Find the meaning of your surname:

In our recent Facebook competition to win a surname history print, we asked our customers for their words of wisdom: We wanted to hear the sort of family phrases and advice that have passed down the generations. Families often have sayings and words of wisdom that they regularly use. So, with this in mind, we asked our Facebook followers to let us know their own ‘gems’ of advice. We were surprised to read some true words of wisdom that we’d never even heard before, so here are some of the phrases that our customers shared.


Manners mean everything!


Unsurprisingly, many of the comments concerned manners, with the old saying ‘manners cost nothing’ being a popular phrase. Did you have this drummed into you as a child? Would you agree that this is as true today as ever? It is certainly a phrase that has travelled down the years, so seems to be as relevant now as it ever was.


Be yourself.


Would you agree that it’s easier said than done to be true to yourself? Many of our comments were about being confident in who you are. For example, here are a few words of wisdom that our customers shared with us about being true to themselves. Do you know any similar phrases?


  • Be your best at all times.
  • Be happy with what you have, be excited about what you want!
  • Always follow your heart and the rest will follow.
  • Follow Your Heart – Never Look Back.



words of wisdom

Great advice for life!



Give it a go!


Positivity was a key theme in many of the comments.


words of wisdom

Positivity for life!



The words of wisdom and advice often focused on a positive attitude to life. Would you agree that this is an important thing to pass to the younger members of your family? Here are just a few of the comments we liked:


  • Smile and the world smiles with you.
  • Always remain positive.
  • A trier is worth a thousand claps more than a stander-by.


Money matters


Money features in several of our customers’ comments, with sage words of advice being passed down the generations. For example, ‘always save for a rainy day’ is an oft-heard saying. ‘Always pay your way’ is another phrase that is well worth heeding! ‘Don’t buy things you can’t afford’ and ‘don’t throw your money away’ are words of advice we could all benefit from. Did your parents, grandparents or carers drum into you the value of money from a young age? Did the advice pay off, so to speak?!



words of wisdom

‘Being true to yourself’ is popular advice.



Gems of wisdom


Here are a few more words of wisdom that our customers were able to share with us.


  • Treat others as you want to be treated – whether they deserve it or not.
  • Never assume anything!
  • Children always come first.
  • Always respect your elders.
  • What is meant for you, will not pass you.
  • Listen to your Father!
  • You only get one mother and no matter how old you get you will always need her, so always make the most of her.
  • Don’t let your head rule your heart.
  • If they don’t like your house as it’s in a muddle, they can stay outside.
  • If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all. There’s a reason I’m so quiet at family reunions.
  • What other people think of you is none of your business.



Of course, your family will  have sayings and phrases in your childhood that you still use today. Do you think it’s important to pass-on family advice down the generations? Or alternatively, were you told things that you now think are a load of nonsense? For example do you think that ‘least said is soonest mended’ or that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’?  We’d love to hear your own sayings and phrases, so please comment with your own words of wisdom and tell us who they came from!We’d be delighted to add any we’ve missed, please leave a comment if you wish to share your views with us.  You may also find of interest our article which looks at the reasons why family is so important.


Lastly, if you are looking for a family gift that celebrates your surname and its origins, click here. Perfect for handing down the generations! For information on whether your family has a coat of arms, read ‘Does my Family have a Coat of Arms‘?




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