This name MARICLE was probably a nickname for one who performed in the Medieval European dramas, based on religious plays, called MIRACLE plays. In England they flourished particularly in the 14th and early 15th centuries. A distinction between mystery plays (based on episodes in the Bible) and MIRACLE plays (based on the lives of saints) is often made with regard to French examples of the genre, but in England the plays were almost invariably based on scriptural stories. They were originally performed in churches on religious holidays, especially Corpus Christi and Whitsuntide. They became increasingly secular in form and content and were eventually performed on mobile stages by trade guilds in public market-places. Almost complete cycles of plays from York, Coventry, Wakefield and Chester, have survived. 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. 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. America was colonized by peoples from all over the world in a very short period of time, and mostly, in the case of French immigrants they have stayed together in Louisiana. Of the early immigrants to America the French have fared the worst in respect of their names, chiefly because of the difficulties experienced by the Americans in pronouncing them correctly. Many have been translated into English names.
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