> Is it too obvious to mention that the name a person or group is known by
> is not always the name that they themselves would choose?
> An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, Alba (Isle of Skye, Scotland)
Obviously one does not chose a name one inherits. But it is not uncommon
for a person to change his name to put himself in a better light. Surnames
are overwhelmingly reflective of the personal forename of an ancestor, the
occupation of a forbearer, or a geographical place of origin. These names
can be corrupted, but I can't think of any instances where a name that is
derogatory would redily be adopted.