Mystery Monday: Percipia

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 a woman’s name from 11th-century France, and it’s one of those names that feels like it should be easy to identify, because it has a very Latinate feel. And yet, even so, it is not immediately clear what the root could be. Do you have any thoughts? Please share them in the comments.



Filed under dictionary entries, mystery monday

3 responses to “Mystery Monday: Percipia

  1. a

    I’m on my phone, so I can’t investigate this properly, but my first thought is that it’s related to Latin percipio (percepi, perceptum), ‘I take possession of/ seize’, ‘I understand/perceive’ from per + capio. Pres active inf. = percibere. Cf modern Spanish percibir.

  2. Brian M. Scott

    What could well be the same woman is named in 1052 in Nr. 541: Ego Raimundus, condam filius Ingilsendis, et uxor mea, nomine Percipia. A document of 1080 that begins on p. 108 of M. Deloche, Saint-Remy de Provence au moyen âge, in Mémoires de l’Institute National de France, Vol. 34, Part 1, 1892, records a gift by Bertrannus de Vennasca et uxor mea Percipia, et filii nostri Hicterius, Guilelmus, Bertrannus, Guilelmus Carbonerius, Isnardus, Gaufredus; this appears to be a different Percipia, though both seem to be from the southeast of France.

    A connection with Latin percipiō in the senses ‘I perceive, feel, learn, know, understand’ seems likely.

  3. Jörg Knappen

    The problem with a relation to the Latin verb percipio is that there is no ready Latin derivation for the form Percipia. Good derivations would be Percepta “the perceived one” or Perception “perception”, but Percipia does not fit.

    I have some more or less wild ideas on this name including a derivation from Germanic Ber-swinþa or a relation to the classical goddess of spring Persephone/Proserpina (in this case, Percipia would be a Graeco-Roman mixture), but nothing conclusive.

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