Origin of Cake

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Origin of Cake

Total Records: 3 
Origin of Cake, Meaning of Cake

Origin: Betsey Pancake & John Lynd of Lawrence County, Ohio
Surnames: Pancake
Submitted by: Teri Cochran Allred, AG, CGRS
Origin of Cake, Meaning of Cake

Origin: History of the surname Cakebread.
By Glenn Richard Cakebread.

The Earliest known record so far comes from just after the Norman Conquest. Written in Latin, the Pipe Rolls of Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire where Aedwinus Cacabred was mentioned (together with two other brothers) in 1109 in what appears to be a land dispute. Aedwinus Cacabred was referred to as ?a farmer in the flour trade? and was possibly a branch of the Hereward Family.
In 1396 John Cakebread donated money to the church of St. John, Burford, Oxfordshire.
There are three references to William Cakebrede in the University of Oxford Chancellor?s Court records for the year 1501.
After that, the earliest records are from the Parish Registers in a wide area around Bishops Stortford in what is now Hertfordshire but was once part of Essex. It is possible that this is because the records here were preserved better or that the records were first kept here.
When I get asked about the origin of the name Cakebread, it is often assumed that they must have been bakers of cakes and bread. No doubt there would have been someone somewhere who went into this trade. But since the name dates back to at least 1109 and is probably a lot older than this date it is likely that the meaning has changed over time. Therefore I started to wonder what Cakebread might have meant almost 1000 years ago. The literal translation of a ?Cake? and ?Bread? today would not necessarily be the same as in 1109. Today we speak Modern English from around 1500 A.D. Before that from 1066 A.D. after the Norman Conquest Middle English, and before that Old English or Anglo Saxon as it was known, was spoken. Since it is reasonable to assume that not everyone overnight from 1066 spoke middle English and that it may have taken a few years in various parts of the country to change, It is likely that Old English was still very much used in 1109 A.D. Also, you were unlikely to translate your name into a conquering nations language. Would you suddenly say that you wanted to be known as Pierre instead of Peter? It sounds completely different even if they are supposed to be the same name.

Today we know the word cake to mean a pastry made with butter, eggs and some sort of sweetening agent. But this was not always the case. As with many words cake has gradually changed in general meaning. It could also mean 1. A small mass of dough baked; especially, a thin loaf from unleavened dough; as, an oatmeal cake; johnnycake. 2. A sweetened composition of flour and other ingredients, leavened or unleavened, baked in a loaf or mass of any size.
Old English borrowed the word from Old Norse kaka; it is related to cookie (from Dutch koekje), but not, despite the similarity, to cook. O.E. Cake, Kaak; akin to Danish Kage, Swedish and Icelandic Kaka, Dutch Koek, German Kuchem and Old High German chuocho. In Gothic and Icelandic the c is entirely wanting, being always represented by k. It is remarkable that the Anglo-Saxons have seldom made use of k; but, following the Latin, have preferred the use of c. Circa. 1230, from O.N. kaka ?cake,? from W.Gmc. *kokon-,?something round, lump of something.? Not related to cook, Originally (until c1420), cake was a term for a flat round loaf of bread (it is the ?shape? element in it?s meaning that lies behind more modern usages such as ?cake of soap? or ?it?s caked up?). It is not until the 15th century that we find it being applied to foodstuffs we would now recognise as cakes, ?let them eat cake? is from Rousseau?s ?Confessions,? in reference to an incident c.1740, when it was already proverbial, long before Marie Antoinette. The ?cake? in question was nor a confection, but a poor man?s food.

?What man, I trow ye raue, wolde ye bothe eate your cake and haue your cake?? (?The proverbs & Epigrams of John Heywood,? 1562)

To form into a cake or mass ?caked? (thickly encrusted) is from 1922. The expression piece of cake ?something easy? seems to have originated in the 1930s.

