September 11, 2006

Elliot's name, variously

"Riding their shaggy ponies of Norse extraction, dressed in an assortment of helmets and homemade armor, the Elliotts and their counterparts brought sword and musket to bear against their enemies with neither rest nor mercy. Even when England and Scotland were officially at peace, the raids continued."


-- Of English origin. Anglicization of Elijah or Eli. (The boy's name Elijah is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "the Lord is my God." From Eliyahu. Biblical: Elijah, one of the foremost prophets of Israel). Surname first used as a given name in modern Scotland. Elliott has 5 variant forms: Eliot, Eliott, Elliot, Elyot and Elyott.

-- Diminutive form of Elias

-- from, Elliot as a last name, entry from Dictionary of American Family Names:
1. English: from a Middle English personal name, Elyat, Elyt. This represents at least two Old English personal names which have fallen together: the male name A{dh}elgeat (composed of the elements a{dh}el ‘noble’ + Geat, a tribal name; see Jocelyn), and the female personal name A{dh}elg¯{dh} (composed of the elements a{dh}el ‘noble’ + g¯{dh} ‘battle’). The Middle English name seems also to have absorbed various other personal names of Old English or Continental Germanic origin, as for example Old English Ælfweald (see Ellwood).
2. English: from a pet form of Ellis.
3. Scottish: Anglicized form of the originally distinct Gaelic surname Elloch, Eloth, a topographic name from Gaelic eileach ‘dam’, ‘mound’, ‘bank’. Compare Eliot.

Scotland's Opinion
Eliott the surname is thought to derive from an Anglo-Saxon forename Elewald which means 'the elf ruler', although the name could also be a diminutive of the name Elias. After the Norman conquest the name occurs as a forename in the form Heliot. Earliest records of the surname include a William Elyot mentioned in the Assize Rolls for Somorset in 1257 and a William Eliot mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327. It is thought that these south country Eliots have a surname which derived from Elias and that the Elliott families of the north were descended from an Elewald who lived in Cumberland in the year 1279. Until the fifteenth century the Elliott surname of the Anglo-Scottish border still occasionally occured in the form Elwald or Elwold. Spellings were inconsistent and other forms including Elwuad, Elwat, Elwood, Eluat, Eluott, Elioat and Elwand are recorded. Even today there are at least seventy derivatives of the surname including four different spellings of the basic name which are Eliot, Eliott, Eliot and Elliott. The last spelling is said to be frowned upon by the Scottish border Eliotts where according to an old rhyme:

The double L and single T
Descend from Minto and Wolflee,
The double T and single L
Mark the old race in Stobs that dwell,
The single L and single T
The Eliots of St Germains be,
But double T and double LL
Who they are nobody can tell.

And here is some more from the "shaggy ponies" author cited above:

"Some have speculated that Elwald came from Eld-wealh, which means in Anglo-Saxon "Old Welshman" - or "Old Foreigner". A Brythonic Celt would seem a foreigner to a Saxon. But so might a Sarmatian. In fact, there are place names in Ribchester, Lancashire, where the Sarmatians are known to have settled, that are derived from the word "wealh", and are thought to refer to the original Romanized inhabitants. Another derivation of Elliott is Elget - or "Old Gete". Getae and Getes were terms used in antiquity for eastern barbarian tribes like, respectively, the Thracians and Dacians, who served in large numbers at Birdoswald Fort, and the Indo-Iranians. Even if one cedes Eld-wealh and Elget to Roman auxiliaries, other Elliotts could still be Welshman, as some say the name comes from "Heliat", which is Welsh for "huntsman" or "pursuer".

"Finally, the Elliott name could have arisen independently in many different families from the name "Elias", which means "The Lord is God". Unrelated English parents could have given the diminutive of "Elias" - "Elyat" or "Elyt" - to their sons. When those sons grew to manhood, they may have passed their Christian name as a surname on to their children. "Eloth" itself could refer to "Elath", the name of a port city on the Red Sea that appears in the Bible. In this form, too, the name Elliott could have arisen in families that had nothing in common beyond a shared religion."

The China Connection
Not quite sure what this might actually mean, but here is a series of symbols purporting to be the "Chinese name for Elliot" ( and also a "transliteration into Mandarin" ( Thank you, Internet.


kageysnow said...

The yellow blanket/bath flickr pictures are just wonderful, especially the one where his perfect round little face gives every indication of having just been plucked from the cabbage patch. And also, those lips! And the muscles in his legs! Gracious! It seems he's spent several months already trekking around on his enwombed Norse pony. He's just gorgeous, you two. Look what you did! Love, Kim

Kati P. said...

When we informed dashing Nate Hernandez of your new son, he emailed us the following message:

I like the name Elliott. Elliott wears bow ties and sips mint juleps, even though he's only 16. Elliott wrote his first non-fiction essay in kindergarten. Elliott drives a Prius. Now "Eli," that kids nothing but trouble.


Anonymous said...

my hope for Elliot is that he's lucky enough to drink mint juleps with Nate Hernandez. brilliant.

and yes: Eli's a troublesome child. and not in the mint julep kind of way; more in the "bringing wrath on his enemies" kind of way.


Kate said...

Can we talk for a moment about how grateful we all are that you did not decide that the would be "Elyott."

Kate said...

...missing word in last post being "spelling."