This unusual and interesting surname is of medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English and Anglo-French "costard", a large apple. The ultimate origin of the word lies in the Old French "coste" (Modern French "cote", rib), with the suffix "ard", indicating a person or thing characterized by a certain quality. The apple bearing the name was so called from being prominently ribbed, and the same word was later applied derisively to the head. The surname Custard was therefore originally given either as a metonymic occupational name to a grower or seller of this popular apple variety, or as a nickname to someone who was "round-headed". A quotation from Shakespeare's "King Lear" reads; "I'd try whither your Costard or my Ballow (baton, stick) be the harder". Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Nicknames, from which a sizeable group of early European surnames arose, were given with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities and mental or moral characteristics. Early examples of the surname include: Richard Costard (Cambridgeshire, 1273) and Thomas Costard (Yorkshire, 1379). In the modern idiom the name is spelt: Custard, Costard, Costerd, Cestard, Castard and Custed. On November 7th 1585 Thomas Custard, an infant, was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London. Custards, a locality in the New Forest rural district of Hampshire, was probably named from one who bore this surname. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginal Costard, which was dated 1272, in the "Hundred Rolls of Gloucestershire, during the reign of Edward 1, known as" The Hammer of The Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • costard — [ kɔstar ] n. m. • 1926 « costume de forçat »; de costume et ard ♦ Fam. Costume d homme. Fig. Tailler un costard à qqn. ● costard ou costar nom masculin Populaire. Costume d homme. ⇒COSTARD, subst. masc. Arg. Costume. Je pouvais pas aller… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Costard — is a comic figure in the play Love s Labour s Lost by William Shakespeare. A country bumpkin, he is arrested in the first scene for flouting the king s proclamation that all men of the court avoid the company of women for a year. While in custody …   Wikipedia

  • Costard — Fréquent dans le Calvados et l Ille et Vilaine, désigne celui qui est originaire d un lieu dit (le) Costard (= petite côte, ou encore mauvaise côte). A noter le hameau de Costard à Montauban de Bretagne (35), et plusieurs lieux dits Costard dans… …   Noms de famille

  • Costard — Cos tard (k?s t?rd), n. [Prob. fr. OF. coste rib, side, F. c[^o]te, and meaning orig., a ribbed apple, from the ribs or angles on its sides. See {Coast}.] 1. An apple, large and round like the head. [1913 Webster] Some [apples] consist more of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Costard — Costard, Georg, geb. 1710, studirte in Oxford, war erst Pfarrer in Islip, seit 1764 in Twickenham u. st. 1782; er schr. u.a.: The rise and progress of astronomy amongst the ancients, Lond. 1746; A fourther account of the rise and progress of… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • costard — late 13c., coster, perhaps from Anglo Fr. or O.Fr. coste rib (from L. costa rib ). A kind of large apple with prominent ribs, i.e. one having a shape more like a green pepper than a plain, round apple. Also applied derisively to the head. Common… …   Etymology dictionary

  • costard — [käs′tərd] n. [ME, ribbed apple < OFr coste, a rib + ard, ARD] 1. a variety of large apple, native to England 2. Archaic a person s head: humorous or contemptuous usage …   English World dictionary

  • Costard — Hellmuth Costard (* 1. November 1940 in Holzhausen bei Leipzig; † 13. Juni 2000 in Oberhausen) war ein deutscher Filmregisseur. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Filmografie 2.1 Kurzfilme 2.2 Langfilme …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • costard — n.m. Costume : Un chouette costard. / Tailler un costard à quelqu un, médire, ruiner une réputation …   Dictionnaire du Français argotique et populaire

  • costard — m Costume de ville pour homme, veste et pantalon assortis, avec ou sans gilet. • Il faut que je me paye un costard, j’ai absolument rien pour sortir. • Un petit homme tape sur le zinc. Il a une soixante d’années. Il porte un costard d’été en… …   Le petit dico du grand français familier