Recorded in the spellings of Pitman, Pittman, Pettman and Putnam, this is an English surname. It is topographical for someone who lived by a pit or a hollow in the ground, perhaps a quarry, or in some cases was occupational for one who worked at such a place. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "pytt", pit, hole, cavity, which also appears, though rarely, in some English placenames, such as "Pett" in Kent, meaning "(place by) the pit or hollow", and "Woolpit" in Suffolk and in Surrey which have the picturesque meaning of "the pit for trapping wolves".
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