This originally French surname MARINELLI is of two-fold origin. It was a French occupational name for a sailor, from the Old French word MARIN, and rendered in ancient documents in the Latin form MARINUS. It was also from the extremely popular medieval female given name from the Latin MARIA. This was the name of the mother of Christ in the New Testament, as well as several other New Testament figures. It derives from the Aramaic MARYAM (Hebrew Miryam), but the vernacular forms have been influenced by the Roman family name MARIUS. The Hebrew name is of uncertain etymology, but perhaps means 'Wished-for child'. A Latin masculine form of the name MARIANUS was applied by Christians to devotees of the Virgin Mary, and lies behind many of the variants that have travelled the world, including MARION, MARINI, MARIN, MARI, MARRI, MARINE, MARRIETTE, MARUSIK, MARUSECK, MARRISON and many more. 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. A notable member of the name was Giambattista MARINI (1569-1625) the Italian poet, born in Naples. He was ducal secretary at Turin and wrote his best work, the 'Adone' (1622) at the court of France. His florid hyperbole and overstrained imagery were copied by the Marinist school. 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.
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