Monday, April 18, 2016

In copia

There are several versions of a Dodd family coat of arms or crest. It is not clear to me which of these might apply to us instead of a parallel branch off that old forebear tree. There are several lines of Dodds, and since the name is thought to derive from a physical description of a person, they may not all have sprung from the same ancient Dod, Dodda or Dodde. [The surname Short, for example, need be not derived from only one short man centuries ago.] Whatever right I might or might not have to any of the crests, I like this one because of the motto.

You may not be able to read the phrase at the top: In copia cautus. It means, "Cautious among plenty."

In a word, prudent, careful about the future. An encouragement to social responsibility. Maybe even to environmental responsibility.

Many of us, individually and corporately, seem to find it difficult to be careful when we are surrounded by plenty. The temptation is to become arrogant, profligate, foolhardy. Selfish, self-centered. Wasteful.

Maybe my Dodd roots, whatever soil originally nourished them, are among the reasons I am frugal.

If so, I thank that long-ago round, plump fellow whose teasing neighbors gave him a nickname from a Germanic word meaning just that: round and plump. In time it became his name and somehow, through many generations, mine own. 

I would be willing to bet, he was short, too!

1 comment:

Lavada said...

I love looking at family crests and thinking about the origin or Surnames and how they were changed over the years.....