This surname of VERO is a French and Italian nickname for someone with a blotchy complexion, or who made a habit of dressing in clothes of different colours. The name was derived from the Old French word VAIR (variegated) and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form VARIUS. Nicknames usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. The same word was used in the Middle Ages of a type of variegated fur, possibly that of the Russian squirrel, and the surname may also have denoted someone who traded in furs. According to an early version of the fairy tale, Cinderella's slippers were made of this fur, but when the word fell out of use and was no longer understood, the slippers were changed to glass. Other spellings of the name include VERRIO, VER, VAIREL, VEREL, VAIRET, VERELET, VERLET, VAIRON and VEYRON. 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. Despite evidence that hereditary surnames were in use in the Venetian Republic as early as the 10th Century, the origin of many Italian surnames is unclear. There is still a great potential for research into medieval Italian records while documented evidence indicates the adoption of the father's name as a surname is the most common form. The familiar endings of "i" and "o", meaning to be a member of a certain family, bears this out. A notable member of the name was Antonio VERRIO (circa. 1640-1707) the decorative painter, born in Lecce, Italy. He was brought to London by Charles II to decorate Windsor Castle, and by Wlliam III to decorate Hampton Court and elsewhere. He also executed an equestrian portrait of Charles II, now in Chelsea Hospital.
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