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BS: Jones in Welsh

GUEST,Steve 22 Aug 03 - 08:38 AM
sian, west wales 22 Aug 03 - 08:52 AM
Snuffy 22 Aug 03 - 09:10 AM
HuwG 22 Aug 03 - 11:17 AM
sian, west wales 22 Aug 03 - 11:47 AM
okthen 23 Aug 03 - 04:08 AM
greg stephens 23 Aug 03 - 05:58 AM
okthen 23 Aug 03 - 03:06 PM
greg stephens 23 Aug 03 - 10:38 PM
okthen 24 Aug 03 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Steve 25 Aug 03 - 04:59 PM
MAG 25 Aug 03 - 05:48 PM
Beccy 26 Aug 03 - 09:04 AM
sian, west wales 26 Aug 03 - 09:23 AM
Beccy 26 Aug 03 - 09:35 AM
Steve Parkes 26 Aug 03 - 09:54 AM
sian, west wales 26 Aug 03 - 11:58 AM
Steve Parkes 26 Aug 03 - 12:19 PM
Gareth 26 Aug 03 - 12:42 PM
HuwG 26 Aug 03 - 01:30 PM
HuwG 26 Aug 03 - 03:32 PM
sian, west wales 27 Aug 03 - 04:46 AM
Steve Parkes 27 Aug 03 - 07:21 AM
sian, west wales 27 Aug 03 - 07:28 AM
Steve Parkes 27 Aug 03 - 11:31 AM
Margaret V 27 Aug 03 - 10:18 PM
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Subject: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 08:38 AM

This has been bugging me for a while (I must obviously have too much time on my hands) but the quintessentially Welsh surname "Jones" does, as my understanding go, use an initial letter which is not found in the Welsh alphabet - namely the fricative "j". For example: Welsh John is Sio^n and Jane is Sia^n

I figured that someone here should know...

If the surname is an Anglicisation of an indigineous Welsh surname what is its Welsh spelling?

If it is a borrowing from English why did it retain its English spelling and not use Welsh orthography in the way that most borrowings do? For example "shop" in Welsh becomes "siop."

Cheers,

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: sian, west wales
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 08:52 AM

Can't say I really know - someone probably will. But the Welsh pattern for showing family was the 'son of/daughter of' system, so you'd have Ieuan ap Sio^n or Marged ach (I think it's ach) Sio^n. (You don't see the feminine version used much.)

"si" followed by another consonant (remembering the y and w are also consonants) is pronounced "sh" and has been used in the past to aproximate the "j" sound ... although we now tend to just use the "j", as in jo^c. (joke)

I suppose a lot of our common names are from the Bible so you'd have to look a fair way back to see where the names originate ...

Another note on the 'ap', this is where the world get surnames like Powell (ap Hywel) and Probert (ap Robert) and Preece/Price/Breese/Brice (ap Rhys).

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 09:10 AM

..... not to mention Pugh, Pritchard (and Uprichard) and Bevan/Bevins.
Could Upjohn be ap Sìon?


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: HuwG
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 11:17 AM

I suspect that many common welsh surnames result from the increasing anglicisation of the administration after the Act of Union in 1536, and of the Church after the Tudors had grabbed it off the Pope.

As with the letter, 'J', Welsh lacks the letter, 'V'. (A single 'F' represents the 'V' sound). And yet, "Evans" is a common surname in Wales. Evidently, the common name "ap Ieuan" was inscribed as "Ievans" by clerks with Latin learning but no sensitivity.

Similarly, they would have transliterated "ap Sion" as "Jones".

By the way, I heard that the Welsh names for a girl would be, e.g. Marged merch Sion. i.e. "daughter of Sion". (It might even involve soft mutation, in which case it would be Marged ferch> Sion).


