for a small man with a fiery temper! The sons of William the Conqueror may well have been hot tempered. William 11nd (1087 -1100 and known as 'Rufus', was certainly fiery. He came to the almost unique end of being shot (it is claimed) by his own arrow. In this case the surname is first recorded in the Domesday Book of Kent in 1086, with that of Rannulus Peurellus and in 1186 we have the recording of Richard Peuerel, and in Warwickshire in 1221 that of William Peperel.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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