Mystery Monday: Komana/Komemka

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 we have a double-barrelled mystery, two names which we suspect might be related to each other, but where we aren’t sure:

Komana

Komemka

Both names are masculine names found in 16th-century Finland, in Swedish-language records. The -ka suffix of Komemka makes us wonder if it’s a diminutive, and that in turn makes a connection with Komana likely — but this is just linguistic guessery at this point. We’d love to know more about the origin of this name/these names, and any other information you might have that would confirm or deny a connection. Please share in the comments!

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2 Comments

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

2 responses to “Mystery Monday: Komana/Komemka

  1. Brian M. Scott

    The 1582 list of masculine forenames from North Karelia from which these two names come contains rather a lot of apparently Slavic names: Bogdana; Demittri; Iffuan(n), by far the most common with 27 occurrences, and the variant Iffuana; Ilia; Kijrile; Kondrat; Makarij; Michitta ~ Mikitta; and probably Ignat(h)a, Nesterj, T(h)erentij, and Trochim. Note that some of these are actually feminine forms in Slavic, with final -a. There is a masculine name Koman attested in the 14th century in Bulgaria and in the 15th century in Poland; it is perhaps not out of the question that this is the source of Komana here.

    Komemka certainly has the general appearance of a Slavic diminutive, albeit a feminine diminutive, though Komenka would be an even better fit. I hesitate to connect it with Komana, however, without some actual evidence; a connection is certainly possible, but I don’t think that I’d go so far as to call it likely.

  2. Jörg Knappen

    First, a dead end: My first association was the name Comenius, but this name is not applicable here: Comenius lived much later and his name is explained as a derivation from his birth place, Komňa in Southern Moravia.

    I am tempted to link the name with the common Slavonic word kamen “stone” that is attested as a masculine name, but this still leaves the vowel “o” to be explained. While there are some o/a alternations in the Slavonic languages, it looks like kamen always has an a ans never an o. I don’t know enough about Slavonic sound laws to resolve this question.

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