What about surnames?

Discuss word origins and meanings.

What about surnames?

Post by Debz » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:56 am

All I want to know about my surname, is, what does it mean?? I think it's French, not English. Getting sick of people trying to make me give them money that I don't have, just to tell me what my name means!!!! Shasserre
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What about surnames?

Post by russcable » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:45 am

Since your plea was so impassioned, I decided to do a little research for you on a genealogy site I belong to.

Your name is not listed by the census bureau in the top 88,899 names so it is pretty darn rare so I would almost be willing to bet that everyone I find with that name is related to you somehow.

From what I have been able to find, I'm going to tell you what I can _GUESS_ about your family name.

Your family came over around 1855 from Alsace - a region between Germany and France which has changed hands several times. In the 1860 Census, they are living in Indiana. The name is given as Schessere and it says he was born in Elsas which is German for Alsace. However, that spelling is also unique as far as I can tell, so I'm also guessing that they had already slightly "Americanized" it once (or it even might be a German name that got "French"ed in Alsace or a French name that got "German"ed in Elsass) and then Americanized it again to Shasserre before the 1880 Census by which time the family had mostly moved to Missouri.

But now we're stuck on Schessere which I don't think is the original German (or possibly French) name, but maybe somebody German/French can take a guess from there?
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What about surnames?

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:25 am

.. ok Debz .. if you want to really dazzle those who ask how about this for a weird .. but supportable derivation .. *smile* .. firstly we take the Shass- of your name and find ..
In demonology, Shax (also spelled Chax, Shan, Shass , Shaz, and Scox) is a Great Marquis (and a Duke to some authors) of Hell, and has power over thirty legions of demons. He takes away the sight, hearing and understanding of any person under the conjurer's request, and steals money out of kings' houses, carrying it back in one thousand and two hundred years. He also steals horses and everything the conjurer asks. Shax can also discover hidden things if they are not kept by evil spirits, and sometimes gives good familiars, but sometimes those familiars deceive the conjurer.

Shax is thought to be faithful and obedient, but is a great liar and will deceive the conjurer unless obliged to enter a magic triangle drawn on the floor. He will then speak marvellously and tell the truth.

He is depicted as a stork that speaks with a hoarse but subtle voice; his voice changes into a beautiful one once he entered the magic triangle.
.. ok ?? .. so seems that back there somewhere your family had an intimate connection to a rather powerful Great Marquis of Hell .. but what about the suffix -erre .. well let's consider the following ..
-ER Function: noun suffix
Etymology: Middle English -er, -ere, -ier, -iere; partly from Old English -ere (from Latin -arius); partly from Old French -ier, -iere, from Latin -arius, -aria, -arium -ary; partly from Middle French -ere, from Latin -ator -or -- more at -ARY, -OR
1 a : person occupationally connected with <hatter> <furrier> <lawyer> b : person or thing belonging to or associated with <header> <old-timer> c : native of : resident of <cottager> <New Yorker> d : one that has <three-decker> e : one that produces or yields <porker>
.. so it may be that your forebears were occupationally connected with the Great Marquis of Hell Shass .. a sort of footman maybe ?? .. OK so it's a long drawn bow but what the heck it makes for an interesting story down at the pub .. or at your Bridge Club .. or wherever ..

WoZ of Aus 01/03/06

PS .. may I have an address where I can send my account please ?? ..
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What about surnames?

Post by Debz » Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:49 am

Russcable, you are correct. My family did come from Alsace. I guess I forgot to mention that. If I could only speak German or French. Yes, my name is rare, and everybody that has the same last name is related to me. When they Americanized it, they still didn't make it easier to pronounce. It is pronounced like yessirree, only, it's Shass-sirree. That, and the fact that our family is from Alsace, is why I concluded that it is French.

Thanks, Wizard of Oz. Pretty interesting, and somewhat believable. Ha Ha!
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What about surnames?

Post by Andrew Dalby » Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:14 pm

Well, about the meaning of the word in French or German. This is just a guess. Possibly 'hunter': French chasseur. The related French verb 'chasser' (to hunt, to chase) was at some stage borrowed into German, because according to my German dictionary there was an old-fashioned German verb schassen which meant to expel someone (from a school), i.e., to chase them out.
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What about surnames?

Post by Debz » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:08 pm

Wow! Thanks! I think that's pretty close! At least it makes sense.
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What about surnames?

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:56 pm

.. think mine is more interesting .. *pout* .. maybe they hunted on the estate of The Great Marquis of Hell .. *warms to idea* .. or they were the Principal of the school that accepted those children who had been expelled from mainstream schools and were given over to the Devil .. and ...........

WoZ of Aus 02/03/06
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What about surnames?

Post by haro » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:32 am

Andrew, you may have a point there. My native language is Swiss German, the southern variant of Alemannic, which in turn is the southwestern dialect of the whole German speaking area in Europe. Alsacian is an Alemannic dialect too, but it is heavily influenced by French. In fact, you may encounter up to 30 % words of French origin in an average Alsacian sentence. There are even jokes covering this peculiarity.

Although I speak French fairly well, when in Alsace, I speak my native Alemannic. I've yet to meet an Alsacian who doesn't understand what I say, except some expatriates from French speaking parts of France, of course.

By the way, the verb 'schassen' is still pretty popular in Swiss Alemannic even these days. "Sie händ mi gschasst" ("They threw me out" or "They fired me") can be heard even among teenagers.

Americanizing names is an interesting matter. There's Interlochen in Michigan, a little town between two lakes, clearly derived from the town name Interlaken in Switzerland, also a town between two lakes ('inter lacos,' Latin for 'between lakes'). There is the surname Shellabarger in the USA and Canada, which formerly was Schellenberger in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, from a mountain and village named Schellenberg (literally 'Bell Mountain') in the Principality of Liechtenstein. The 'n' in "Schellenberger' is not pronounced in Alemannic, so it was dropped in the Americanizing process too. And there are all those women whose first name is Gretchen. That's a German pet form of Grete, which is a short form of Margrete, Margrethe, Margrit etc.. (all from Greek 'margaron' = pearl). Just like American parents would not christen their sons Bubba, no German parents would ever have their daughters baptized Gretchen. However, in the USA it's a fairly popular Christian name.
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What about surnames?

Post by Shelley » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:16 am

haro wrote: There's Interlochen in Michigan, a little town between two lakes, clearly derived from the town name Interlaken in Switzerland, also a town between two lakes ('inter lacos,' Latin for 'between lakes').
Maybe the person who named Interlochen after Interlaken was from Scotland!
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What about surnames?

Post by Debz » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:47 pm

So, is it a hunter, or someone who fires people?? I kind of like them both.
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What about surnames?

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:13 pm

It's probably someone who fires hunters, because hunters only fire guns.
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What about surnames?

Post by Debz » Thu Mar 02, 2006 2:15 pm

lol
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What about surnames?

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:41 pm

But who will fire Dick Cheney?
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What about surnames?

Post by waterworks » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:32 pm

Debz will fire Dick Cheney, since her last name "Shasserre" might mean "schassen which meant to expel someone (from a school), i.e., to chase them out."
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What about surnames?

Post by Debz » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:33 pm

According to the two possible meanings of my name, I could either fire him, OR chase him away.!!
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