October 12, 2006

What's in a name?

The Polain family crest]

Okay, this has nothing to do with the usual subject matter of this blog, but it was far too amusing not to post. A long time ago my family started looking into the origin of the name Polaine and found Poulain de Liege from Belgium. There are many spellings of the name, but a common Medieval ones are Poleyn (a part of a suit of armour), Poulain (French chocolate) and Poulaine (a type of very pointy shoe).

But most amusing were these two entries in House of Names (which seem totally spurious), in which the describe origins of our name thus:

It was a name for a young buck; it is derived from the Old French word poulain, which meant colt. This nickname would have been given to a person given over to friskiness and possessed of a certain nervous energy in much the same way a young horse is.

So, there you go, young stud.