Mystery Monday: Tisvidis

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 mystery name is a lovely little feminine name from 11th C Belgium. The deuterotheme is clearly either Old High German wīt, Old Saxon wīd ‘wide’ or Old Saxon widu, wido, Old High German witu ‘wood’, both of which developed into -widis or -vidis when Latinised. But the prototheme? We have no idea. If you do, please share in the comments!




Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

5 responses to “Mystery Monday: Tisvidis

  1. Ok, probably unrelated, but I known of one woman named Sitiuidis mentioned in a Galician original charter dated in 883. Sit- / Tis-??? May one of the writers got the name wrong?

  2. Brian M. Scott

    Morlet has Disoidis from the Polyptyque de l’abbaye de Saint-Remi de Reims; the actual entry is Disoidis, filia, forensis, epistolaria, cum infantibus II. Morlet also has one instance each of Disoalis and Disoalus. She offers a conjectural etymology based ultimately on Gothic filudeisei ‘subtlety, cunning’ in case Dis- is a genuine prototheme, but she prefers, as do I, to see this as most likely a variant of the *þeudō ‘people, nation’ prototheme, akin to Tiz-.

  3. Jörg Knappen

    There is an alternative for the deuterotheme, namely swinth, swith from Proto-Germanic *swinþaz ‘strong’. But this still leaves the prototheme open, and I agree with with Brian M. Scott that it is most probably a variant of *þeudō ‘people, nation’. So my analysis of the name is Ti-svidis from *þeudō-swinþa.

    I discard (the clearly attested) prototheme Dis- because the name is found in Belgium, a solidly low Germanic region. There we cannot expect a sound shift d->t (and the deutrotheme does not show such a sound shift as well).

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