The primary source of this interesting surname is the Norman French male given name "Arnaut, Arnott, (H)ernaut", itself coming from the Old German "Arnald, Arnold, Arnolt", a compound of the elements "arn", eagle, and "wald", rule. One Rogerus filius (son of) Ernaldi was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and an Hernaldus de Bolonia was noted in the Red Book of the Exchequer, dated 1212. Pre 7th Century Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse baptismal names were usually distinctive compounds whose elements were often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water or War, or composed of disparate elements.
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