This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from a nickname for a clever trickster, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "praett", trick; this is found in use as a byname in the 11th Century, the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "pratt(e)" is not recorded as a vocabulary word until the 15th Century. This is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to occupation, or to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, and to habits of dress. In the modern idiom the surname can be found recorded as Pratt, Pratte and Prate. The christening was recorded in London of Abell, son of Arthur Pratt, on December 15th 1567, at St. Bartholomew Exchange, and Thomas Pratt, aged 17 yrs., was an early settler in the New World Colonies, leaving London on the "America", bound for "Virginea", in June 1635. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is on a blue shield, three bezants, each charged with a blue martlet, and a gold chief, the Crest being a gold demi unicorn salient, holding in the paws a blue mascle. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wilfric Prat which was dated 1179, in the "Seals Register of Suffolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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  • Prate — Prate, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Prated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Prating}.] [Akin to LG. & D. praten, Dan. prate, Sw. & Icel. prata.] To talk much and to little purpose; to be loquacious; to speak foolishly; to babble. [1913 Webster] To prate and talk for… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Prate — Prate, n. [Akin to LG. & D. praat, Sw. prat.] Talk to little purpose; trifling talk; unmeaning loquacity. [1913 Webster] Sick of tops, and poetry, and prate. Pope. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Prate — Prate, v. t. To utter foolishly; to speak without reason or purpose; to chatter, or babble. [1913 Webster] What nonsense would the fool, thy master, prate, When thou, his knave, canst talk at such a rate ! Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prate — (v.) early 15c., from M.Du. praten to prate (c.1400), from a West Germanic imitative root (Cf. M.L.G. praten, M.H.G. braten, Swed. prata to talk, chatter ). Related: Prated; prating …   Etymology dictionary

  • prate — index bombast, prattle Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Praté — praté, praton nm petit pré Normandie …   Glossaire des noms topographiques en France

  • prate — [preıt] v [Date: 1400 1500; : Middle Dutch; Origin: praten] [i]old use to talk in a meaningless, boring way about something …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • prate — [ preıt ] verb intransitive an old word meaning to talk in a silly way for a long time about unimportant things …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • prate — chatter, *chat, gab, patter, prattle, babble, gabble, jabber, gibber …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • prate — ► VERB ▪ talk foolishly or at tedious length. ORIGIN from Dutch or Low German praten, probably imitative …   English terms dictionary

  • prate — [prāt] vi. prated, prating [ME praten < MDu, prob. of echoic orig.] to talk much and foolishly; chatter vt. to tell idly; blab n. idle talk; chatter prater n. pratingly adv …   English World dictionary

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