Mitchell is a surname originating in the British Isles, particularly in Scotlan, in northern and southwestern England, and also in Ireland. It is the same word as Old English "micel" (pronounced identically, with a palatized "c", i.e. "ch"), a common adjective meaning "big." Though derivation from the first name "Michael" (or "Michel") is sometimes supposed, this is almost certainly a modern idea based on the resemblance in spelling. On the other hand, the French version of "Michael", Michel, was pronounced [mi'tʃɛl] in Norman French (the language of the Norman invaders of England in 1066), and as this was the pronunciation of the name from 1066 on, its use (and spelling) in English as "Mitchell" cannot be discounted.

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  • "Windy" novelist Margaret & lady astronomer Maria

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