Mystery Monday: Quintavallo

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.

It’s the last of our uncertain ‘Q’ names! Quintavallo is our guess at a hypothetical Italian nominative form of a masculine name recorded in Latin genitive as Quintavalli, in Bergamo sometime between 1265 and 1339.


We haven’t a clue about this name. Do you have any suggestions for its origin? Another example of it in a different context? Please share in the comments!


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

4 responses to “Mystery Monday: Quintavallo

  1. Jörg Knappen

    I dare postulate a dithematic Germanic name here, the first element being wintar “winter” and the second element being probably walh “foreign, welsh” or bald “bold”. Förstemann (1900) has an attestation of the name Wintarbal.

    • Diego Segui

      Possibly in support of this suggestion, note that the name is several times attested with Guin-, e.g. “Guintavallis de Montecalvo” (nom., 1219) in Q. Sàntoli, Liber Censuum Comunis Pistorii (Pistoia 1915) p. 55.

  2. Brian M. Scott

    For another example A charter dated 1160 at Milan has Otto and Quintavallus as sons of Petrus de Mama. The Italian summary standardizes the name to Quintavalle (and his sister-in-law’s name Zuriana to Giuliana).

    For what it’s worth, French Wikipedia says that Quintavalle is the name of an old Venetian family (to which Bernardo di Quintavalle, one of the first followers of Francis of Assisi, belonged). It says that the name ‘est composé du nom propre Quinto et du particule valle pour vallée’. Here Quinto is presumably a reflex of the Latin praenomen Quintus, though it’s not clear to me that it could not just as well be the number. And it certainly isn’t clear why this family name would give rise to a forename.

  3. Diego Segui

    Another possibility is that it is a form of Breton Kintuuallon (in the Redon Cartulaire). See this and other names with kintu- “first” and -uuallon in J. Loth, Chrestomathie bretonne 116, 171-2:
    How it could turn up it 12th century Italy is another problem.

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