Mystery Monday: Ultesmana

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 appears in Bergamo, Italy, in a list of women between 1265 and 1339. The lady in question is named Domina Ultesmana uxor condam Zoanni de Lapsina “Lady Ultesmana, wife of the late Zoanni of Lapsina”.


This is the sort of record we like: It’s a clearly identifiable feminine given name. But it’s also the sort of record we don’t like — if you search google books for “Ultesmana”, the only hit you will get is this record. This makes it frustratingly difficult to determine anything about the origin or etymological roots of the name. On the off chance that someone else has come across this name in another context, we’re posing it as today’s mystery. Please share any thoughts you might have in the comments!

1 Comment

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

One response to “Mystery Monday: Ultesmana

  1. Jörg Knappen

    Trying a Germanic etymology, I can identify a first name element VULTHU derived from Gothic vulthus “fame”. The second part is still difficult, because -smana is not open to an easy explication. Taking the s as a Fugenelement or as a part of the prototheme, we are left with -mana that can come from man “man” or from Old Hogh German mendjan “to rejoice”.

    I also notice the similarity to the Shakespearean name Voltemand (from Hamlet).

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