The surname of FINE was derived from the Old French word 'fin' a nickname for a delicate and tender person or a clever and elegant man. It was originally a female name Fina. The name was originally rendered in the Latin form FINIS and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. Early records of the name mention Final (without surname) who was documented in the year 1293 in the County of Essex. Richard Fine was recorded in the year 1296 in Wales. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
The name has many variant spellings which include FIN, FEIN, FINET, FINEL and FINOT.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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