This is a famous English surname, believed to be from Yorkshire, which is certainly where the first recording comes from. The style and spelling suggests that it may have an Olde English or Danish-Viking pre 7th century origin, and derive from the word "knut", which literally means a hard fruit. To this has been added the term "inga", normally used to indicated a people or tribe. "Knut" was used for many centuries as a baptismal or given name before the introduction of hereditary surnames, and can be found in a such a name as the famous "King Canute". The famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley states that for Nutting (quote) "I can find nothing satisfactory", which may be a little joke, possibly an implication that Nutting meant "nothing". If that is the case it was a medieval nickname either for somebody who had nothing or perhaps came from nothing, but was now something or somebody, snobbery being just as prevalent then as now. As the first known nameholder was recorded in the Poll Tax rolls, he must have been worth something to be recorded at all! Examples of the surname recordings include Edward Nutting, a witness at St James church, Clerkenwell, London, in 1660, and Robert Nutting, who obtained a marriage license in the previous year. The first known recording is that of Willelmus Nuttyng in the 1379 Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire. This was in the reign of King Richard 11 of England, 1377 - 1399.