Mystery Monday: Uzold

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.

How about a name with a ‘z’ in it this week? Z is a rare letter in many European languages, with only a restricted set of contexts in which it’s an appropriate way to represent that particular sound. So it’s always interesting to find a name with a ‘z’ in it.
Have you come across this name before, in Germany or elsewhere? Have you any thoughts of its origin? Let us know!


Filed under mystery monday

3 responses to “Mystery Monday: Uzold

  1. Jörg Knappen

    I haven’t seen this one before, but it looks quite transparent to me: Utz is a short form of names beginning in OD(AL) or UD(AL) and it can act as a so-called secondary name element and combine with a second name element (in this case WALD, “to rule”).

    Alternatively, one can ponder about a relation to the name Oswald (where the initial Os- is related to ANS “god”).

  2. Brian M. Scott

    The name occurs in the nominative in Nr. 272 from 1267: Vzoldus iudex de Gvtenwerde. It also appears again in the ablative, Vzoldo, in Nr. 387 (1285). I lean towards Jörg Knappen’s first hypothesis. The only drawback is a distinct shortage of examples of dithematic names in which the first element has been reduced to U(t)z-: that form appears almost exclusively in hypocoristic names. I did find one apparent example, in Urkendenbuch der Abtei Sanct Gallen, ed. Hermann Wartmann, Theil I (700-840), Zürich, 1863: Uciolf 770 in Nr. 56. (Förstemann also has an 8th century Uziolf, but his source for it gives no original source, and I suspect that it’s normalized from the Uciolf instance.) If the hypothesis is correct, this would be a variant of Odololfus a. 731 (Morlet I:176b), with the ‘wolf’ deuterotheme.

  3. Brian M. Scott

    I missed a useful instance: in Nr. 385 (1284) the name appears as V̊zolten von Gůtenwerde (MHG dative), the implied nominative being V̊zolt. The initial vowel is thus that of Uodalricus, Uolrich, Uozo, and the like.

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