This surname of NOBBE is of the nickname group of surnames, and is a rhymed pet form of Robert, meaning 'fame-bright'. This name was originally derived from the Germanic personal name, composed of the elements HROD and BERHT. The name was found occasionally in England before the Conquest, but in the main it was introduced into England by the Normans, and quickly became popular among all classes of society The name was rendered in the French form NOBEY and is also spelt as Nobbs, Nopps, and Nobb. 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 Nobbe Caide, who was recorded in the Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire, circa 1248. William Nobys appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327. Edwin Nopps of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected. Later instances of the name mention John Nobbes, who was buried at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1590, and John Nobbes of County Berkshire, registered at Oxford University in the year 1617.
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