The surname of ICARD is an Italian nickname for a foundling or bastard, derived from the Italian IGNOTO, unknown, unacknowledged, the child of an unknown father. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form IGNOTUS. The name is especially common in Sicily. Other spellings of the name include IGNATIUS, IGNOTO, ICKARD, ICARDE, and IGNOTI. 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. IGNATIUS of ANTIOCH (circa 35.107) was the Christian prelate, one of the apostolic fathers, reputed to be a disciple of Saint John and second bishop of Antioch. According to the Chronicon, he died a martyr in Rome after being arrested. The IGNATIAN EPISTLES were written on his way to Rome after being arrested. The warnings against Judaism and Docetism, as well as the high doctrine of the bishop's office reflected in these epistles, were somewhat extreme, but allowances must be made for his predicament. Two other recensions of the letters have survived, one of which, a Syriac version, is a 4th century redraft. His feast day is February 1st. The origins of Italian surnames are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that fixed bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Republic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian surname endings are 'i' and 'o', the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form 'o' is more typical of southern Italy.
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