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Surname Madder - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'M'

Madder: What does the surname Madder mean?

The surname Madder is of early medieval English origin, derived from the Old French "madder", which came from "madeor" or "madeire". It is an occupational surname used for someone who is a producer or merchant of madder, a type of plant used for dyeing. The Old English equivalent of the word, "mædere", the term commonly used in trade, is a plant from which a red dye was extracted and was known to the ancient Greeks, Romans, and throughout the Middle East. This surname belongs to the large category of European last names that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were given with reference to occupation, or to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, or to habits of dress and behavior. So, the last name Madder is a metonymic occupational name which links back to the Middle Ages.

Madder: Where does the name Madder come from?

The surname Madder is thought to have originated in England, possibly derived from the Old English term "mædere", which refers to the madder plant, and could have been an occupational name for a dyer, someone who used the madder plant to produce dye. Variations of the surname include Madders, Madderer, and Madour, which are also found in English-speaking countries.

Today, the Madder surname is not highly common anywhere, but it can be found in various parts of the world, including the UK, the United States, Australia, Canada, and Belgium, among others. In recent times, there has been a slight concentration in the East Midlands region of the United Kingdom, but the distribution of the surname is generally quite low in overall population percentages.

Variations of the surname Madder

The surname Madder is considered a variant of many other similar surnames, mostly originating from Europe. Variations and spelling derivatives of the surname may include Madders, Maderson, Madderom, Madera, Mader, Madar, and Madere. The name can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon heritage, it is also common in Germany.

Additionally, surnames like Madderson and Madderom might link primarily to Northern England or Dutch regions, respectively. The occurrence of Madder variances in the Guild of One-Name Studies also hints that these surnames are similarly of the same origin. Surnames such as Madden, Maddin, Maddon, and Maddyn could further be considered variations of Madder, expanding its geographical reach into Ireland and Scotland.

The suffixes -son and -om suggest an ancestral meaning of 'son of Madde' or 'of Madde' respectively. Meanwhile, alternative spellings with similar phonetics to Madder, such as Mader or Madar, are found abundantly in regions like Hungary and Czech Republic. Madera and Madere tend to be more common in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions.

Nonetheless, the diversity of this surname's variants, spellings, and origins signifies the vast dispersion of the name across cultures and territories worldwide.

Famous people with the name Madder

  • Chris Madder: an English actor most well-known for playing Frank in The Bill and appearing in various other British television programmes.
  • Mick Madder: an English former professional footballer who spent the majority of his career with Oldham Athletic and Halifax Town.
  • Peter Madder: an English professional footballer who made 33 appearances in the Football League.
  • Jonathan Madder: an Australian ice hockey player currently playing for the Sydney Bears in the Australian Ice Hockey League.
  • Ray Madder: a British former professional wrestler who competed in many British promotions during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Ray Madder, Jr.: an English professional wrestler and son of the aforementioned Ray Madder, who currently competes in promotions in the UK.
  • David Madder: a British artist who is known for his abstract paintings and collage works.
  • Phil Madder: a former British professional golfer who competed in various tournaments during the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Paul Madder: an English comics artist who has worked for a variety of British and American comics.
  • Catherine Madder: an American animal rights activist and founder of Farm Sanctuary.

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