Mystery Monday: Faburn/Faburr

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 late 13th C Italy (Bergamo, to be precise), and we have two instances of it, each in a different spelling.


Now, Faburn and Faburr are not within the range of the usual sorts of spelling variants that you see — changing \n\ for \r\ doesn’t follow ordinary linguistic rules. However, in certain medieval scripts, r and n can be easily misread for each other. So there is a good chance that the editor of the edition we used for this source misread one of the instances — or even that the scribe who originally copied the manuscript misread one of the instances! Of the two forms, Faburn strikes us as more likely to be the non-corrupted form, which is why we have selected it as our header spelling. That being said, we don’t actually have any idea what the etymological origin of the name might be, which makes our choice of Faburn over Faburr purely guesswork. We’d love to have some more data one way or the other — other examples of the name, thought about its etymology, etc. Please share in the comments if you have anything to add!


1 Comment

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

One response to “Mystery Monday: Faburn/Faburr

  1. Brian M. Scott

    I’m pretty sure that Faburri is an error, and Faburni is correct. Here we have an Ugolino (obl.) Faburni 1308, a character Faburnus appears as a shepherd in a late 15th century Latin eclogue by Giovanni Pontano.

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