Mystery Monday: Rody

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.

Here’s an unusual 16th C feminine name!


It’s one of those names that feels like a diminutive, but a diminutive of what? If it were a masculine name, we could hypothesize a connection with <Ralph, but as a feminine name, it’s quite perplexing. Have you found any examples of the name? Or have any thoughts of what it might represent? Please share in the comments!


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

6 responses to “Mystery Monday: Rody

  1. It’s probably a diminutive of Rhoda.

  2. Brian M. Scott

    For what it’s worth, the index s.n. Rathby identifies her as Rhoda, though this would be a very early instance of the name. It’s too late to be relevant, but for the sake of completeness I note that the entry for 14 October 1711 records the marriage of a Rhoda Martyn of that parish.

    Perhaps even odder is the forename of Radax Rathby, who was buried 10 April 1590.

    • Brian M. Scott

      And I now see that the same register records the 30 March 1635 marriage of John Voie & Rohda Bull, moving the name closer to the 16th century.

  3. Jörg Knappen

    I agree with Brian Scott that the first candidate name is Rhoda, a biblical name borne by a women mentioned once in the Acts of Apostles. It probably just means “[woman] from Rhodos” although many sources want to relate it to Greek rhodon “rose”.

    As an alternative one can consider a feminine form of Roderick or another name containing the Germanic name element hroth “fame” (there were also feminine names with that prototheme).

  4. Lauren Steenkamp

    Personally I’d be more inclined to say Rody is the short form of Roderica (feminine form of Roderick) then of Rhoda, seeing as the source is dated 1565 and the parish the register recorded was in a very working class area -main industry in the ward was cordwainery, I.e. shoemaking,- such ‘posh’ names as Roderick (and Roderica or Rod/dy) may well have still been pretty common place

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