PURDY Family History
Recorded in several spelling forms including Pirdy, Pirdue, Pardoe, Purdy, Purdey, and Perdue, this surname is medieval English but of Norman-French origins. It is an excellent example of the medieval liking for creating a surname from a nickname. In this instance the development is from a favourite oath, in pre 10th century Old French "Par Dieu", meaning "by God", but anglicized to a 'sounds like' spelling. There are a number of similar surnames in the modern idiom, "Purefoy" (Par ma foi), meaning "God safe".