Midden

Recorded in a wide range of spellings which include Midas, Middas, Middes, Middiff, Middis, Middin, Midden, Middens, Middings, Midon, Middon, and no doubt others, this is an English surname. It is probably topographical and if so described a person who lived by the 'midden' in a village. A second possible origin is that it may have been occupational for somebody who worked at such a place. In ancient times when plumbing and drains were none existent, it was realised that it was necessary to provide for the health of a village by setting up a midden. This can best be described in modern terms as the local water treatment plant! As they say somebody had to do it, and it was one of the most important jobs of the medieval period. The spelling of the surname would suggest that over the centuries it has been gentrified to lose its original connotation. This is surprising as it was honest work, which effectively provided much of the compost for the fields. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include Alice Middes at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 3rd 1608, Arabella Middas at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on January 28th 1669, and Ann Middiff, again at St Dunstans, but on August 1st 1768.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • midden — (n.) mid 14c., dung hill, of Scandinavian origin; Cf. Dan. mèdding, from mèg muck (see MUCK (Cf. muck) (n.)) + dynge heap of dung (see DUNG (Cf. dung)). Modern archaeological sense of kitchen midden is from Danish excavations …   Etymology dictionary

  • midden — [mid′ n] n. [ME midding < Scand, as in Dan mögdynge < mög, muck + dynge, a heap] 1. Brit. a dunghill or refuse heap 2. short for KITCHEN MIDDEN …   English World dictionary

  • Midden — Mid den, n. [Also {midding}.] [Cf. Dan. m[ o]gdynge, E. muck, and dung.] [1913 Webster] 1. A dunghill. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] 2. An accumulation of refuse about a dwelling place; especially, an accumulation of shells or of cinders, bones,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • midden — ► NOUN ▪ a dunghill or refuse heap. ORIGIN Scandinavian …   English terms dictionary

  • Midden — Kitchen midden at Elizabeth Island, Strait of Magellan as excavated by the Albatross party with the Albatross at anchor …   Wikipedia

  • midden — UK [ˈmɪd(ə)n] / US noun [countable] Word forms midden : singular midden plural middens an old word meaning a pile of rubbish or a pile of animal faeces …   English dictionary

  • midden — noun Etymology: Middle English midding, Old Norse *mykdyngja, from myki dung + dyngja manure pile more at dung Date: 14th century 1. dunghill 2. a. a refuse heap; especially kitchen midden b. a small pile (as of seeds, bones, or leaves) gathered… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • midden — /mid n/, n. 1. a dunghill or refuse heap. 2. See kitchen midden. [1300 50; ME midding < ODan mykdyngja, equiv. to myk manure + dyngja pile (Dan mødding)] * * * …   Universalium

  • midden — [ mɪd(ə)n] noun a dunghill or refuse heap. ↘short for kitchen midden. Origin ME myddyng, of Scand. origin …   English new terms dictionary

  • midden — mid•den [[t]ˈmɪd n[/t]] n. 1) a dunghill or refuse heap 2) ara kitchen midden • Etymology: 1300–50; ME midding < ON, =myk manure +dyngja pile …   From formal English to slang

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