Monday, January 18, 2010

Origins of the LOONEY Name II

LEWNEY LOONEY on the Isle of Man

Manx is a Gaelic language with many Scandinavian words and influences (invaded, if I remember correctly, about 800 AD).

Pronunciation (according to the book Surnames of the Manks [sic] by Leslie Quilliam, 1996, Manx Heritage Foundation):
Lewney colloquial [ I am not going to try to use the symbols they use]
First syllable: L + A as in Bat + U as in But
Second Syllable: N + E as in Misery
In the modern form (England invaded, I think, about 1400s) Second syllable is N+ I as in Beet

Looney Col
First Syllable: L + U as in Rule
Second Syllable: N + E in Misery
Modern Second Syllable: N + I as in Beet

Earliest Gaelic forms:
Mac Giolla Dhomhmaigh, meaning son of the Lord's Servant
O'Luingh, descendant of Luingh (meaning armed)

MacGillowny 1498 Gilowni Mac/M'Lawney Lownye 1540 Loweny 1602 MacLown(e)y 1603 1611 1703 MacLon(e)y 1611 Lownie LEWNEY 1623 LOONEY 1644 Loaney 1673 1680 Loney 1681 Loony 1721 Mylooney 1817 Luney 1829

Spelling did not begin to become standardized until Ben Jonson published his Dictionary in England 1755 (there were earlier dictionaries, but his was the most widely used and much more complete), and in the US Noah Webster's in 1806. It took many years for any kind of standardization to catch on. The Robert Looney line arrived in Philadelphia about 1731, so you can see why many of their documents have many different spellings. Spelling was up to the person writing and could vary with the writer in the same document. Of course, people still can't spell, so spelling is documents is still entered incorrectly.
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Copyright © Teresa McVeigh 2010

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