This interesting and unusual surname is a medieval English topographical name arising from a misdivision of the Middle English "atten (e)ye", which means both at the river, and at the island, from the Olde English pre 7th century "ea" meaning river and "eg" meaning island. It may also be a locational name from Nye in Winscombe, Somerset, or Neigh Bridge in Somerford Keynes, Wiltshire, both deriving from the same source, that is "atten (e)ye". The surname dates back to the early 13th Century,(see below). Early recordings include Robert Atteneye (1269), and William Atteneye (1276), in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Nighe, Nie and Nye. London Church Records list the christenings of Marie, daughter of Thomas Nighe, on March 25th 1617, at St. Margaret Pattens, and of John, son of John and Sarah Nigh, on 16th November 1766, at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Nay, which was dated 1207, in "The Feet of Fines in Essex", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland" 1199 - 1216. 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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  • Nigh — (n[imac]), a. [Compar. {Nigher} (n[imac] [ e]r); superl. {Nighest}, or {Next} (n[e^]kst).] [OE. nigh, neigh, neih, AS. ne[ a]h, n[=e]h; akin to D. na, adv., OS. n[=a]h, a., OHG. n[=a]h, G. nah, a., nach to, after, Icel. n[=a] (in comp.) nigh,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nigh — Nigh, adv. [AS. ne[ a]h, n[=e]h. See {Nigh}, a.] 1. In a situation near in place or time, or in the course of events; near. [1913 Webster] He was sick, nigh unto death. Phil. ii. 27. [1913 Webster] He drew not nigh unheard; the angel bright, Ere… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nigh — is a surname, and may refer to: George Nigh, Governor of Oklahoma Jane Nigh, American actress William Nigh, American film director, writer, and actor This page or section lists people with the surname Nigh. If an …   Wikipedia

  • nigh — [naı] adv [: Old English; Origin: neah] 1.) nigh on old fashioned almost ▪ There were nigh on 40 people there. 2.) literary near or soon ▪ Winter draws nigh (=will start soon) . →↑well nigh …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • nigh — [ naı ] adverb be/draw nigh LITERARY to be going to happen soon: The end of the world is nigh! nigh on something OLD FASHIONED almost: NEARLY …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Nigh — Nigh, v. t. & i. To draw nigh (to); to approach; to come near. [Obs.] Wyclif (Matt. iii. 2). [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nigh — Nigh, prep. Near to; not remote or distant from. was not this nigh shore? Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nigh — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: George Nigh (* 1927), ehemaliger US amerikanischer Politiker William Nigh (1881–1955), US amerikanischer Regisseur und Schauspieler Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidu …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • nigh — (adv.) near, O.E. neah (W.Saxon), neh (Anglian), common Germanic (Cf. O.S. nah, O.Fris. nei, M.Du., Du. na, O.H.G. nah, Ger. nah, Goth. nehwa), with no cognates outside Germanic. The Old English progression was neah near niehsta, for nigh near… …   Etymology dictionary

  • nigh — nigh·ly; nigh·ness; nigh; …   English syllables

  • nigh on — Almost, nearly • • • Main Entry: ↑nigh …   Useful english dictionary

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