Mystery Monday: Emalivercha

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 9th C feminine name from Besalú, Catalonia. We don’t have many early Spanish names, yet, and even fewer feminine names, making it hard to do any sort of etymological triangulation. In this particular case, we don’t have any solid basis from which to guess at either element — though perhaps the prototheme is related to Proto-Germanic *amal ‘vigor, bravery’, and the deuterotheme perhaps to Proto-Germanic *berhtaz, making this a feminine of Amalbert. But that is nothing more than a guess, not even quite a hunch.


Do you have any hunches, any guesses? Any other examples of the name or something similar? Please let us know in the comments.


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

3 responses to “Mystery Monday: Emalivercha

  1. Diego Segui

    D. Kremer in Die germanischen Personennamen in Katalonien (II 251) agrees that the first element is *amal, but relates the second to *berga, with other examples such as Stevercha and Gervercha.

  2. Brian M. Scott

    Repertori d’antropònims catalans : (RAC) 1, Jordi Bolòs i Masclans, Josep Moran i Ocerinjauregui, Barcelona Inst. d’Estudis Catalans, 1994, p. 105, reckons it a form of Amalberga, which strikes me as eminently plausible. That would make the deuterotheme PGmc *bergō, and the name itself is in record as early as Ostrogothic Amalabergam (acc.) in the 6th century.

  3. In Galicia, some 1000km west of Catalonia and with names inherited from Sueves and Goths, we don’t have that exact name, but others with the same deuterotheme:

    Sindiuerga 842
    Astriverga 879
    Astiverga 975
    Viscaverga 982
    Gundiverga 977
    Ildiverga 1022
    Quindiuerga, Kintiverga 883+
    Raniverga 985
    Vistiverga, Vistiberga 883+
    Teodeuerga 883

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.