Origins of the Name

At this early stage of the Study it is not possible to state categorically the origin and meaning of the name EZARD; however, there are strong pointers linking it to a Germanic language, e.g the Edzard is the Frisian cognate of  Eckehard*. Count Edzard II of East Friesland was sometimes referred to as ‘Count Ezard’ in documents from the time of Queen Elizabeth I. (Please refer to: East Friesland – Is there an EZARD connection?)

The ‘-(h)ard‘ suffix signifies ‘strong/hard/sharp’ and is found in several names of Germanic origin, e.g. Richard, Bernard. The ‘E(z)‘ sound seems to be derived from an old word for ‘edge’, which survives, for instance, in ‘adze’ (a kind of axe head). Therefore the name EZARD and its variants may ultimately be derived from the idea of a strong or sharp cutting tool; the descriptor was then used for someone who used a sharp-edged tool in a job, which could include a soldier using a bladed instrument, e.g. dagger/sword.

In 19th century UK census entries there are many EZARDs who are carpenters, joiners, builders, or wheelwrights, in which case they would have used some sharp-edged tools. This, I suspect, is no more than a co-incidence; nonetheless, interesting.

* Oxford Names Companion, Oxford, Oxford University Press 2002; Patrick Hanks, Flavia Hodges, A D Mills and Adrian Room: “Eckehard (m.) German: from an old Germanic personal name composed of the elements ek, eg edge, (point of a sword) + hard hardy, brave, strong. The Blessed Eckhard 1084 was canon of the cathedral of Magdeburg and first abbot of Huysberg.

Variant: Eckhard(t).
Cognates: Low German: Eggert Frisian: Edzard.”

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