Type Surname (from given name)
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Derived from the Germanic given name Folcwald, which was composed of the elements fulc "people" and wald "power, leader, ruler". This was borne by the French physicist Léon Foucault (1819-1868), the creator of an experimental device called Foucault's pendulum which serves to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth; examples can be found in the French Panthéon and the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. 'Foucault's Pendulum' is also the title of an Italian novel by Umberto Eco (1988). Another famous bearer of the surname was the French philosopher and literary critic Michel Foucault (1926-1984).