Mystery Monday: Ztrzezna

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 the Czech Republic. We’ve got loads of questions about it before we even get to the question of origin. First: Are all three of these spellings variants of the same name, or do we have more than one name here? Second: Are any of these diminutives? If so, are they diminutives of each other, or of some fourth name that we haven’t yet found a record of?


(We won’t even go into the question of “how do you pronounce it?”!)

When it comes to the question of origin, here we actually do have some information. There is a (modern) Czech name Střezislava, the name of the wife of an important 10th C Bohemian nobleman who founded the Slavník dynasty and the mother of Saint Adalbert of Prague. It’s quite likely that the prototheme of her name is represented in this mystery name — modern ř was often written rz in medieval Latin renderings of Czech names. This is what leads us to think that the three forms above may be diminutives of something else, something like Střezislava.

But we’d love to have a firm basis for this speculation. If you have any evidence or information to share that would confirm or deny, please let us know in the comments!

1 Comment

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

One response to “Mystery Monday: Ztrzezna

  1. Brian M. Scott

    Gerhard Schlimpert, Slawische Personennamen in mittelalterlichen Quellen zur deutschen Geschichte has a relevant entry s.n. STREŠ / STREŽ. The citations (from the 13th and 14th centuries) aren’t terribly relevant, but the etymological notes may be. He derives it from a reconstructed Polabo-Pomeranian *Streš or *Strež, a short form of names like Strzeżybor, from Proto-Slavic *stergti, which is referred to the entry STRĚG. There *stergti is given as the etymon for Old Church Slavonic strěgǫ, strěšti ‘protect, guard’, Polish strzec, Czech stříci, Old Slavic strědzi, and Old Polish strzeży. There is a suggestion that the Czech name Strěž belongs here.

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