Recorded in many forms which seemingly include: Le Guin. Legahon, Legion, Leggan, Leggen, Legon, Leggon, Leghan, and Leghorn, this is probably an Anglo-French surname. It would seem to have at least two possible origins. The first is that it may be one of the diminutive forms of the surname Legg(e), that is to say Legg + a suffix such as (k)in or -en or -on. Legg(e) derived from the pre 7th century Old English word "leggr", and was used as a nickname for someone with particularly long legs, or perhaps with some peculiarity of the leg or legs. A sizeable group of early European surnames were created from the habitual use of nicknames, and these also included reference to occupation, or to habits of dress. The second origin is French and probably from Le Guin, also a nickname meaning it is believed "The prig", and as such introduced into the British Isles by Huguenot refugees of the 17th century, but may have occured earlier. Examples of the surname recording taken from early surviving rolls and registers particularly from the diocese of Greater London include those of Margaret Legen of Devonshire in 1611; William Legion and Jacobi LeGahon who are both recorded at St. Olaves church in the city of London in 1649, Pierre Le Guin, at the French church known as Le Savoye, Spring Gardens, in 1725 and Samuel Leghorn who married Margaret Ellis at St Benets, Pauls Wharf, in 1726. There does not seem to be any eveidence that as Leghorn the name originates from the Italian city of that name. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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:

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  • Leggen — Leggen, in einzelnen Webereidistrikten amtliche Anstalten zur Kontrolle der in den Handel gebrachten Leinenwaren nach Länge und Breite der Stücke sowie nach Qualität …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Leggen — Legge (von niederdeutsch Lege bzw. (Ab)Lage), auch verdeutlichend: Leinen bzw. Linnenlegge, in Nordwestdeutschland (Westfalen und angrenzenden Gebieten) ehemals gebräuchliche Bezeichnung für zentral eingerichtete Leinenprüf und sammelstellen.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • leggen — …   Useful english dictionary

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