Recorded in a number of spellings including Dite, Ditt, and Ditte, the patronymics Ditts and Dittson, the diminutives Dittie and Ditty, and the occupational Diter, Ditter and Ditour, this is an English surname. However it probably derives from the pre 10th century Old French word "ditour", introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. If so it describes a song writter or composer, one who write "ditties", although it may also have described a town crier, a person who maded public announcements in a town or court. The surname first appears in recordings in the mid 14th Century, (see below), whilst examples taken from early surviving registers of the city of London include: George, the son of Richard Ditter who was christened at St. Margarets Westminster on July 17th 1587, Mary Dittie, christened at St Peter-le-Poer on November 2nd 1620, Sarah Dyter christened on May 25th 1701, Jesse Ditty, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on January 3rd 1713, and Edward Dittson, who was a witness at St Andrews Holborn, on February 4th 1754. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Helewisa Ditr. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. 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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  • Ditty — Dit ty, n.; pl. {Ditties}. [OE. dite, OF. diti[ e], fr. L. dictatum, p. p. neut. of dictare to say often, dictate, compose. See {Dictate}, v. t.] 1. A saying or utterance; especially, one that is short and frequently repeated; a theme. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ditty — Dit ty, v. i. To sing; to warble a little tune. [1913 Webster] Beasts fain would sing; birds ditty to their notes. Herbert. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ditty — short song, c.1300, from O.Fr. ditie composition, poem, treatise, from L. dictatum thing dictated, neut. pp. of dictare dictate (see DICTATE (Cf. dictate) (v.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ditty — [n] song ballad, composition, jingle, tune; concept 595 …   New thesaurus

  • ditty — ► NOUN (pl. ditties) ▪ a short simple song. ORIGIN Old French dite composition , from Latin dictare to dictate …   English terms dictionary

  • ditty — [dit′ē] n. pl. ditties [ME dite < OFr dité < L dictatum, thing dictated, neut. pp. of dictare: see DICTATE] a short, simple song …   English World dictionary

  • ditty — n. 1) to sing a ditty 2) a popular ditty * * * [ dɪtɪ] a popular ditty to sing a ditty …   Combinatory dictionary

  • ditty — I n A short song. Since me a little ditty before you go to bed. 1300s II n A trinket. Give me that ditty, will you? 1990s …   Historical dictionary of American slang

  • ditty — UK [ˈdɪtɪ] / US noun [countable] Word forms ditty : singular ditty plural ditties often humorous a short simple song or poem …   English dictionary

  • ditty — noun A short verse or tune. The Acme mattress ditty has been stuck in my head all day …   Wiktionary

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