Mystery Monday: Robasona

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 so mysterious, we don’t even know (a) whether it is in fact a name or (b) if it is, what gender it is.


It shows up in notarial records from Tirol in contexts that make it look like a name — e.g., all the other records follow the same structure, and in the place were “Robasone” and “Robasonam” appear, the other records have identifiable given names — but it is also not entirely clear whether it’s a given name or a byname. If it is a given name, by the grammar one would expect it to be feminine, but that’s the only clear indication — and almost all of the other people mentioned in these records are men. Hence, our uncertainty.

The word ‘robasona/robesone’ shows up in a few places on googlebooks (distinct from our instances), but unfortunately only in ones that don’t give a big enough snippet to be able to read the context, so that doesn’t help.

Do you have any thoughts? Access to different parts of googlebooks than we do? Please share what you find in the comments!

1 Comment

Filed under announcements, dictionary entries, mystery monday

One response to “Mystery Monday: Robasona

  1. Brian M. Scott

    The German abstract says that Wiboto … belegt den Robasona mit dem Banne … [emphasis added]; den (masc. acc. sing.) implies that the editor, at least, took Robasona to be masculine, despite its form. The snippets from Archivio trentino rivista trimestrale suggest that we may well be dealing with a dialect form of some kind of descriptive byname.

    It is possible that this is akin to robaxone, which apparently is ‘theft’ in some Lombard dialects. The Italian would apparently be rubagione.

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