Mystery Monday: Fargalosus

Every Monday we will post an entry that hasn’t yet been published with a view towards harnessing the collective onomastic power of the internet. If you have any thoughts about the name’s origin, other variants it might be related to, other examples of its use, etc., please share them in the comments! If you wish to browse other Mystery Monday names, there is an index.


Old Spanish names are weird.


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5 responses to “Mystery Monday: Fargalosus

  1. Ioanna

    Fargo is a variant of the well known Spanish surname Vargas. It means hut, slope, or fenced pastureland. And Losa is a Spanish surname meaning tile or slab, so if Fargalosus perhaps comes from these two words, it is another example of vocation-derived name for something like bricklayer.

  2. Hi. Fargalosus is definitely an (uncommon) given name: cf. Lidia Becker ‘Hispano-romanisches Namenbuch’ p. 472. It is directly attested a pair of times in Leon, and another time (this time) in Galicia, in the extreme NW of the Iberian peninsula, in a language context that corresponds to Galician(-Portuguese) and Astur-Leonese; Spanish losa corresponds to Galician lousa [‘lowsa], medieval lausa.

    There is also a hamlet named Fargós, in the province of Lugo, eastern Galicia. It is attested as Fargauuns c. 1150 and as Fargoes in 1341, and it probably derives from something like *Fargalonis or *Fargalones ‘property/descendants of (one named) Fargalosus’ vel sim. It shows the expected loss of intervocalic n and l, and the assimilation of atone a to tonic o.

  3. Brian M. Scott

    There was an Arab chief of Berber extraction named Wakil al-Hawwari Fargalûs who directed an expedition against Sicily in 824, starting from Tortosa. I haven’t the background to evaluate the possibility, but it’s possible that the name is of Arab or Berber origin.

  4. Diego Segui

    L. Becker records also “Falgarosus”, and a place-name “Fargalosa” all from the same period and area. Add “lagunam Fargalosi” 897 and “Lagina de Fargalosi” 1078 in Lugo (España Sagrada XL pp. 386 and 419). r/l metathesis is common enough in Hispanic languages to make the identification safe. If the anthroponym and the toponym are related, it’s worth noting that “Falgarosa” exists in Portugal, which D.A. Moreira groups with several place-names derived from Lat. filix “fern” (“Etimologia de Portugal”, 1961):

    “Filix parece ter derivados na forma falg-: Falgar, Falgareira, Falgarosa, etc. (devido à vizinhanza do l) e folg- (devido à proximidad da labial f): Folgarosa, Folgar, etc., além da forma normal em felg-: Felgares, Felgueiras.”

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