Cornelius Crane Chase
Chevy was Cornelius Chase’s childhood nickname. It is believed that his grandmother gave him the nickname Chevy after the affluent Maryland town – Chevy Chase.
Chevy was actually a childhood nickname — possibly based on the Washington, DC suburb — bestowed by his grandmother. The Chase family was affluent and distinguished … his father, Ned Chase, was a prominent Manhattan book editor and magazine writer. His mother was descended from the Crane plumbing-fixture family.
What is the origin of the name Chevy Chase itself?
The name traces its roots back to the medieval Ballad of Chevy Chase which tells a story of a skirmish between England and Scotland that where a hunting expedition sparked a bloody battle. The ballad is believed to be based on the Battle of Otterburn in 1388 but is more likely based, not on a single battle, but rather on the general state of unrest between the English and the Scottish along the borderlands in the 14th and 15th centuries.
“Chevy Chase” may have been derived from the French word “chevauchee” used in medieval Scotland and England to describe the horseback raids made into the ancient borderlands between the two countries. Or, since the Cheviot Hills run along the middle of the border country, which was partly under cultivation, and the hills’ “chases” (unenclosed hunting grounds reserved for their owners’ use) were popular hiding and hunting areas for both sides, perhaps “Cheviot” and “chase” were combined to create the name “Chevy Chase.”