Adventures in Etymology: Mansell/Mansel

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Mansell/Mansel

Abbey of Saint-Vincent, now Bellevue high school - Le Mans, Sarthe, France used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Abbey of Saint-Vincent, now Bellevue high school – Le Mans, Sarthe, France used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Reason for Adventure

Two characters in two books I was reading had the surname (or variations of) Mansell – the main character of The Diviner’s Son by Gary Crew, Christopher Mansell, and the local librarian in Among Others by Jo Walton, Greg Mansel. Because this is purely a surname and not a word as well (unlike Griffin) I have used Ancestry.com/Dictionary of American Family Names as sources instead of Dictionary.com and the  Online Etymology Dictionary.

Mansell Name Meaning/Origins

(of Norman origin): habitational or regional name from Old French mansel ‘inhabitant of Le Mans or the surrounding area of Maine’. The place was originally named in Latin (ad) Ceromannos, from the name of the Gaulish tribe living there, the Ceromanni. The name was reduced to Celmans and then became Le Mans as a result of the mistaken identification of the first syllable with the Old French demonstrative adjective.status name for a particular type of feudal tenant, Anglo-Norman French mansel, one who occupied a manse (Late Latin mansa ‘dwelling’), a measure of land sufficient to support one family.some early examples, such as Thomas filius Manselli (Northumbria 1256), point to derivation from a personal name, perhaps the Germanic derivative of Mann 2 Latinized as Manzellinus.

Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press (as quoted on Ancestry.com)

Mansel Name Meaning/Origin

English: variant spelling of Mansell.

Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press (as quoted on Ancestry.com)

Sources:

Ancestry.com. (2013). Mansell Family History. Retrieved from:http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=mansell

Ancestry.com. (2013). Mansel Family History. Retrieved from: http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=mansel

Hanks, P. (Ed.). (2003). Dictionary of American family names. [Oxford]:Oxford University Press

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7 thoughts on “Adventures in Etymology: Mansell/Mansel

  1. Etymology is fantastic, I love tracing words here, there and everywhere, if only there were more time in the day. This is my dream job….well that and bouncy castle tester.

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  2. That would be great….unless eating a Mars bar and not leaving it the ‘proper’ 20 minutes before bouncing around…although that is an urban myth apparently.

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    • I’ve never heard that before! I know the 30 minutes after eating before swimming one but I never had the same constraints put on me for bouncing O.O Although I guess it only takes one kid loosing their Mars bar and ruining the bouncing experience for everyone to make that a valid rule.

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