Mystery Monday: Chiquart

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 found in Old and Middle French and is a strange example of a name that we don’t have any Latin instances of! It’s probably of Germanic origin, with the deuterotheme being derived from Old English heard, Old Saxon hard, Old High German hart ‘strong, hard’. But that being said, we have no idea what the prototheme could be. Do you have any thoughts? Please share in the comments!


Also, while not entirely relevant to the onomastic question, we did find a cool titbit about a historical Chiquart: one “Maistre Chiquart” as cook to the Duke of Savoy, and author of a cookbook, Du fait de cuisine.


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

8 responses to “Mystery Monday: Chiquart

  1. Jörg Knappen

    I suggest the German word Schick (“order, correct manners, correct clothing”) as a prototheme. It is attested in monothematic names (see Förstemann 1900 under SCIC) and rare as the first element in dithematic names.

    The French word chic is a loan from German (and was later back-loaned into the German language as the adjective schick).

  2. Diego Segui

    Froissart in his Chronicles mentions one Chiquart de La Perriere or Ciquart of Luperriere (depending on the MS; you can search for both at ).

    There are other instances of Ciquart. A 12th c. document in the Chartulary of Grenoble gives: “Mansus Petri Siquarti, 11 solidos”

    See also “Petrus Siquart” and “Johannes Siquart” in 1351:

    • Oooh, haven’t see the Ci- spelling before, that’s good data to have!

      • Jörg Knappen

        The alternate spelling with a simple C- or even an S- makes the name much easier to explain, it is than a Sighard or a Sigward/Sigurd.

        A French word beginning with Ch- not followed by an A always calls for an explanation because original Latin C (pronounced /k/) was shifted to CH (pronounced /ʃ/) only in front of an A.

      • Brian M. Scott

        It is not entirely true that Latin C was shifted to /∫/ only before /a/: the shift also occurred before /e/ and /i/ in Picard and partially in Norman, Anglo-Norman, Walloon, and Champagne, according to E. Einhorn, Old French: A Concise Handbook.

        I am not entirely convinced that C(h)iquart and <Siquart are the same name. At the very least we need to look more closely at where and when the various forms are found.

  3. Brian M. Scott

    I doubt that this is a genuine dithematic Germanic name in origin. Rather, I suspect that it’s an Old/Middle French formation with the Old/Middle French suffix -art ~ -ard. The suffix does derive from PGmc *harduz, but it acquired an independent existence as a suffix, both forming diminutives, e.g., Pierrart 1274, from Pierre, and *Colart (Colardus 1223), son of *Nicole (Nicholaus), and adding a pejorative flavor to nominal and adjectival bynames.

    The first element a problem. Several sources mention that in the Southwest chic had a sense ‘small’ (cf. Spanish chico), but actual attestations for any sense are much later. There is also Old French chiche ‘stingy’ (1175), possibly kin to the Spanish word and/or Latin ciccum ‘a trifle, a bagatelle’. The forename may be transferred from a byname belonging to this cluster.

  4. a

    Might it be related to the French ‘chiquard’ (which my basic French can’t define, but which has a wiktionary page that suggests it’s food-related. It pops up as a surname in “Fantômas” by Pierre Souvestre)? And/or the surname Schweickhard/ Schwichard?
    Sorry, not much of a contribution, but perhaps better etymologists than I can make something of it.

    • Jörg Knappen

      The French wiktionary gives as meaning of chiquard “Grand mangeur, amateur de bons morceaux.”, so probably “glutton, gormandizer” is an English translation. Unfortunately, they have no etymology for the word, it can be derived from a proper name, or it was there first and is not a proper name at all.

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