Recorded as Nunney, Nunnery and Nunnerley, this is an English medieval surname. It is locational for someone who lived at a place called Nunney in Somerset or Nunnerley in Sussex and Cumberland, the latter two being 'lost' or at least diminished villages. In all cases the meaning is the farm belonging to the nuns. The derivation is from the Anglo French word "nonnerie", a building in which nuns lived under religious rules, from the pre 7th century word 'nunme' and the Old French 'nomme', both meaning a nun, and where applicable the suffix "-ery" denoting the place belonging to the nuns, and '-leah', a farm or enclosure in a forrest fenced for agriculture. Topographical names are some of the earliest names to be created, as topographical features, whether natural or manmade provided obvious and convenient means of identification. Amongst the early recordings in surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London is that of the christening of Robert Nunnery on November 10th 1717 at St. Botolphs without Aldgate, and William Nunnerley christened at St James Clerkenwell on June 1st 1739. 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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  • Nunnery — Nun ner*y, n.; pl. {Nunneries}. [OE. nonnerie, OF. nonerie, F. nonnerie, fr. nonne nun, L. nonna. See {Nun}.] A house in which nuns reside; a cloister or convent in which women reside for life, under religious vows. See {Cloister}, and {Convent} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nunnery — (n.) late 13c., nunhood, from NUN (Cf. nun) + ERY (Cf. ery). Meaning convent of nuns is from c.1300. Meaning house of ill fame is attested by 1590s …   Etymology dictionary

  • nunnery — *cloister, monastery, convent, abbey, priory …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • nunnery — [n] convent abbey, cloister, monastery, priory, religious community, retreat; concepts 368,516 …   New thesaurus

  • nunnery — ► NOUN (pl. nunneries) ▪ a religious house of nuns …   English terms dictionary

  • nunnery — [nun′ər ē] n. pl. nunneries [ME nonnerie: see NUN1 & ERY] former term for CONVENT SYN. CLOISTER …   English World dictionary

  • nunnery — UK [ˈnʌnərɪ] / US noun [countable] Word forms nunnery : singular nunnery plural nunneries mainly literary a convent …   English dictionary

  • nunnery — noun a place of residence for nuns Get thee to a nunnery, why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? …   Wiktionary

  • nunnery — [[t]nʌ̱nəri[/t]] nunneries N COUNT A nunnery is a group of buildings in which a community of nuns live together. [OLD FASHIONED] Syn: convent …   English dictionary

  • nunnery —    obsolete    a brothel    The religious orders provided many allusive words for sexual subjects before and for some decades after the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s, partly out of envy at the wealth of the Church and partly because …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

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