Product Description A unique reference work, this international dictionary is a systematic, comparative survey of the origins and meanings of some 100,000 currently used surnames of European origin, as they are presently found throughout the world. With the help of consultant editors in specific areas--particularly for Jewish, Spanish, and Gaelic names--the authors present information about the language or region in which the surname originated, major events in the history of noted names, the original meaning, peculiarites of regional distribution, and in some cases the form, date, and location of early instances of the name. Uniquely organized to allow comparison between names that share the same etymology, the dictionary groups together within a single entry many different cognate and variant forms, including diminutives and patronymics. A comprehensive alphabetical index allows easy cross-referencing. Summarizing a wealth of historical and etymological information in a clear and concise manner, the dictionary will be interesting and accessible to the general reader, and an essential reference tool for historians, genealogists, philologists, and local family history societies. From Library Journal Unlike most other surname dictionaries that focus on specific nationalities, this work's 100,000 entries come from throughout Europe, Australia, North America, and the British Isles. Names are treated as a cultural and linguistic phenomenon and chosen on the principal of frequency and on the basis of available information. The methodology of selection, classification of names, and background for each nationality as well as Jewish family names are thoroughly covered in the introduction. The most common spelling of a name is listed in an alphabetical arrangement, with variant spellings in "nested groups" under main entries. An index leads the user to variant spellings within entries. A surname's derivation, name type, meaning, noncognate equivalents, and earliest use are typically provided. This scholarly work, the most comprehensive surname dictionary to date, will be welcome in most public and academic libraries. Stanley P. Hodge, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, Ind. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. Review "One of the best single-volume reference works on British and European surnames and is highly recommended for all types of libraries."-- American Reference Books Annual A Dictionary of Surnames is one of the best of the single-volume reference works on British and European surnames and is highly recomended for all types of libraries." ARBA "As...Hanks and Hodges remark in their prefatory material, 'surnames studies are sadly neglected in most of the countries of Europe; the number of reliable reference works is remarkably small.' Based on well-structured methodology and sound research, The Dictionary of Surnames makes an excellent contribution toward filling this reference vacuum....Immediately becomes the standard reference source for the information it contains."-- Booklist/RRB "An entertaining book and, for genealogists, onomasticians, and historians especially, a useful reference work."-- Language "This scholarly work, the most comprehensive surname dictionary to date, will be welcome in most public and academic libraries."-- Library Journal "Probably the most inclusive surname dictionary available not limited to the names of a particular country, this would be a welcome addition to academic collections at any level and to public and special libraries serving genealogists, social historians, historical linguists, family historians, demographers, etc."-- Choice About the Author Patrick Hanks is a Research Fellow in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Birmingham. Both he and Flavia Hodges worked from 1980 until 1983 in the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex, where much of the research for this book was carried out.