This unusual and interesting surname is a patronymic of Cousin, which is of early medieval English and French origin, and is from a nickname, derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500), Old French "co(u)sin, cusin", from the Latin "consobrinus", which in the Middle Ages, as in Shakespearean English, had the general meaning "relative, kinsman". The surname would thus have denoted a person related in some way to a prominent figure in the neighbourhood. In some cases it may be also have been a nickname for someone who used the term "cousin" frequently as a familiar term of address. A sizeable group of early European surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames; these were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress, and occupation. Today the patronymics constitute the most frequent forms of the name. An interesting namebearer was Alexander Cozens (d. 1786), a landscape painter in water-colours, who was born in Russia, and was reputed to be the son of Peter the Great. He studied art in Italy and settled in England in 1746. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Cusin, which was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Cozens — is a surname, and may refer to: Alexander Cozens (1717–1786), British landscape painter Anthony Cozens (21st century), English television and film actor Charles Cozens (1784–1863), Canadian politician Chris Cozens (born 1982), freestyle swimmer… …   Wikipedia

  • Cozens —   [ kʌznz],    1) Alexander, englischer Maler, * Sankt Petersburg um 1717, ✝ London 23. 4. 1786, Vater von 2); wurde bekannt durch seine »blot« (Flecken )Technik, die in den Aquarellen aus willkürlich aufs Papier gesetzten Farbtupfern eine… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cozens Ranch House — U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Cozens alexander — Alexander Cozens Alexander Cozens (1717 ? 1786) est un peintre né en Russie. Après un séjour à Rome où il a pratiqué la peinture en plein air, il est devenu un professeur de dessin à la mode auprès de la bonne société londonienne. Il a… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cozens, John Robert — ▪ British artist born 1752, London died December 1797, London  British draftsman and painter whose watercolours influenced several generations of British landscape painters.       The son of the watercolourist Alexander Cozens, John began to… …   Universalium

  • Cozens, Alexander — ▪ British artist born 1717, St. Petersburg, Russia died April 23, 1786, London  Russian born British draftsman and painter who, along with his son John Robert Cozens, was one of the leading watercolourists (watercolour) of the 18th century.… …   Universalium

  • cozens — coz·en || kÊŒzn v. swindle, cheat; deceive …   English contemporary dictionary

  • COZENS, JOHN ROBERT —    a landscape painter, a natural son of Peter the Great; pronounced by Constable the greatest genius that ever touched landscape, and from him Turner confessed he had learned more than from any other landscapist; his mind gave way at last, and… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Alexander Cozens — (1717 1786), was a British landscape painter in water colours, a published teacher of painting, and a natural son of Peter the Great.LifeAlexander Cozens was a natural son of Peter the Great and an Englishwoman from Deptford. The czar took her to …   Wikipedia

  • Peter Cozens — is the current Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies New Zealand, which is part of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington. As Director, Cozens promotes and contributes to research and discussion of New Zealand s… …   Wikipedia

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