Mystery Monday: Donalen

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 masculine name found in late 13th/early 14th century Italy:


It’s never a good sign when a search of googlebooks for other instances of a name turns up nothing! Is this a scribal error? A hapex legomenon? A legitimate name with a straightforward etymology? We have no idea! We’d love to know your thoughts, please share in the comments!

1 Comment

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

One response to “Mystery Monday: Donalen

  1. Diego

    Just an idea: the entry reads “Benvenuta filia Donalene”. This could be “filia donnae Lenae”; “dona” for “donna, domina” is usual in the source (Matricola Femminile – e.g. “dona Berlenda”, “dona Bonacossa”). You already have an entry “Lena” in the dictionary (Florence 1367) which might be the same name. Any of these could also be an aphetic form of “Elena”: Google produces several Italian sources where “Santa/Beata Lena” refers either to Saint Helen (Constantine’s mother) or Saint Helen Valentinis (1396-1458).

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.