||Jim Young (guest, 220.127.116.11)
||February 21, 2006 at 4:19:39 PM
||HOPLA by Tony
My source for that information is www.spatial-literacy.org, where you can download distribution maps for British surnames in the years 1891 and 1998. North Wales seems to be a stronghold of Hopley though it's best represented in Cheshire. There is no information for Hopla there, which means that there were less than 100 Brits of that name in 1998. Nothing to say that Hopley wasn't in North Wales in the 18th century or earlier, though the further back you go the less Welsh people have hereditary surnaes. West Wales, particularly in the Welsh-speaking districts, was especially slow in the adoption of hereditary surnames.
I was also thinking the name might be a nickname become a surname, but it doesn't seem to be Welsh, not according to the dictionaries online. Here's an imaginative, and doubtless unreliable, scenario. A French sailor lands at Pembroke and decides to settle there. He gets a job as a carter, carrying goods to and from Pembroke docks. His name is unpronounceable to the locals, so they call him by a phrase often heard form his lips as he drives his horses, "houp la". There are two problems with that story, the main one being that there's not a shred of evidence, the other is, I don't know how long Pembroke has been a seaport. It's what's known as folk etymology.
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- HOPLA - John Feb 15 2006, 11:08:51 AM
- Re: HOPLA - Jim Young Feb 20 2006, 3:27:39 PM
- HOPLA - Tony Feb 21 2006, 12:47:23 PM
- Re: HOPLA - Jim Young Feb 21 2006, 4:19:39 PM
- HOPLA - Tony Feb 22 2006, 10:39:34 AM