Mystery Monday: Kenetlor

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.

Do we have any Breton scholars in the house? If so, today’s name is for you! It’s a 9th C masculine name from the Redon Cartularies. The prototheme may be related to Old Breton ken, cain/Middle Welsh cein ‘handsome, splendid warrior’, but that wouldn’t explain the -et-, and we also don’t know enough Old Breton to be able to identify -lor. If you’ve got any thoughts, please share in the comments!



Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries

3 responses to “Mystery Monday: Kenetlor

  1. The prototheme could be cognate with Welsh cenedl (‘nation, people’). That still leaves -or, though.

  2. Brian M. Scott

    I suspect that it’s cognate with Welsh cenedlawr, defined in Thomas Rogers, Antiquae linguae britannicae thesaurus: being a British, or Welsh-English dictionary, 1753, as ‘he that begets, a progenitor or ancestor or the chief and patron of a family’ and in William Owen, A Dictionary of the Welsh Language, Explained in English, Vol. I, 1803, as ‘The patron of a family; a progenitor’. This is clearly a derivative of cenedl ‘nation; tribe, clan, kindred; generation’, as suggested above by Clare. Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru gives cenhedlawr as an old plural of cenedl. Ranko Matasović, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic, has *kenetlo- ‘race, kind’, from a PIE root *ken- ‘begin’ (whence also PCelt. *ken-o- ‘descend from, come into being, be born’), with an Old Breton reflex chenetl.

  3. Dans le cartulaire de Redon, le nom se trouve sous les formes suivantes : Kenetlor, Kenedlor, Kenethlur, Kenetler. Il n’existe pas d’autres noms de personnes avec le protothème “kenet” mais il en existe avec le protothème “ken” : Kenguethen, Kenmarcoc, Kenmiscet, Kenmonoc, Kentuuant, Kentuuocon, etc.
    On peut envisager également une formation du nom à partir de “kenet”, beauté, et “loar”, lune, mais je n’ai pas trouvé d’autres exemples qui permettraient d’appuyer cette hypothèse.
    Voir Le Pelletier, Dictionnaire de la langue bretonne, 1752, pages 483 (kenet) et 544 (loar).
    Voir aussi dans ce dictionnaire le terme “cannat”, envoyé, député, délégué (p. 119), et Le Pelletier indique à propos du verbe “leuzri”, envoyer un ambassadeur, un député, que “le plus souvent Cannat suit ce verbe” (p. 533).
    Voir aussi le Dictionnaire étymologique du breton moyen, 1887, p. 242, à propos du terme “cannat”.

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