Mystery Monday: Polo

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 one where we’ve got three instances in three different countries, and we’re not even sure that they are all in fact instances of the same name. In particular, the example from Austria may be of distinct origin from the others, as indicated by the distinct vowel; and the two Latin genitive examples may be genitives of different nominatives.


So, are these the same name? If so, what name? Got any thoughts? Other possible examples? Please share in the comments!



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2 responses to “Mystery Monday: Polo

  1. Jörg Knappen

    Förstemann (1900) sets Bolo as the lemmatic Form of the name and tries to connect it to MIddle HIgh German buole “consort, brother, friend”. However, he has some cautionary remarks about the lack of early attestations of the MIddle High German word:

    Ich denke an mhd. buole (msc.
    u. fem.), gatte, bruder, freund, wobei auffallend ist,
    dass das wort weder ahd. noch ags. und altn. be-
    gegnet.’ Hie und da konnte auch Bollo aus Baldo
    entsprungen sein.

  2. Diego Segui

    Is it possible that this is the origin of Marco Polo’s family name? In his Latin will and other documents (as printed by H. Yule, 1871) the spelling hesitates between “Marcus Paulo”, “Marcus Polo” and “Marcus Pollo”. (Note that it’s never “Marcus Paulus”.)

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