Mystery Monday: Trebeiza

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 early 11th C Austria, in a list of witnesses to a charter, and is of uncertain gender (but, given that it’s in a list of witnesses to a charter, is probably masculine). We’ve found a lot of names from modern-day Austria that have proven to be trickier than expected to identify — it’s fascinating to see the strength of the Germanic influence on the naming pool waning the further east and south we go.


This name, however, isn’t a complete mystery! Our “throw the name at google, see what comes up” method of researching tricky names led us to Christa Hlawinka’s MagPhil diploma Slawische Sprachspuren im Mühlviertel, which discusses this name on pp. 96-97:

Triefhaider: Der Hof Triefhaider liegt in der Rotte Dörfl, Gemeinde Kefermarkt, GB und PB Freistadt.

1115 F 13. JhA ist in einer lateinischen Urkunde […] predium Marchuardi Threbeia erwähnt; 1125 predium Marcwardi Trebeie und Trebeię, 1230 Witigo de Treveie, 1418 Trefay.

Ein slawischer Personenname *Trěbějь zu *trěb- ‘bedürftig, geeignet, würdig sein’ könnte namengebend gewesen sein. (HOHENSINNER 2003a:164-165). *Trěbějь findet
sich ebenfalls im Verzeichnis der alpenslawischen Personennamen, dazu ist in der Steiermark 1030 die weibliche Form Trebeiza (< *Trěbějica) belegt (KRONSTEINER 1975:76,167). Vgl. sln. treba ‘notwendig’ und tschech. třeba ‘vielleicht’; entsprechendes ursl. *terba könnte von *terbiti ‘reinigen, roden’ abgeleitet sein im Sinne von ‘opfern’ (aksl. trěba ‘Opfer’) (REJZEK 2001:679).

We wouldn’t mind at all, though, some help translating this, particularly the Slavic elements and the abbreviations! If you can help, please let us know in the comments!


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

2 responses to “Mystery Monday: Trebeiza

  1. Brian M. Scott

    Triefhaider: The farm Triefhaider lies in the scattered hamlet Dörfl in the municipality Kefermarkt in the judicial and political district Freistadt.

    A copy from the beginning of the 13th century of a Latin document of 1115 mentions […] predium Marchuardi Threbeia; predium Marcwardi Trebeie and Trebeię 1125, Witigo de Treveie 1230, Trefay 1418.

    The place-name could derive from a Slavic personal name *Trěbějь from *trěb- ‘needy, suitable, worthy’ (HOHENSINNER 2003a:164-165). *Trěbějь is also to be found in the index of Alpine Slavic personal names, and the feminine form Trebeiza (< *Trěbějica) is attested in the Steiermark in 1030 [This is evidently your citation. -BMS] (KRONSTEINER 1975:76,167). Cf. Slovenian treba ‘necessary’ and Czech třeba ‘perhaps’; the corresponding Proto-Slavic *terba could be derived from *terbiti ‘to cleanse, to clear (a wood)’ in the sense ‘to sacrifice’ (Old Church Slavonic trěba ‘sacrifice’ (REJZEK 2001:679).

    • Brian M. Scott

      Having now read §2.2.2, I must correct one error: the Latin document mentioned in the second paragraph was produced at the beginning of the 13th century but with the falsified date 1115. (The notation 1115 F 13. JhA is explained on p. 49; my original interpretation would have been denoted by 1115 C 13. JhA.)

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