Mystery Monday: Tegeryn

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.

Today’s name is one for the Cymraegs amongst our readership, a 14th C Welsh name:
The prototheme is almost certainly teg ‘fair’; but what’s the deuterotheme?


Filed under mystery monday

5 responses to “Mystery Monday: Tegeryn

  1. Could that middle E somehow (I can’t think how) be a scribal error for U or V, making it Modern Welsh Tegfryn (‘fair’ + ‘hill’)? No idea if that was even used at the time.

    Or (on even shakier ground) could it be connected to eurin (‘golden’), as possibly found in Aneurin?

  2. heatherrosejones

    I have two other examples of the name, both from the 1292 Lay Subsidy roll for Nefyn. One is of this name element alone (tegerin), the other appearing in a patronym (Gwenllian filia tegerin). The source is:

    Pierce, T. Jones. 1930. “Lay Subsidy Account 242/50 [A.D. 1293]” in Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 5:142-8.

    Do you have a geographic location for the 1360 example? It would be interesting if this were a very local use.

    “Teg-” doesn’t seem to be particularly productive. The names in my database beginning with that sequence (that aren’t clearly descriptive bynames) are pretty much limited to Tegwared (very common) and Tegau (Anglesey submissions of 1406). There’s also Giraldus’s mention of Tegeingl as a feminine given name, but the identity with the place name (the point of his joke) raises some other issues. The Harleian ms. 3859 genealogies published in Bartrum have a “Tacit” (which would modernize as Tegid), but this is almost certainly an adaptation of Latin Tacitus, also Tecmant (which would modernize as Tegfan), possibly a better candidate for the same prototheme.

  3. When I saw this I immediately thought “tegeirian,” which I believe is the Welsh word for “orchid.” I wonder if they’re connected past the first element.

  4. Brian M. Scott

    I can’t speak to the quality of the transcription, but there is a translation of an Extent of the County of Anglesey taken in 1352 by John de Delves in Transactions of the Cymmrodorion, vol. 1, London, 1822. In it I find the following names, some from patronymics: Tegonwy, Tegwyn, Tegwared, Tegai, and Tegwarin in addition to Tegerin ~ Tegeryn. As I was going through I had the impression that apart from the very common Tegwarad the names tended to come in clusters, but I’ve not tried to verify this rigorously.

    I note that the name survives: I found a 2007 obituary for a Welsh Glyn Ieuan Tegeryn Griffiths, and another for a Tegeryn Prytherch who died in 2011 in his home county of Anglesey. I don’t know where Griffiths was born, but the name does seem to have a strong association with Anglesey.

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