Mystery Monday: Umizi

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 masculine name from early 10th Austria. The ending makes it likely that it is a diminutive of some sort, which means that we need to identify the radiconym. Our best guess is that the root is the same as the prototheme of Humbert, as that name often shows up with the initial h dropped. If that’s right, then the root can be identified with Proto-Germanic *hūn ‘bearcub’.


Do you have any alternative suggestions? Please share in the comments!


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

2 responses to “Mystery Monday: Umizi

  1. Jörg Knappen

    Förstemann (1900) sees another stem here, but he uses a very hedging language:

    UM. In Ummo und seinen ableitungen er-
    kenne ich einen secundären stamm, der wol beson-
    ders aus Unmar, -mod, -mund entstanden ist.

    Förstemann explains the stem un as derivation from the Old High German verb unnan “to give, to concede”, but there is also a derivation from Old Norse unnr “wave” possible.

  2. With the obvious caveat that we appear to be dealing with a single name spelling, I’m inclined to agree with the suggestion that the first part of the name stands for Um/Un rather than Hun. Leonard Neidorf has written persuasively about the name Unferth in ‘Beowulf’ and how its emendation to Hunferth reflects the currency of particular elements in the OE anthroponymicon at the time the poem was written out in its one extant ms form. He’s pretty good at uploading his published work to do you should be able to find the piece in question there (I can’t remember for certain but it could be in his article ‘Beowulf before Beowulf’)

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