We use the word ?bread? in modern English to mean a ?loaf?. But in Old English times if you wanted bread you would have used the word ?hlaf?, which is where loaf comes from. Hlaf was replaced by 1200 with bread. Bread probably in Old English times meant simply ?(a piece of) food, ? ?a morsel of?, ?crumb?. In Slovenian kruh means, ?bread,? Literally ?a piece?, from P.Gmc. ?brautham? (Old Norse brot, Danish brod, German brot), perhaps the O.E. word derives from a P.Gmc. ?braudsmon?- ?fragments, bits? (Old High German brosma ?crumb?) and is related to the root of break.
But since bread was among the commonest foods, the word bread gradually became more specialized, passing via ?piece of bread,? ?broken bread,? to simply ?bread,? The alternative spelling of brede could point to a different meaning. Various spellings occur brede, braede, braedu, braedo in Old English meant breadth or broadness, the suffix ?th (as in length. (Long/length, wide/width, broad/breadth) being added to the noun brede in the 16th century. This was an ancient formation, directly derived in prehistoric Germanic times from *braid-, the stem of broad. It came into English as broedu. Broad?s close relatives are widespread in the Germanic languages (German breit, Dutch breed, and Swedish bred), pointing to a prehistoric Germanic ancestor *braithaz, but no trace of the word is found in any non-Germanic Indo-European language. The original derived noun brede was superseded in the 16th century by breadth.
Brad-hlaf, es; m. [braedan to roast, hlaf bread] a biscuit, parched or baked bread;
Braede, bred, es; m. [=braegd, bregd from bregdan to weave, braid, twist). Fraud, deceit; He hit dyde butan brede (braede) and bigswice, he did it without fraud and guile, Ic spaece drife butan braede biswice, I prosecute my suit without fraud and without guile.
Braed, plucked, drew out, p. of bredan.
Braed, e; f braedo, braedu; (brad broad; Latus) breadth, width, latitude; latittudo, amplitudo; -se arc fiftig faedma on braede the ark shall be fifty fathoms in breadth;
Braede, es; m. (bredan to roast)
Braede, an; f. The breadth; latum. V. lenden-braede.
Braed-panne, an; f. [braedan to roast, panne a pan] a frying-pan;
Braedu, breadth, width.
Braegd, bregd, es; m. [braegd, p. of bregdan to twist, braid, weave] deceit, fraud.
Bred, es; pl.nom. acc. Bredu; n. a surface, plank, table, tablet;
Bred, deceit
Bred, broad
Breda, ic brede, du britst, brist, he brit, bret, p. braed, pl. brudon; pp. broden, breden. 1. To weave, braid, knit, join together, draw, pluck; 2. To change, vary, transform; - Simon braed his hiw aetforan dam casere swa daet he wearp faerlice gepuht cnapa, and eft harwenge Simon changed his appearance before the emperor, so that he suddenly seemed a boy, and again a hoary man,
Bredan, to roast, broil, warm
Bredan, to make broad
Breden, Anglo-Saxon to make broad. To spread.
Bread, Akin to Old Friesian. Old Saxon brd. Danish Brood. German Brod, brot. Icelandic brau. Swedish and Danish Brod. The root is probably that of E. brew.

The verb ? to dress with bread crumbs? is from 1727. Bread and butter in the figurative Sense of ?basic needs? is from 1732. Bread-basket ?stomach? is slang from 1753 but bread-winner is from 1818. ?Half lapped in glowing gauze and golden brede. Tennyson. 1913. Slang meaning ?money? dates from the 1940s

The conclusion to this is that I think it is reasonable to assume that originally ?Cakebread? or the alternative old spelling ?Cacabrede ? meant a wide (bread) flat round mass of dough (cake) that was baked. Something perhaps similar to nan bread or small pizza base still to do with the baking trade but nothing to do with sweet pastries! Or maybe the ?bread? part just simply meant the roasting of the ?cake? of dough.

Glenn Richard Cakebread
38 Rushdon Close
England RM17 5QW
01375 381280
(+00 44) 1375 381280
Surnames: Cakebread
Submitted by: Glenn Richard Cakebread
Origin of Cake, Meaning of Cake

Origin: Another Possible meaning could be from a Danish origin. Cake still means "Round" but the Bread or "Bred" in Danish means Shore, Bank or Edge. So perhaps RoundShore or RoundBank? Is this a place name discription? Or does this refer to the shape of an Anglo Saxon sword which was curved or "rounded" so the name of "RoundEdge" may be a nickname for someone who was warlike and held his blade as something very important to him?
Surnames: Cakebread
Submitted by: Glenn Richard Cakebread

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