Poacher

Recorded in a variety of spellings including Pook, Pooke, Pochar, Poacher, Poutcher, Poker, and Pooker, his interesting and unusual name is English. It has apparently nothing to do with poaching or the taking of game, it is, or rather was, a nickname. As such the derivation appears to be from the Old English pre 7th century word "puca". This originally described a hobgoblin or sprite! Quite why anybody should be so-named is far from clear, but evidence suggests that it was probably used to describe a person small in stature and perhaps whimsical in thought and movement, or possibly given the Chaucerian robust humour of the medieval period, the reverse. It may also have been a theatrical name for somebody who played the part of a spirit in the early travelling theatres. The surname development over the many centuries has included examples such as Richard le Pouke in Sussex in 1296, and Richard Pouk of Somerset in 1327. Other later examples include those of Penelope Poker, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 11th 1596, and in the 19th century that of Charles Poacher, who married Anne Thurlow at St James Paddington, in the city of London, on September 23rd 1830. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Puch. This was dated 1166, in the Pipe Rolls of te county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. 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:

  • Poacher — may refer to:*Poaching, the theft or illegal killing of animals or plants, or sometimes artifacts. A poacher is someone who engages in poaching. This is a crime *Poacher (fish), a family (Agonidae) of fish …   Wikipedia

  • Poacher — Poach er (p[=o]ch [ e]r), n. 1. One who poaches; one who kills or catches game or fish contrary to law. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) The American widgeon. [Local, U.S.] [1913 Webster] {Sea poacher} (Zo[ o]l.), the lyrie. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • poacher — (n.) 1660s, one who poaches game, agent noun from POACH (Cf. poach) (v.1). Attested from 1846 as vessel for poaching eggs (see POACH (Cf. poach) (v.2)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • poacher — ► NOUN ▪ a pan for poaching eggs or other food …   English terms dictionary

  • poacher — poacher1 /poh cheuhr/, n. 1. a person who trespasses on private property, esp. to catch fish or game illegally. 2. Also called sea poacher. any of several slender, marine fishes of the family Agonidae, found chiefly in deeper waters of the North… …   Universalium

  • poacher — UK [ˈpəʊtʃə(r)] / US [ˈpoʊtʃər] noun [countable] Word forms poacher : singular poacher plural poachers 1) someone who illegally catches or kills animals, birds, or fish on someone else s property 2) a special pan designed for poaching eggs •… …   English dictionary

  • poacher — poach|er [ˈpəutʃə US ˈpoutʃər] n 1.) someone who illegally catches or shoots animals, birds, or fish, especially on private land without permission 2.) poacher turned gamekeeper BrE someone who used to do illegal things or have a bad attitude to… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • poacher — poach|er [ poutʃər ] noun count 1. ) someone who illegally catches or kills animals, birds, or fish on someone else s property 2. ) a special pan designed for poaching eggs poacher turned gamekeeper someone who did not obey the law or authority… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • poacher — noun (C) 1 someone who catches or shoots animals, birds, or fish on private land without permission 2 a pan with small containers shaped like cups for poaching eggs 3 poacher turned gamekeeper BrE someone who was previously a criminal and now has …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • poacher — see an old poacher makes the best gamekeeper …   Proverbs new dictionary

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