Mystery Monday: Maginca/Magincus

Well, we’ve been busy! Some of it has been non-Dictionary stuff, some of it has been Dictionary stuff. In any case, with a new year and a new school term starting, we hope to get back to our usual posting schedule. Without any further ado, time to get back to our Mystery Monday series!

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 we have a pair of names — masculine/feminine counterparts that are both recorded in the south of France in 814 in the same source. They could be compounds of Old High German megin, magan ‘strength, might, power’, as this theme often turns up as magin- in France, but if so, what is -ca/-cus? A diminutive suffix? But that would be a very strange one to find in France at this time.



If you have any speculations, please share with us!


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

4 responses to “Mystery Monday: Maginca/Magincus

  1. Jörg Knappen

    I’d divide the names as follows mag-inc-(a/us) with mago related to megin and -inc being the Germanic patronymic suffix “-ing” frequent in names and often given as -inc.

  2. Have you not found other contemporary attestations of names with diminutive -k- suffixes? If not then I like Jörg’s idea; I know precious little about the philological context so will have to assume that -inc was the standard rendering of Germanic -ing. The PASE database includes Megingoz, the name of the Bishop of Würzburg 753-85. However, recorded forms of his name include Magingaoz, Megingotus, Megingozus, which point to a dithematic name with a deuterotheme starting g- (perhaps equivalent to the -geot that turns up in one or two of the OE regnal lists?) The prototheme therefore would surely be the same as you posit for Maginca/-us. Which brings us full circle. I’m torn!

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