This intriguing name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an example of that sizeable group of early surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as a person's physical attributes or peculiarities, or their mental or moral qualities. In this case, the nickname is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "modig", brave, proud, a derivative of "mod", spirit, mind, courage, in Middle English "modie", with the developed meaning of impetuous, haughty, or angry.
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