Mystery Monday: Vudeota

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 a feminine name found in 12th C France, in two variants:
The Vud- / Ud- beginning makes it likely that this name is of Germanic origin, possibly deriving from a variant of Otto (which name was occasionally spelled Udo in France in the 11th and 12th century). If that is correct, then the -ot- is possibly a diminutive suffix rather than a deuterotheme; but if it is, it’s certainly not a common one in 12th C France.

We’d love to hear your suggestions about what the origin of this name might be. Please share your thoughts in the comments!

1 Comment

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

One response to “Mystery Monday: Vudeota

  1. Brian M. Scott

    It appears from this Google Books snippet that the name also appears as Udeota and, with initial h, as Hudeeta; Udeota is chosen as the head form. the 15th century we have Rinhardus Fuchs et Hudieta uxor eius, apparently from Metz; in the index her name is modernized as Houdiette. Another instance of Houdiette is found on p. 1429 of this document in reference to a property at Thil, France, some 30-35 miles north of Metz; the date is 1248, and the name is doubtless modernized.

    Both -ota and -eta are familiar feminine diminutive suffixes, and I see no reason to try to interpret them as anything else. That leaves the problem of identifying the first element, which seems most likely to be a Germanic prototheme. In all three variants it ends in a vowel, so I would expect it to be one that normally does so in dithematic compounds; this argues against its being from PGmc. *audaz ‘wealth, riches’ (OHG ōt, OSax ōd, OE ēad, ON auðr). One tentative possibility is PGmc. *hulþaz ‘gracious, devoted, loyal’ (OE, OFr, OSax, OHG hold), given such forms of Huldegarde as Hudeardis and Udeardis; the French Houdiette is consistent with this.

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