Re: Dutch surnames (scatological warning!)
|From:||Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 12:00|
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets skrev:
> 2009/4/7 René Uittenbogaard <ruittenb@...>
>> 2009/4/6 Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
>>> Note that my second last name (my husband's family
>>> name) is also
>>> strange/funny. "Koevoets" simply means "cow foot" :)
>> does it? I don't know about the etymology of the name,
>> but I'd expect "cow foot" to be "koeienvoet". Perhaps
>> it's related to "koevoet" = crowbar?
> I doubt it. It's what the Koevoets themselves say their
> name means (they even have a family weapon with a cow's
> foot on it. It's not an original one of course, it was
> made something like a century ago). That said, it might
> be folk etymology. In any case, whether the name means
> "cow foot" or "crowbar", you have to agree that it's a
> weird family name (as far as I know, the Koevoets family
> name originates from Breda. Would that explain the
> My husband always says that when completely translated
> into French, his full name sounds quite noble (as long as
> you don't know French :) ). Of course, in French he makes
> it Jean Henry Marie Pied de la Vache-Grandsire (mine
> would be Christophe Alain Grandsire-Pied de la Vache). I
> personally prefer to keep to the original version :) .
This reminds me of the old French fashion
of using the naming format
_<first name> <father's surname> de <mother's surname>_.
I guess this was a quasi-legitimate way of making a
bourgeois name sound 'noble' by getting a _de_ into
it. It is of course also reminicent of the Hispano-
_<first> <father's surname> <mother's surname>_
_<first> <father's surname> de <husband's surname>_.
What I wonder is how common this format was in France,
and how long it was in use. I'm quite sure the _terminus
ante quem_ was 1789, but when did it begin?
FWIW _kofot_ is only 'crowbar' in Swedish. The hoof
of a cow is _klöv_, which is an ablaut derivation of
_clave[^1]_. Christophe's surname sounds like the
nickname of the patriarch of a fairy-tale robber band!
(And of course St. Christopher was originally a robber!! :-)
[^1]: _cleave_ from PIE *gleubh- has both a strong
inflection _clove, cloven_ and a class I weak
_cleft, cleft_, while _cleave_ from *gleibh- is
only class II weak _cleaved, cleaved_ -- i.e.
regular in modern English terminology. You learn
something every day!
BTW how would you translate _arrêter_ in my sig?
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
"C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
c'est qu'elles meurent." (Victor Hugo)