Saturday, 5 November 2011


File:Warwick Castle, 1845.jpg

Warwick is another English surname with a long history. 

For those who live in the UK, Warwick instantly brings to mind the city in Warwickshire. It was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a place called Warwic. But the town's, and the name's, history can be traced further: the town was firstly recorded as Waerincgwican in 737 AD.

The meaning of Warwick is 'Dwellings by the weir or river-dam'. In old English, wæring means river-dam and wic means dwelling.

As a surname and title, Warwick has had some real and fictional carriers:

- Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, also known as the King Maker, who played a crucial role in the War of the Roses.
- Guy of Warwick, a legendary English hero, who fought dragons and giants to prove his worth so he could marry Felice, a lady he had fallen in love with.

A variant of the name is Warrick, although the pronunciation of WAR-rik remains the same with either spelling. By far, Warwick was more popular in England, with 1740 boys being given the name between  the years of 1837 and 1975. Warrick, on the other hand, was given to 56 boys between 1840 and 1952.

Warwick has a lot going for it. It brings to mind romance heroes and Medieval England. I can easily picture a Warwick as a warrior of olden days. For anyone considering a name like Warren, Warwick could be a more distinguished option. Of course, the name will now forever be associated with Warwick Avenue, a song by Welsh singer Duffy. But, as far as associations go, it could be a lot worse.

 Image: Warwick Castle, 1845 by Charles Knight.