Mystery Monday: Mieszko / Mikso

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’ve got two entries which we’re pretty sure are ultimately one entry. It’s a masculine name with examples found in Poland and the Czech Republic, in Latin and in Middle High German.



One reason that these haven’t yet been combined into a single entry is because it’s not clear what the canonical name form should be, if we did. And the reason why it’s not clear what the CNF would be is because this is pretty clearly a diminutive — so it shouldn’t be in an entry of its own, but instead these citations should all be folded into the entry for the full form of the name. The question is: What is that form? What is this name a nickname of? Michael? Nicholas? Something else? This mystery should be pretty straightforward to solve, and we’d love your assistance! Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

2 responses to “Mystery Monday: Mieszko / Mikso

  1. I’ve never seen Mikso before, but as a Pole I’m naturally very familiar with Mieszko, as this was the name of two Polish rulers, and is still in use (as a full form) though not very common. The name looks very much like a Slavic diminutive and must have surely evolved from something longer. It might have been Miecisław (modern form is Mieczysław) (mechi =sword and slava =glory). I’ve once read that this could be a diminutive of Michael (perhaps similarly to Russian Mishka), but, even though I’m not a professional linguist so might be wrong, this doesn’t seem likely to me. The name Mieszko comes from the times before Christianity was introduced to Poland, (Poland was christened during the reigns of prince Mieszko I). Mikso in turn doesn’t look Slavic to me, I mean not like a name that would have originally Slavic roots, but then again as I said I’m not a professional linguist. It could be an archaic diminutive of Nicholas, maybe even Polish as well since the Polish form is Mikołaj and -o nicknames were definitely a thing during the middle ages. But the first thing that it makes me think of is that there is a Hungarian diminutive of Michael – Miksa – perhaps it’s some sort of a variation on that, whether Slavic or not.

  2. Jörg Knappen

    This one is straightforward, it is a diminutive of Polish Mieczysław with the prototheme MECHI “sword”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.