In doing a little research, it would
appear that the current spelling of our name is the direct result
of standarization of the English language which began in 1476.
This was the year that William CAXTON brought the printing press
One of the other things which aided
standardization of the English language was the strong and steady
influence of the protestant religion. This began in 1558 when
Elizabeth's reign began and steadily continued with James I.
By 1606 the standardization was nearly completed as can be seen
in The King James version of the Bible.
During this early modern English
phase, it is interesting to note that during the Great Vowel
Shift, words which now ended in "e" were silent when
spoken. So if we were looking for the Cockerline spelling prior
to this GVS then for sure there would be no "e" to
be found at the end of our names. I suspect that others letters
and vowels might also be quite different. Perhaps then this might
in part explain some of the spelling variations noted in the
Names seemed to be grouped into
different originating categories. For example, names deriving
from places or a persons occupation. But for the love of me,
I cannot figure out which group ours might fit into.
Other things I found, but doesn't
really help, is the German name Koch means cook. The ending "lein"
can also be noted as being "line" as in the German
name Klein vs Kline or Cline. It is also interesting to note
that there is a German surname of Kochelein which is similar
to the Jewish name Kochalain - meaning "a summer boarding
house with cooking privileges". I also found another German
surname of Kockerling.
Accordingly, the Merriam Dictionary
lists the word Cocker as being derived from a middle english
form of Cokeren which means to "indulge / pamper".
Perhaps we indulge in good food? :-)
The reference to William Caxton, dropping the "e"
sound etc. found at:
The reference to the Jewish insight found at: . www.ujafedny.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr012=w88rynt7r2.app6a&page=NewsArticle&id=6542
Another Jewish definition was noted at:
The reference for Cline / Klein found at: