Spruce


Spruce
Recorded in several spellings including Prouse, Prewse, Prowse, Pruce, and Spruce, this is a surname of two possible origins. Firstly, it may be from the Old French and later English word "prous or prouz", meaning valiant or, doughty. Secondly, it could be an ethnic name for someone from Prussia, called in medieval England "Sprewse". Prussia was so called from the tribal name of the "Prusen", a Baltic tribe displaced by the Germans during the 13th Century. The surname was first recorded in England in the early 13th Century, and Adam Pruce appeared in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset in 1225, while William le Prouz was mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Devonshire in 1275. A later recording is that of Richard Spruce, christened at St. James Clerkenwell, in the city of London, on May 20th 1604. A notable name bearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was Richard Spruce (1817 - 1893), a botanist who began working upon mosses when a master at St. Peter's School, York. He discovered many new plants in the Amazon region. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Le Pruz, which was dated 1207, in the "Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.

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  • Spruce — (spr[udd]s), n. [OE. Spruce or Pruse, Prussia, Prussian. So named because it was first known as a native of Prussia, or because its sprouts were used for making, spruce beer. Cf. Spruce beer, below, {Spruce}, a.] 1. (Bot.) Any coniferous tree of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spruce — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Richard Spruce (1817–1893), englischer Botaniker und Naturforscher Spruce bezeichnet folgende Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten Spruce (Michigan) Spruce (Nevada) Spruce (Wisconsin) Spruce Island, Insel des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • spruce — ● spruce nom masculin (anglais spruce, sapin) Bois de certains épicéas d Amérique du Nord. ⇒SPRUCE, subst. masc. BOT. Épicéa d Amérique du Nord. Des pins rachitiques, de l espèce appelée spruce par les Anglais (CHATEAUBR., Mél. littér., 1826, p.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Spruce — (spr[udd]s), a. [Compar. {Sprucer} (spr[udd] s[ e]r); superl. {Sprucest} (spr[udd] s[e^]st).] [Perhaps fr. spruce a sort of leather from Prussia, which was an article of finery. See {Spruce}, n.] 1. Neat, without elegance or dignity; smart; trim; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spruce — ‘neat’ [16] and spruce the tree [17] are completely different words, of course, but they could have a common origin – in Spruce, the old English name for Prussia. Spruce the tree was originally the spruce fir, literally the ‘Prussian fir’. And it …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • spruce — ‘neat’ [16] and spruce the tree [17] are completely different words, of course, but they could have a common origin – in Spruce, the old English name for Prussia. Spruce the tree was originally the spruce fir, literally the ‘Prussian fir’. And it …   Word origins

  • spruce — Ⅰ. spruce [1] ► ADJECTIVE ▪ neat and smart. ► VERB (spruce up) ▪ make smarter. ORIGIN perhaps from SPRUCE(Cf. ↑spruce) in the obsolete sense Prussian , in the phrase spruce leather jerkin. Ⅱ …   English terms dictionary

  • spruce — spruce1 [spro͞os] n. [ME Spruce, for Pruce, Prussia < OFr < ML Prussia: prob. because the tree was first known as a native of Prussia] 1. any of a genus (Picea) of evergreen trees of the pine family, having slender needles that are rhombic… …   English World dictionary

  • Spruce — Spruce, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spruced} (spr[udd]st); p. pr. & vb. n. {Sprucing} (spr[udd] s[i^]ng).] To dress with affected neatness; to trim; to make spruce; often used with up; as, to spruce up the house for Company. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spruce — Spruce, v. i. To dress one s self with affected neatness; as, to spruce up. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spruce up — (someone/something) to improve the appearance of someone or something. She needed to spruce up her image so she bought tons of new clothes and got a great new hairstyle. The city has to spruce itself up for the Olympics next year …   New idioms dictionary


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