This French and Portugese surname of NARQUET was of two-fold origin. It was an occupational name for a young lad or serving man. The name was derived from the Old French word NAQUET. As a Portugese name it was derived from a medieval given name NARCISSUS, from the Greek NARKISSOS, the name of a flower. This name was borne, according to classical myth, by a vain youth, who was so impressed by his own beauty that he ignored the blandishments of the nymph Echo and stared at his own reflection in water until he faded away and turned into the pale but lovely flower that bears his name. It was also borne by several early Christian saints, in particular by a bishop who was said to have been put to death, together with his deacon Felix, in Catalonia AD. circa. 307. Other spellings of the name include NARKIS, NARKISS, NARQUIN and NAQUARD. Portugese surnames share many of the features of Spanish surnames, in particular Arabic and Visigothic influence. A notable feature of Portugese surnames is the class of religious names referring to festivals of the church or attributes of the Virgin Mary. One respect in which Portugese names differ from those of the rest of the Iberian peninsular, is that some were adopted at a comparatively late date and honour saints who did not give rise to surnames in other languages. Portugese names typically have the ending 'eiro'. French, or rather Norman French, was the language of the aristocracy and the upper classes in England at the time fixed surnames were being developed, it is therefore not surprising that many of our well-known family names are derived from French words. Originally only Christian or personal names were used, and although a few came into being during the 10th century, surnames were not widely used until much later, when people began to realize the prestige of having a second name. 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.
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