Mystery Monday: Naurpaud

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 of those names that is just a little bit unsettling: The names which you plug into google and get no hits. Is it a typo? Is it a scribal error? Is it a transcription error? Is it an actual name, just so rare that there’s no trace of it on the internet?! Whatever it is, we’re looking to you to help us figure it out.


Our single example comes from mid 12th C France, in a Latin document associated with Pontigny. Do you have any thoughts about what its origin might be? Please share in the comments!


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

2 responses to “Mystery Monday: Naurpaud

  1. Diego Segui

    The name of this abbot appears as Norpaldus or Norpaudus elsewhere, e.g.:

    So it could be northa + bald.

  2. Brian M. Scott

    Other editions of the document give his name as Norpaudus, e.g., here (Nr. CCLX) and here (p. 134). He again appears as Norpaudus in another document c. 1140. He was primus abbas Vallis Lucencis, the first abbot of Vauluisan, according to this (p. 55) and other sources.

    The name is clearly Norpaldus with French vocalization of /al/ to /au/, and indeed he appears here as Norpaldus in 1155. This is evidently Germanic Norpald; the first element is surely a reduced form of Nord-, from PGmc *nurþrą ‘north’ (noun) or nurþraz, and the second is from PGmc *balþaz ‘strong, bold’. Morlet has a number of early instances of the name: Nordbold, Nortbaldus, Nortboldus, Nortpoldus, Norbaldus, Norboldus.

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