[Yes, Take Our Word For It is open for business again! More later about what's been happening and what's in store. For now, back to the fun stuff!]
|Tom Hiddleston as himself|
Surnames have origins similar to those of regular words. My maiden name is Jeanes, and while some think it is simply a form of John, there are others who assert that it actually denotes a person from Genoa, suggesting that the original Jeanes folk likely went to England as mercenaries for William the Conqueror. Jeans as in blue jeans has that same origin (fabric of Genoa). So what about Hiddleston and Cumberbatch?
|Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock|
Cumberbatch is another place name, suggesting that Mr. C's family hails from Cheshire, where there was a stream of that name. The stream got its name from the personal name Cumbra, which ultimately means "Cumbrian" or Welsh and was a popular given name, and Old English bæce "stream" or "beck". Alternatively, the stream could have been named for the more general "stream of the Welshmen" (no potty jokes please!). Some people prefer to minimize any Welsh family heritage, but the Cumberbatches should be proud to be the owners of such a venerable old surname (after all, the Welsh have had professional poets since the Dark Ages and they have a National Eisteddfod - they can't be all bad!). But, of course, since Cumbra was apparently a popular name at the time, there may be no Welsh connection here at all.
Do you have an unusual or perplexing surname? Let me know and I'll try to sort it out for you. Now for some fun involving both Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch: Dance Off! There is also this Benedict Cumberbatch Anagram Generator!