In the first post of this series (No "Sons" Allowed: Surnames from Feminine Names) I looked at surnames that were descended from feminine names which, unlike metronymic names (Betson, Meggison), did not contain the popular (if sometimes contentious) "son of" element.
This installment endeavours to continue the search for "feminine friendly" surnames by concentrating on easily-derived potential nicknames. These surnames derive from neither specifically masculine or feminine first name (at least not unless it comes filtered through a place name) -- instead they hail from gender-neutral placenames, by-names and vernacular phrases.
Abbadie is a surname that ultimately derives from the Latin abbatia meaning both "abbey" and "abbacy." The surname is used in both France and Britian and can also be found in the forms Abdy, Abdey, Abdie and D'Abbadie. The prevalent 'b' and 'd' sounds in this surname lends itself easily to both Abbie and Addie for nicknames.
This surname comes from places in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Sussex: the latter of which even boasts an Amberley Castle. The origins aren't clear, but it is thought to mean "clearing by the river." Amber makes for an obvious diminutive, but Amy, Abbie and Allie would also work well. Amberley Station in Sussex actually uses the station code AMY.
Annesley derives from the place-name Annesley, in Nottinghamshire, or Ansley, in Warwickshire. The aristocratic Annesley "anzlee" family hold the title of Earl Annesley among the Peerage of Ireland. Anne, Anna and Annie make for obvious nicknames.
Technically this is a bit of a cheat. Aveley is a surname taken from a parish in Essex which itself means "Aelfgyth's clearing." Between Ava and Avery, Aveley feels very user-friendly.
Bellaby or Bellerby is a surname derived from the picturesque village of Bellerby in North Yorkshire. The second element is the Scandinavian by meaning "farmstead" or "village." Bellerby most likely means village of Belgr. Bella is the most intuitive nickname, but Bibi or Abby would also work.
Bellamy derives from the Old French phrase bel ami, meaning "fair friend," which was brought over by the Normans. As with Bellaby, Bella makes an obvious diminutive, but the second part also gets us to Amy.
The surname Bettany is taken from the plant name betony. Paul Bettany is a Hollywood namesake, while historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes (pictured) has given it a distinctly feminine style. Bet, Betty, Benny and Tani are all possible diminutives.
Bonally / Bonamy
Bonally (or Bonnalie) is a Scottish surname derived from the Scots phrase bonnailie "good speed, farewell", ultimately derived from the Old French bon "good" and aller "to go." Similarly, Bonamy (and Bonnamy) derives from the Old French phrase bon ami "good friend." Sweet pet-name Bonny works for both names, while the second elements produce the names Ally and Amy.
Callaway and Kellaway are both surnames, brought over by the Normans, from place-names in their homeland in Normandy. Calla, Kella or Kelly make for intuitive nicknames.
Consedy is another surname that derives from an old French phrase. Originally Consedieu was a contracted form of commencer dieu "May God begin it." Consedy isn't a far in sound from Kennedy, a surname that has already seen usage as a first name, however, rather than giving the boyish Kenny, Consedy leads easily to Connie.
A surname that originates as an Anglicised form of del Aunay or de Laulne. Both are found as several places in France and are thought to be derives from the Latin alnetum meaning "alder grove." The (currently very popular) name Laney would work as a nickname, as well as Della.
Ellaby, or Ellerby, is from the Ellberby village in North Yorkshire. The place most likely means "Aelfweard's village". Both Ella and Ellie make intuitive nicknames.
Although some my think of the former Spice Girl, Halliwell is taken from several places that originally started life as "Holy Well." Hallie, Lily and Willa could all work as diminutives.
Jennery is a variant of the surname Janaway or Janeway, which originally started out in the 13th century as Geneva or Genewy meaning "of Genoa." Jenna, Jenny, Jerry and Neri would make for good nicknames.
Kemmery / Kembery
Kemmery, Kembery and Cambrey are all surnames meaning "of Cambrai." Kim, Kemmie or Cammie all seem reasonable short forms.
Meriden is a village just outside of Coventry: the source of the surname Merriden. Merry, Mirry and Minnie make for obvious nicknames and the name itself isn't a world away from Meredith.
Merrilees / Merrylees
Merrilees is a Scottish placename, hailing from West Lothian. Etymologically, its meaning comes from Old English myrge "pleasant" and laese "pasture." As with Merriden, Merry and Mirry work nicely, as well as Millie and Missy.
Romilly can be found in the names of several places in France, from which we get the surname. Ultimately, the place-names derive from the Roman name Romulus. Romy, Remy, Milly and Molly would all make for easily-derived nicknames.
The surname Willacy comes from Willersey, a village in Gloucestershire. Willa is hot-property as a hip and sleek name at the moment; Lacey is already a Top 100 favourite. Between them, Willacy seems like a short leap.