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: sian, west wales
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 11:47 AM

That's it! I was trying to think of "erch" (which presumably is connected to 'merch' somehow) not "ach"!

sian
(erch Rhisiart Owain, Nant Ganol)


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: okthen
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 04:08 AM

Surnames derive from different roots, Jones would probably come from "Joan's" the Mothers name.From occupations Smith, Cooper, Carter, Clerk (or Clark). If they were "slaves" or Serfs they would take their masters name (sire's name), or where they lived, Hill, Spring, Wood, hope this is of help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 05:58 AM

okthen: deriving Jones from Joan seems highly unlikely to me. Surnames from women's names is not very standard in Wales or England. Seems more likely, surely, thata it's from John or a Welsh equivalent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: okthen
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:06 PM

Hi Greg, you are right, in Wales the name was not commonly derived from Joan, tho' this is sometimes the case in England, also Jene, Gene, Jone, Johan or John.
To quote from the P.H. Reaney dictionary of british surnames, "The Welsh form was Ieuan,Evan(v.Jevons, Evans).The form Ioan was adopted for the Welsh Authorised Version of the Bible, hence the frequency of the Welsh patronymic Jones."
Incidentaly Stephens derives from the Greek word for "crown" a name found in Old English but only as a monk's name.It became common after the Conquest.
cheers
bill


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 10:38 PM

well I never knew Stephens meant crown.Thank you, I suddenly feel quite important!


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: okthen
Date: 24 Aug 03 - 05:17 AM

Greg, that's exactly how I felt when I first found out that the name Stephens meant crown, however, after a little more research I discovered that serfs belonging to a landowner would often take the same name as their owner; suddenly I had this sinking feeling, and was left with the choice of believing I was descended from "King Stephen" or one of his serfs.
I claim the benefit of the doubt.
cheers
bill


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: GUEST,Steve
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 04:59 PM

Thanks everyone - mystery solved and I can now sleep at night!

Presumably Welsh speakers with the surname Jones adopt the patronymic surnames today, or does this no longer occur?


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: MAG
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 05:48 PM

Gee, my reportedly very straight-laced Scottish great grandmother must have liked Welsh. She married   two: (Taliesien Rhys) Williams, and Preece. The former being my great-grandfather.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Beccy
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 09:04 AM

Gollee- You all are my kind of brains! I could read this kind of stuff all day long. ...and since we're on the subject of Welsh...

I gave my third son the name "Ty" and I've read conflicting definitions of the name, both giving the origin of the name as Welsh. One definition says "little soldier" and the other says, "house". Any guidance from ya'll?

Beccy
P.S. If you have any interest in history, you may find the name choice for the son to whom I will soon give birth interesting. Leif will be his name. Tell me if you can find the connection between my boys names in order of birth: Liam, Aidan, Ty and Leif (and it was a toss-up between Leif and Caedmon- that's your only hint!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: sian, west wales
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 09:23 AM

Can't think where they would get 'ty' for 'soldier' - certainly not in modern Welsh, and I can't come across anything in a modern dictionary which points to a more archaic root. But you never know.

Ty^ (ie. circumflex over the 'y') is 'house' but is pronounced 'tee'. I think Ty is pronounced 'tie'? I don't have my "Welsh Children's Names" to hand; can't remember seeing Ty in it.

Tea Leaf, apparently, is Cockney rhyming slang for thief ... Perhaps you could make sure that Aiden or Liam is standing between them if you ever introduce them to any Londoners?

siān


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Beccy
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 09:35 AM

Thanks for the "heads-up" on the tea leaf bit. I'll exercise caution. Sort of appropriate for a young viking, though, don't you think?

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 09:54 AM

I believe (but ICBA to check!) that the name "Stephen" derives from the Greek for "crowned", and is roughly equivalent to "annointed". (And absolutely nothing to do with being stoned!)

But re Welsh occupational nicknames, why the two forms "Jones the Steam" and "Dai Station"? (I'd have used "Ocky Milkman", but I can't think of another example from UMW!)

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: sian, west wales
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 11:58 AM

I don't think I understand the question, Steve. I'd assume that Jones the Steam was an engine driver, and Dai Station was the station master...

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 12:19 PM

You're not an Ifor the Engine buff then, Sian? What I meant was this ... the format is either "real-surname+the+occupation-property" or "real-forename+occupation". Do you see what I'm getting at? What principle, if any other than whimsy, determines which type of nickname to apply?

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 12:42 PM

Mmmm ! My Welsh grammer is not good enough to make any serious contribution to the Jones discussion. Other than to point out that this practice of trying to translate Surnames into welsh equivelents seems a bit farcical.

