One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A name derived from the name of a mother or female ancestor.
- ‘It is interesting that their usual surnames are all patronymics or matronymics, rather than the locatives that would be more likely were any of the four from immigrant families.’
Denoting or relating to a name derived from the name of a mother or female ancestor.
- ‘A few countries, such as Spain, follow a matronymic tradition.’
Late 18th century: from Latin mater, matr- ‘mother’, on the pattern of patronymic.
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