This Italian surname of LONGORIA was a nickname for a tall person, rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form LONGUS. The name has travelled widely in many forms throughout Europe and into the United States, and variants of the name include LONGHI, LANG, LANGMAN, LANGER, DE LANGUE, LUONGO, LUNGO, LUNGU and LONGATO, to name but a few. 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. Early records of the name in England include Adam LANGE, who was on an inquest of lands in Aberdeen in the year 1341, and Willelmus LANGE witnessed a charter between the bishop of Aberdeen in 1391. Robert LANGE was chaplain to Duncan, earl of Lennox between 1394 and 1398, and Thomas LANGE was a charter witness in Elenhall in 1580. A notable member of the name was Falco Pietro LONGHI (1702-85) the Venetian painter. He was a pupil of Balestra, and excelled in small-scale satiric pictures of Venetian life. Most of his work is in Venetian public collections, but the National Gallery, London, has three, of which the best known is 'Rhinoceros in an Arena'. His son Alessandro (1733-1813) was also a painter. Some of his portraits are now attributed to his father. Another eminent member of the name was Andrew LANG (1844-1912) the Scottish man of letters. He was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford. He moved to London in 1875 to take up journalism and became one of the most versatile and famous writers of his day. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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