For instance - Cardiff, a perfectly original name arising from the Latin Stem Caer and Taf (Local pronounciation Kair div) has been translated Caerdydd, and tends to be a bad joke.

On the occupational naming two that were in use :-

"Dai Alphabet" A Federation official who served gallently in the Army ended up with BA, OBE, JP, DSO & MC - (IIRC) hence the nickname.

and

"Dai NUR" D T Jones a prominent National Union of Railwaymen official in South Wales.

I do not recall Jones the Post or similar being used in the Caerphilly/Pontypridd areas of recent years.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: HuwG
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 01:30 PM

I have not lived in Wales (except as a student) since early childhood, but I do recall that any distinguishing feature, be it occupation, appearance or idiosyncrasy, could be used to derive a nickname. I do recall a Hywel Maes Parcio (a car park attendant), a Bryn Teifi (from Cardigan, which stands on the River Teifi; to confuse matters, I believe that there is also a place called Brynteifi), and a John Bottles (wore very thick-lensed spectacles).



I refuse, by the way to believe that there was ever a musician called Aaron the G String or an undertaker called Dai the Death.

<g>


Huw ap Hazard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: HuwG
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 03:32 PM

I knew I'd left it somewhere ! Click here for an old take of mine, on the Jones + nickname thing !


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: sian, west wales
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 04:46 AM

Ah. Ifor the Engine. No - not a follower, sorry.

All the nick-named people who I know, including myself, use the "real-forename+..." form, but it doesn't have to be +occupation. I've been given, and am widely known in Wales as, Siān Toronto despite the fact that my real name isn't Siān and I've only lived 14 months in Toronto. My real name is Jane Thomas, and when I moved to west Wales there already was a Jane Thomas working in a similar job to mine so ... Jane is Siān in Welsh, and Toronto (at that time) was synonymous with Canada in most people's minds ....

I know a Dennis Gwallt Neis ('nice hair' - he has a natural marcelle wave), a Bob Chips (fish & chip shop owner), Dai Scaffold (owns a scaffolding company), Dai Tractor (farm contractor), Sian Drws Nesa' Ond Un (another Sian who lives 'Next Door But One' to me), and Wyn Bombs - who was so-named not because of any militant Welsh tendencies but a talent in his youth for breaking wind most spectacularly.

I imagine surnames can be/have been used but seeing as they're usually created very locally within peer groups, it's more natural to use first names. Except perhaps in situations where workers might be referring to managers ... but even then I can only think of first names being used. The Chief Executive of our County Council years ago was Dai Chippings (I think in North Am. we'd call chippings gravel, like they use when surfacing roads); he started out with the Council doing road works, married the daughter of a powerful Councillor and rose to heady heights - but never shook the name! (In actual fact, a very nice man and very good CE.)

And, anyway - what's wrong with whimsy? We should have more whimsy in this whorld.

sian, west wales


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 07:21 AM

Sian, nothing wropng with whimsy whatsoever, and I apologise if I gave the impression there was! I was told as a child that (and it makes sense) that nicknames become popular when names are very common, as happens when family names are perpetuated: sons named for father & uncles, and so on; or in small communitites where just a few surnames belong to several families.

Steve (once aka "Prof")


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: sian, west wales
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 07:28 AM

Which begs another thread, Prof: Nicknames which I have lived with at some point in my life, and their rationale! Could prove interesting ... !

Sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 11:31 AM

As long as we only have to reveal those nicknames we're prepared to make public!

Steve (no longer answers to Sparky)


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Subject: RE: BS: Jones in Welsh
From: Margaret V
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 10:18 PM

In a 19th-century Welsh immigrant community in York Co., Pennsylvania that I have studied, there were several variants in how nicknames were formed. For example, the storekeeper William Williams was known as "Will Store" and the occupational "surname" extended to the other members of his family, as "Lizzie Store" and "Maggie Store." A different William Williams in the same town went by his first name plus homesite, Will Ty'n y Maes ("house in the field"); the English-only-speaking folks in the town heard the pronunciation and thought the Welsh were calling him Will Tin Mice, so they went ahead and called him that too. And the fellow who grew big cabbages in his garden was known as Cabbage Hughes. Etc. Cheers, Margaret


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