This surname of BRISBOIS was an English nickname originally from the old French BRIS(ER) meaning to break + Old English BAN (bone). The sense of this hybrid name is not entirely clear; it may have been used for someone crippled by a broken bone or, more probably, for violent man who broke other people's bones. The name was probably brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of l066. 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 this name mention Ralph BRISEBAN who was recorded in l275 and John BRUSEBON appears in l297 in Cornwall, England. Probably the first of the name in Scotland was William BRISBONE whose name occurs in the list of Archers sent from Berwick to Roxburgh in l298, and who was most probably an Englishman. Alanus Dictus BRISBANE shortly after l334 obtained a Grant of Lands in Scotland. In l358 there is entry of a payment to Alexander BRYSBAN and in l376 Herthornehill was leased to a Thomas BRISBANE. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker.
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