Humphrey

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Name of a French 9th century saint, brought to England by Normans; Proto-Germanic *hūn (bear cub) + *frid (peace). In Ireland it has been used to Anglicize Irish Amhlaoibh (=Olaf). [1]

Proper noun[edit]

Humphrey

  1. A male given name.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part 2: Act I, Scene I:
      I never saw but Humphrey, Duke of Gloster, / Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
    • 1988 Howard Engel: A Victim Must Be Found: page 70:
      "Hump?" I asked. "Humphrey, really. But everybody callls him Hump. I know a lot of people who avoid calling him by his first name. For a long time people didn't think it was quite proper. But nowadays nobody seems to mind. What's happening to the power of words, Benny? Time was I used to blush at the words scrawled on the fences, and now I hear them - everywhere. How are writers going to write books if language is going bland on them?"
  2. A patronymic surname​.

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges : A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press 1988.