James Pylant chose an enticing title for his latest article: "Weaselhead, Devil and Drunkard: Surnames Originating As Insults." It investigates the origin and extinction of surnames you'd be embarrassed to say out loud at church. Now I don't feel so bad about having Bustards roost in my family tree.
[A] friend received an e-mail from a farmer in Gordola, Switzerland — the home of her Robasciotti ancestors — with a note on the meaning of the surname. "I don't know if I must tell you this . . . in our Italian dialect the word robasciot means 'stealing of cow or sheep dung.'" [Link]