Courtney

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This article is about the surname and given name. For places named Courtney or Courtenay and other uses, see Courtney (disambiguation).
Courtney
Gender Unisex, originally male, now both male and female name
Origin
Word/Name Norman, Old French
Meaning Pug Nose (Late Latin)
Region of origin England
Other names
Related names Cortney,Courteney, Courtenay, Kourtney

Surname origin[edit]

This name is of Norman, Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It has two quite distinct interpretations: firstly, the surname may be locational, from places called Courtenay in the regions of Loiret and Gâtinais which are named from a Gallo-Roman landlord "Curtenus" (a derivative of the Latin "curtus", short), with the locational suffix "-acum". The second possible derivation of the surname is from a nickname for a person who had a snub nose, from the Old French "court, curt", short, with "nez", nose. Many early European surnames were created from the habitual use of nicknames, often bestowed with reference to a person's physical attributes or peculiarities.

In some cases, bearers of the surname may be of Irish descent, since Courtney is also an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Curnain", descendant of Curnan, from an Old Irish personal name of obscure origins. Recordings of the name from London Church Registers include: the christening of Thomas Courtney at All Hallows, London Wall, on 11 November 1569, and the marriage of William Courtney and Mary Lucas on 22 March 1590, at St Dunstan's, Stepney. John Courtney and his wife, Sybbill, were early immigrants to America, leaving London on the "Paule" in July 1635, bound for Virginia. An early coat of arms granted to the family depicts a blue fesse between three torteaux on a gold shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald de Curtenay, which was dated 1164, in "Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds", Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry II.

People surnamed Courtney[edit]

Courtney as given name[edit]

Courtney was used as a given name for men beginning at least as far back as the 17th Century (e.g. the British Member of Parliament Sir Courtney Pool, 1677[1]). As a given name for women, however, it gained wide acceptance only in the years following the 1956 publication of the novel "Chocolates for Breakfast" by Pamela Moore, whose protagonist Courtney Farrell sometimes wishes she had been born a man.[2]

Female[edit]

Male[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Parliamentary History of ENGLAND,. T.C. Hansard, Peterborough-Court, Fleet-Street. 1808. p. 874. 
  2. ^ Robert Nedelkoff (1997). "Pamela Moore Plus Forty". The Baffler (10): 104–117. Retrieved 2010-10-13.