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LEAN Family History

This famous English surname is one of a group of physically descriptive medieval nicknames. It does apparently describe a slim, fit person, which may well be so. However given the robust humour of those far off time seven hundred or more years ago, and taking as an example Little John in the fables of Robin Hood who was the largest person in the band of outlaws, it may mean the reverse! Unfortunately from the surviving recordings it is not possible to tell, although the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in the year 1880, says that it was the reverse of the surnames Bigg, Little and Lyte...

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