According to the International Genealogical Index, this very interesting surname is recorded as Mainhood, Manhood, Manhoode, Manhud, and Minehead. If so the spellings would suggest that it in spite of its appearance it is English and is not a medieval nickname, but is locational, and probably from the town of Minehead in the county of Somerset. This may well be the case as the early recordings of the place name which predate the Norman Conquest of 1066, include spellings such as Mynheafdon in the Saxon rolls of 1046, Maneheve in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and as Manhewed in the Assize Rolls of the county in the year 1225. The place name means 'hill-hill' from the Ancient British 'mynydd' meaning hill, and the later pre 7th century Olde English 'dun' also meaning hill. From the place name spellings it is easy to see how the later surnames of Mainhood and Manhood could have developed, as well as Minehead itself. Furthermore locational surnames were often 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, and local accents very thick, lead to the development of 'sounds like' forms. In this case the surname is not apparently recorded in Somerset at all before the 19th century, although it is a regular in the surviving church registers of the city of London from Elizabethan times. These recordings include Oswald Manhood who married Joane Higgins at St Giles Cripplegate, on July 8th 1593, Robert Minehead, who married Elizabeth Peke, at St Benet's church, Pauls Wharf, on October 27th 1711, and Joseph Mainhood, who married Elizabeth Smith, at St Katherines, Coleman Street, on April 7th 1844.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Manhood — Man hood, n. [Man + hood.] 1. The state of being man as a human being, or man as distinguished from a child or a woman. [1913 Webster] 2. Manly quality; virility; courage; bravery; resolution. [1913 Webster] I am ashamed That thou hast power to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • manhood — (n.) early 13c., state of being human, from MAN (Cf. man) (n.) + HOOD (Cf. hood). Meanings state of being an adult male, also manliness, are from late 14c. Similar words in Old English were less explicitly masculine; Cf. manscipe humanity,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • manhood — index majority (adulthood) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • manhood — / womanhood [n] physical maturity and strength of adult male or female adulthood, coming of age*, fecundity, femininity, fertility, manfulness, manliness, masculinity, mettle, potency, virility, womanliness, womanness; concepts 633,715 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

  • manhood — ► NOUN 1) the state or period of being a man rather than a child. 2) the men of a country or society. 3) the qualities traditionally associated with men, such as strength and sexual potency …   English terms dictionary

  • manhood — [man′hood΄] n. [ME manhod, manhede: see MAN + HOOD] 1. the state or time of being a man (human being or, esp., adult male human being) 2. manly qualities; manliness 3. men collectively …   English World dictionary

  • manhood — [[t]mæ̱nhʊd[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Manhood is the state of being a man rather than a boy. They were failing lamentably to help their sons grow from boyhood to manhood. 2) N UNCOUNT Manhood is the period of a man s life during which he is a man rather… …   English dictionary

  • manhood — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ early, young VERB + MANHOOD ▪ grow to ▪ He grew from adolescence to young manhood. ▪ prove …   Collocations dictionary

  • manhood —    the male genitalia    Literally, the state of being an adult male:     ... tying a handkerchief round the remains of his once proud manhood. (Sharpe, 1979 he had snagged his penis on a rosebush)    To eliminate manhood is to castrate:     I… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • manhood — man|hood [ˈmænhud] n 1.) [U] qualities such as strength, courage, and sexual power, that people think a man should have ▪ Why did he feel he had to prove his manhood in the company of women? 2.) [U] the state of being a man and no longer a boy… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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