Recorded in many forms including Melsop, Mellsop, Milsap, Millsap, Millsop, Milsop, Milksop, Milksopp and Milkesoppe, this is a medieval English surname. It would seem to have been either a rather cruel nickname for a male person who was considered by his peer group to be a bit 'soppy', or more likely given the robust humour of the Chaucerian period, when most surnames were formed, the complete reverse! That in those times it may have had a quite different meaning to that which developed in the following centuries is shown by its early popularity, the surname appearing regularly in the lists of land owners in the Middle Ages. A good example being that of Robert Melkesopp in the famous Hundred Rolls of the county of Buckinghamshire, for the year1273, whilst recordings taken from other Hundred Rolls for the same year include Robert Mulksop of Oxfordshire, and John Milesop, of the city of Oxford. These show how even seven hundred years ago, the name spelling varied considerably. Many early surnames would seem to the later centuries to be at best robust and at worst even obscene, and there is little doubt that most were gentrified to suit prevailing sensibilities. This is a survivor of less inhibited times, and it is to be hoped will long continue. It is also well recorded in Ireland in the counties of Tyrone, Antrim and Armagh, an early example being Robert Millsaps, the son of Thomas Millsaps, who was christened at Belfast, on June 1st 1679.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Milksop — Milk sop , n. A piece of bread sopped in milk; figuratively, an effeminate or weak minded person. Shak. [1913 Webster] To wed a milksop or a coward ape. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • milksop — (n.) effeminate spiritless man, late 14c., attested as a (fictional) surname mid 13c.; also applied in Middle English to the infant Christ. Literal sense piece of bread soaked in milk attested late 15c.; see MILK (Cf. milk) (n.) + SOP (Cf. sop)… …   Etymology dictionary

  • milksop — [n] coward baby*, caitiff, chicken*, chicken heart*, chicken liver*, cry baby, deserter, fraidy cat*, jellyfish*, lily liver, momma’s boy*, namby pamby, pansy, pantywaist, quitter, scaredy cat*, sissy*, weakling, wimp, wuss*, wussy*, yellow,… …   New thesaurus

  • milksop — ► NOUN ▪ a timid and indecisive person …   English terms dictionary

  • milksop — [milk′säp΄] n. a man seen as timid, ineffectual, effeminate, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Milksop — Wikipedia does not have an encyclopedia article for Milksop (search results). You may want to read Wiktionary s entry on milksop instead.wiktionary:Special:Search/milksop …   Wikipedia

  • milksop — UK [ˈmɪlkˌsɒp] / US [ˈmɪlkˌsɑp] noun [countable] Word forms milksop : singular milksop plural milksops old fashioned an insulting word for a boy or man who is not brave …   English dictionary

  • milksop — milk|sop [ˈmılksɔp US sa:p] n old fashioned [Date: 1300 1400; Origin: milksop bread softened in milk (14 15 centuries)] a boy or man who is too gentle and weak, and who is afraid to do anything difficult or dangerous …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • milksop — /ˈmɪlksɒp / (say milksop) noun 1. a dish of bread, etc., soaked in milk, as given to children and invalids. 2. an effeminate man or youth. –milksopism, noun …  

  • Milksop —    Recorded since the thirteenth century as a term of abuse for a man lacking courage, and still to be heard in school playgrounds, according to the Opies in The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren. The original reference was probably to bread… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

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