The surname Herring is of English origin. It was an metonymic occupational name for a seller of the fish, middle English Herring ( Old English ‘hoering, hering’ ). A man usually works eight hours a day in order to make his living, sleeps and rests eight hours, and devotes the remaining eight hours to eating, minor chores and recreation, although a part of the latter may be taken up in travelling to and from work. Since man’s work takes up such a large portion of his life it must be taken into consideration in any adequate system of identification; as it was for the surname Herring. The ordinary pursuits of the Middle Ages have become some of the most common surnames in the United States. In some cases it may have been a nickname in the sense of a trifle, something of little value, a meaning which is clearly apparent in such medieval phrases and proverbial expressions such as ‘to like niether herring nor barrel’, i. e. not to like something at all. The word nickname is derived from “an eke-name” or added name, and since surnames originated as added names for help in identification, all surnames are, in a sense, nicknames. The name dates back to the twe… Coat of arms: Gules on a fesse a…
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