Lamprey

Recorded as Lampray and Lamprey, this is given as being an English and Devonian surname. It is apparently locational and nothing whatsoever to do with a fish called the Lamprey. This was famous (and popular) for causing the death of King John of England in 1216, who apparently ate too many of them! According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in about the year 1880, the surname is locational from a place called Lamprey in Devon. If this was the case, then the village seems to have disappeared, and would seem to be another candidate for the growing list of "lost" Medieval villages, which have given rise to surnames. This number is now estimated to have passed three thousand. As to why so many villages and even small town have disappeared in these apparently crowded isles, has been the subject of several books. In general the causes can be put down to changes in agricultural practices, particularly the draining of the lowlands and fens, a move to sheep farming from arable, the various Enclosure Acts which denied the commoners their rights, as well as the Great Plagues, Civil War, and coastal erosion, a growing menace. The early recordings include William de Lanteprey, in the Hundred Rolls of the landowners of Devonshire in 1273, and William Lampreye, who may be the same man, also in the same rolls for the same year.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lamprey — Lam prey (l[a^]m pr[y^]), n.; pl. {Lampreys} (l[a^]m pr[i^]z). [OE. lampreie, F. lamproie, LL. lampreda, lampetra, from L. lambere to lick + petra rock, stone. The lampreys are so called because they attach themselves with their circular mouths… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lamprey — c.1300 (c.1200 as a surname?), from O.Fr. lamproie, from M.L. lampreda, from L.L. lampetra lamprey, of uncertain origin, usually explained as lit. lick rock, from L. lambere to lick (see LAP (Cf. lap) (v.1)) + petra rock. The animals attach… …   Etymology dictionary

  • lamprey — ► NOUN (pl. lampreys) ▪ an eel like jawless fish that has a sucker mouth with horny teeth and a rasping tongue. ORIGIN Latin lampreda, probably from lambere to lick + petra stone (because the lamprey attaches itself to stones by its mouth) …   English terms dictionary

  • lamprey — the eel like fish, has the plural form lampreys …   Modern English usage

  • lamprey — [lam′prē] n. pl. lampreys [ME lampreie < OFr < ML lampreda] any of an order (Petromyzoniformes) of jawless fishes with a funnel shaped, sucking mouth surrounded by rasping teeth with which it bores into the flesh of other fishes to suck… …   English World dictionary

  • Lamprey — Taxobox name = Lamprey image width = 250px image caption = Sea lamprey from Sweden regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Cephalaspidomorphi unranked ordo = Hyperoartia ordo = Petromyzontiformes familia = Petromyzontidae subdivision ranks …   Wikipedia

  • lamprey — /lam pree/, n., pl. lampreys. any eellike marine or freshwater fish of the order Petromyzoniformes, having a circular, suctorial mouth with horny teeth for boring into the flesh of other fishes to feed on their blood. Also called lamprey eel,… …   Universalium

  • lamprey — [12] The words lamprey and limpet [OE] come from the same source: medieval Latin lamprēda. This was an alteration of an earlier, 5th century lampetra, which has been plausibly explained as literally ‘stone licker’ (from Latin lambēre ‘lick’,… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • lamprey — [12] The words lamprey and limpet [OE] come from the same source: medieval Latin lamprēda. This was an alteration of an earlier, 5th century lampetra, which has been plausibly explained as literally ‘stone licker’ (from Latin lambēre ‘lick’,… …   Word origins

  • lamprey — noun (plural lampreys) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French lampreie, from Medieval Latin lampreda Date: 14th century any of a family (Petromyzontidae) of eel shaped freshwater or anadromous jawless fishes that include those cyclostomes… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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