Mystery Monday: Wackerowe

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.

We have an excellent source of Middle German names from 14th-16th C Estonia (this one), most of which are completely familiar. But a few are not. Are they Middle German renditions of native Estonian names? Are they obscure Slavic names? Are they in fact Germanic? If we knew, they wouldn’t be mysterious. Anyone have any thoughts on today’s mystery name?


Please share your thoughts in the comments!


Filed under dictionary entries, mystery monday

4 responses to “Mystery Monday: Wackerowe

  1. Rebecca Le Get

    I think wordpress ate my comment the first time around — what if it’s to do with the German term “Wacke,” that seems to only be used in Estonia, for a land division within a parish, that encompasses multiple farms/manors?

  2. Jörg Knappen

    Wackerowe sounds like a place name or a surname to me. There is a town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany) named Wackerow (see ) and its name is interpreted as a Slavonic name (but it may be a slavonicisation of an earlier Danish name). Wackerow is also a present day German surname (being the birth name of Marie-Luise Zizmann, see ).

    Quote from the German Wikipedia article cited above:

    Wackerow wurde erstmals 1208 als „Wakare“, 1248 als „Waccarogh“ bzw. 1249 als „Wacharogh“ urkundlich erwähnt. Der slawische Name wurde als „verkrüppelter Baum“ gedeutet, es wird aber angenommen, dass der Name nachträglich slawisiert wurde und tatsächlich eine Namensgebung durch dänische Mönche ist.[3]

    Manfred Niemeyer: Ostvorpommern. Quellen- und Literatursammlung zu den Ortsnamen. Bd. 2: Festland. (= Greifswalder Beiträge zur Ortsnamenkunde. Bd. 2), Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Institut für Slawistik, Greifswald 2001, ISBN 3-86006-149-6. S. 30 ff

    Alternatively, one might related Wacker- to the Germanic name element wakar “awake, vigilant”, but this still leaves the -owe part unexplained

  3. Brian M. Scott

    I agree with Jörg Knappen’s first suggestion. There are at least two places named Wackerow, the one near Greifswald that he found and one that is now part of Ritzerow southeast of Stavenhagen for which Das Zisterzienserkloster Dargun im Stammesgebiet der Zirzipanen: Ein interdisziplinärer Beitrag zur Erforschung mittelalterlicher Siedlungsprozesse in der Germania Slavia, Hansjürgen Brachmann, ed., 2003, p. 168 (visible to me through Google Books) has villa Wackerowe 1280, in villa Wakkarowe 1283, villa Wackerow 1301.

    I also have some clear instances of it as a surname. F. Keutgen, Hansische Handelsgesellschaften, vornehmlich des 14. Jahrhunderts, in Vierteljahrschrift für Social- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Vol. 4, 1906, p. 489, has H. Wackerowe 1310, and Franz Engel, Die Mecklenburgischen Kaiserbederegister von 1496 has Tytke Wakkerow, Hermen Wakkerow, Jacob Wackerow, Ghoteke Wackerow, Wakkerow, and Wackerouw, the last two without forename.

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