Von Feilitzen treated the DB forms Pat (occurring once in Ches. and once in Suff.), Pata (once in Staffs.), and Padda (once in Suff.) as three distinct names, all of them presenting difficulties in establishing a clear origin (von Feilitzen 1937: 343). Most of the difficulties disappear once it is realized that in Suffolk Padda and Pat are more likely than not to be the same person, and once better use is made of the fact (as von Feilitzen knew) that pætta appears independently as an eleventh-century byname.
The name Padda existed in the seventh century, as one of the priests who converted the South Saxons (PASE: Padda 1; Bede, HE, iv.13), but it may have been coined afresh in the late Anglo-Saxon period as a nickname meaning ‘toad’ or ‘frog’ (OE padde or pade or ON padda).
The name Patta, if indeed it was the same as the byname of Wulfmær Pætta recorded in the Winchester Liber Vitae c. 1030, may have meant ‘fleshy or plump’, though a Scandinavian word with the same root developed the meaning ‘small child’ (Tengvik 1938: 324).
Bede, HE: Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed. Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969)
Tengvik 1938: Gösta Tengvik, Old English Bynames, Nomina Germanica 4 (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells,1938)
von Feilitzen 1937: Olof von Feilitzen, The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book, Nomina Germanica 3 (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1937)
Spellings in Domesday Book:
Forms in modern scholarship:
von Feilitzen head forms: