• What's in a Surname?: A Journey from Abercrombie to Zwicker See large image

    What's in a Surname?: A Journey from Abercrombie to Zwicker (Windmill Books) (Paperback) By (author) David McKie

    $10.88 - Save $3.59 24% off - RRP $14.47 Free delivery worldwide Available
    Dispatched in 1 business day
    When will my order arrive?
    Add to basket | Add to wishlist |

    Also available in...
    Hardback $20.97

    DescriptionThis is the Sunday Times bestseller. Surnames are much more than convenient identity tags; they are windows into our families' pasts. Some suggest ancestral trades (Butcher, Smith, Roper) or physical appearance (Long, Brown, Thynne). Some provide clues to where we come from (McDonald, Evans, Patel). And some - Rymer, Brocklebank, Stolbof - offer a hint of something just a little more exotic or esoteric. All are grist to the mill for David McKie who, in What's in a Surname?, sets off on a journey around Britain to find out how such appellations have evolved and what they tell us about ourselves. En route he looks at the surname's tentative beginnings in medieval times, and the myriad routes by which particular names became established. He considers some curious byways: the rise and fall of the multi-barrel surname and the Victorian reinvention of 'embarrassing' surnames among them. He considers whether fortune favours those whose surnames come at the beginning of the alphabet. And he celebrates the remarkable and the quirky, from the fearsome Ridley (the cry of which once struck terror in the hearts of their neighbours) to the legend-encrusted Tichborne, whose most famous holders were destined to suffer misfortune and controversy. Elegiac and amusing by turns, he offers a wonderfully entertaining wander along the footpaths of the nation's history and culture, celebrating not just the Smiths and Joneses of these islands but the Chaceporcs and Swetinbeddes, too.

Other books

Other people who viewed this bought | Other books in this category
Showing items 1 to 10 of 10


Reviews | Bibliographic data
  • Full bibliographic data for What's in a Surname?

    What's in a Surname?
    A Journey from Abercrombie to Zwicker
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) David McKie
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 304
    Width: 130 mm
    Height: 196 mm
    Thickness: 22 mm
    Weight: 140 g
    ISBN 13: 9780099558941
    ISBN 10: 0099558947

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.6
    BIC subject category V2: HBTB
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD1
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET030
    Ingram Theme: CULT/BRITIS
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBK
    BIC subject category V2: HBTG
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 03
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    B&T Modifier: Text Format: 40
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    BISAC V2.8: HIS015000
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Libri: GROS3025
    LC classification: HN
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15520
    Libri: ENGM3700
    Abridged Dewey: 306
    B&T Approval Code: A18560000, A14530000
    DC22: 929
    BISAC V2.8: REF000000
    BIC subject category V2: 1DBK
    Libri: AHNE3000, GENE0800, NAME5000, P0041371, P0041372
    BISAC V2.8: HIS054000, REF013000
    DC23: 929.420941
    Thema V1.0: NHTB, NHD, NHTG, WQY
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1DDU
    Imprint name
    Windmill Books
    Publication date
    01 October 2014
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    David McKie formerly worked for the Guardian as a political reporter, deputy editor, chief leader writer and author of the 'Elsewhere' and 'Smallweed' columns. His much-praised account of a Victorian conman, Jabez: The Rise and Fall of a Victorian Rogue, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award. He has also written such widely acclaimed books as Great British Bus Journeys and McKie's Gazetteer.
    Review quote
    "David McKie's incredibly detailed research and his diamond-sharp prose make this book a delight, full of wisdom and fun." Simon Hoggart "We are all slaves to our surnames. There is no escape from them. Be they grand or humble, David McKie sees behind every one a trail of genealogy and history, wealth and poverty, celebrity and shame. Names are the nation's most secretive record, our island still in code. It is brilliantly revealed in this book." Simon Jenkins "Endlessly entertaining ... [McKie] buzzes like a bee from source to source, collecting all the sweetest things." Craig Brown, The Mail on Sunday "[A] delightful book ... [McKie] remains throughout both a beguiling and erudite guide." Andrew Holgate, The Sunday Times "A book of great zest and interest ... wonderful eruptions of bare lists of strange or silly names, beguiling anecdotes, and interesting titbits ... McKie has a whimsical cast of mind and a fine sense of humour." Sam Leith, The Guardian