||Re: Beck (Baker, Brook, Beak) ...
||Jim Young (guest, 22.214.171.124)
||March 22, 2006 at 4:25:51 PM
||Beck (Baker, Brook, Beak) ... by Ciarda
The languages listed under "stream" and "baker" are all Germanic, apart from the Norman French. Bec as a Norman place-name component is one of several imported by the Norse settlers who gave Normandy its name.
The English "beak" is a borrowing from the French bec which is traceable to the Latin beccus (same meaning).
Beck is still used for stream in my neck of the woods, East Yorkshire. I always took it for granted that that was the origin of the English surname. However the Dictionary of English Surnames says differently. There three explanations are given:
i) from plces called Bec in Normandy.
ii) from bec meaning "beak", referring to the size or shape of the original bearer's nose.
iii) from Old English Becca, meaning "pick-axe".
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