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> Collins, British
Posted: 22-Jun-2008, 06:56 PM
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Background: Origin: Gaelic. A double diminutive of Nicholas (in England). From "cuilein," darling, a term of endearment applied to young animals. In the Welsh, Collen signifies hazel--a hazel-grove, and the Gaelic version of the name COLLINS name is O' CoileŠin, which means a young dog.

"The early Middles Ages was a period of great contrasts, when extreme gentleness and loving kindness, inspired by Christianity, flourished side by side with violence and brutality. At times the influence of woman must have been great in naming children, and it is no wonder that mothers longing for special protection for their newborn sons should choose St. Nicholas, the patron Saint of Children. Incidentally, the cult of St. Nicholoas which came into England early, as illustrated by scenes from the Sain't life on the Norman font of Winchester Cathedral, has shown extraordinary vitality in modern times, though the Santa Claus of the large department stores is far removed from the saintly bishop.

The usual form of the name during our period was Nicol, as is shown by the plentiful examples of Nicholls, and Nicholson in over twenty different spellings. The Greek form, Nicholas, which was favoured by clerks in writing, was generally adopted rather later and is much less common as a surname. The obvious abbreviation, Nick, represented by Nix and Nixon, is less numereous than might be expected, the French Colle taken from the second syllable being generally preferred, particularly as Colin. The explanation of this is the same story as we have already had with Hud and Dod and Hawkin. In Domesday Book we constantly see the Old English name Cola which would soon become Colle or Cole. Thus the French style of abbreviating Nicol already sounded familiar to the English, and the union of the old and new names has resulted in the large numbers of Cole and Collins. In this connection it is impossible not to be reminded of Old King Cole who had a very old English name."

Variations: Collins, Collin, Collings, Colling, Collis, Caullins, Caulling, Caullings, Caullis, Colins, Colings, Coliss, Collen, Collens, Collyns, Colynes, Colinus, Colina.

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