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Metcalf Surname Origin

In the Welsh, medd signifies a vale, a meadow, and caf, a cell, a chancel, a church, i. e., the church in the vale. The origin of the name, however, is given by tradition in this wise. In those days when bullfights were in vogue, in merry England, one of the enraged animals broke away from the combat, and was hotly pursued by horsemen. A certain John Strong happened to meet the bull on the top of a hill, and when attacked by the furious beast, he seized him in the nostrils with his left hand, and killed him. As he came to the foot of the hill, meeting several persons in the pursuit, he was inquired of whether he had met a bull; he replied he 'Met a calf,' and from this circumstance was called afterward John Metcalfe.

Source: An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names With an Essay on their Derivation and Import; Arthur, William, M.A.; New York, NY: Sheldon, Blake, Bleeker & CO., 1857.

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