Special Sub-Topic: What's in a name?
|If you had to guess, what do you suppose Bonnie Tyler might have done in olden times?
Make tiles. "Tyler" is an old English word for someone who makes or lays tiles such as those used on house roofs. It also used to mean the door keeper of an inn.
|What do you think Richard Wagner's ancestors got their name for doing?
Driving wagons. It used to be common for all sorts of goods to be transported by wagon or cart. The name "wagner" comes from the German name for the job. It also applied to people who made wagons.
|Which of the following is likely to have been the source of Christopher Plummer's family name?|
The metal lead. The name in fact has three possible sources: to refer to someone who lives near a plum tree, a dealer in feathers and someone who worked with lead. Plumber is another old name for a lead worker.
|What would Richard Sadler have made to keep things moving in ancient times?|
Saddles. A saddler makes leather saddles for use on horses and other animals. He or she might also make other riding equipment such as bridles.
|If there was someone called Simon the Tanner in your village, what would he do?|
Tan leather. Tanning is a process used to make leather from animal skins. It makes the skin more durable and less likely to rot.
|What material would you expect Tom Sawyer to work with?|
Wood. Tom's family name means one who saws wood. The name can be traced back to English and Celtic roots.
|Where in ancient times would you find John Smith working?|
Forge. A "smith" is a metal worker such as a blacksmith. The forge (or smithy) is the blacksmith's place of work. A forge is also the name for the hearth used by the blacksmith to soften the metal before he starts working on it.
|What might James Mason's name suggest that he does?|
Work with stone. A mason is someone who works with stone. Masons might work, for example, on stone buildings such as cathedrals or on cemetery headstones. Tools used include hammers and chisels.
|Where might Bob Woodward have worked?|
Forest. "Ward" means guardian and "wood" comes from the Old English word "wode" meaning wood. A wood guardian is what is now known as a forester who works in forests.
|What might Chris Boardman's ancestors have done for a living?|
Cut timber into boards. A boardman used to make planks from timber. These planks or boards might be times used to make anything from tables to ships.
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