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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • English (chiefly Midlands and Yorkshire) : occupational nickname for an official who carried a staff of office, from Middle English wag(gen) ‘to brandish or shake’ + staff ‘staff’, ‘rod’.
  • English (chiefly Midlands and Yorkshire) : obscene nickname for a medieval ‘flasher’, one who brandished his ‘staff’ publicly.

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