Category Archives: announcements

Welcome to our summer interns!

Exciting developments are afoot at DMNES central, as we’ve partnered with Mt Holyoke College in Massachusetts for their summer internship programme, which means that we have four research interns working for us for the next 8-12 weeks! So many back-burner projects are being brought to the front burner and are now already bubbling away.

In addition to working behind the scenes, each will write a few blog posts updating their progress and what they’re learning/finding out, as well as take over the twitter account for a week. In this post, we’d like to let them briefly introduce themselves:

Adelia Brown:

Hi, I’m Adelia Brown, and I’m a rising junior at Mount Holyoke College majoring in Philosophy and English. During the semester, I love studying logic, ethics, and horror literature. Right now, I’m living at home with my family, including my Bernese Mountain Dog, Simon.

By working on this project, I’m hoping to learn a lot about names, as well as about the research process itself. I hope I can contribute to the project in a meaningful way and take away valuable experience in the academic field. I’m so excited to join this team for the summer!

Juliet Pepe:

I’m Juliet Pepe, a college senior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. I’ve always been fascinated by names, history, and linguistic systems, so I’m really excited to be working on the DMNES this summer!

I’ll be starting with a project involving indexing biblical names, and then I will be working on an article with Dr. Uckelman on the rise of Protestant names in the second half of the 16th century. I will also be developing new skills in determining canonical name forms to create dictionary entries. I’m so looking forward to studying these names as pieces of linguistic history!

Sidney Boker:

I am a rising senior and English major at Mount Holyoke College from New York. I love reading, bothering my sister, and drinking chai. Working with the DMNES team this summer, I hope to contribute to the expansion of the Dictionary, solve some mystery names, and dive into Arthurian literature! I also hope to learn a whole lot about onomastics, gain research experience, and get to know the people at DMNES.

K. J. Lewis

I’m a rising Junior at Mount Holyoke College, studying Physics, Engineering, and English. I love languages, and have studied (in varying amounts) Spanish, Japanese, German, and Chinese. Languages are a great way to learn about different cultures, and they provide a doorway to communicate with people from those cultures. I’ve also always loved studying history and learning more about the world, so when I saw this opportunity to learn more about onomastics and medieval Europe, I was hooked. Getting to study Arthurian legend and relive my childhood dreams of being a knight is only a bonus.

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The DMNES goes (went) to Luxembourg!

poster

Yesterday our editor-in-chief gave a talk in the Digital History and Hermeneutics colloquium series hosted by the Center for Contemporary and Digital History at the University of Luxembourg. There, to a diverse audience of digital historians, digital humanities, computer scientists, onomasts, argumentation theorists, and more, she gave a talk on “Digital Humanities, Medieval History, and Lexicography: The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, about the DMNES both as a project and as a representative of wider issues that face the development of DH projects — issues that we have discussed on this blog before. It’s hard to know what solutions can be found to some of these issues, but the first step towards solving the problems is articulating and discussing them: We cannot know how to solve a problem until we first recognise it as a problem.

We are grateful for the opportunity to talk to such a diverse, interested, and inspiring audience, and have already made some connections towards potential future collaborations. Watch this space! We’ll keep people informed of any new developments here.

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Merry Christmas: Edition 2019 now published!

There’s nothing like visiting family for the holidays to provide both our editor-in-chief and our technical guru time to sit down and put together a new edition — our first of 2019, but at least we got one out this year! Hopefully next year we’ll get our publication schedule a bit more consistent because, among other things, we won’t be renovating a house and then moving into it in 2020!

But since it’s been so long since our last edition, we have a plethora of new names for you — 204 new entries, from Adalgard to Zipporah:

Masculine names

Adalgard
Adalmod
Adjutor
Adrebald
Adrebert
Aitulf
Aldram
Alibert
Ansbrand
Ansfrid
Atenor
Anzo
Archangel
Aster
Athanasius
Aurelian
Averroes
Baruch
Beauoncle
Beauviz
Bert
Bogus
Bohun
Bonagiunta
Cephas
Conmarch
Debonair
Dragan
Dragon
Elisiard
Ermentar
Eutropius
Evangelist
Everich
Father
Ferrer
Finlay
Floridas
Framrich
Fredegar
Fredegis
Giselwin
Godbert
Godsven
Grasso
Hademan
Helmhard
Holmgeirr
Huldward
Ido
Ishmael
Jodocus
John-Michael
Johnbon
Joly
Jordan
Landbod
Libentius
Littera
Liutmar
Liutwin
Llywarch
Lodulf
Lothgar
Luke-Anthony
Machelm
Maelgwn
Malatesta
Malherbe
Maparent
Mancinagross
Manens
Manwulf
Maol Brigdhe
Martin-Angel
Meinbern
Meinger
Meinhelm
Meino
Mercury
Michael-Angel
Miloslav
Micah
Monday
Muhammad
Nicander
Nicholas-Angel
Nivo
Nymphidius
Odelbert
Odelbrand
Odelschalk
Ogo
Ortgar
Ortgis
Ortmar
Ortrich
Ortwin
Ostrobert
Oswi
Otfird
Quant
Radhold
Ramiro
Reinbern
Reinelm
Reingot
Reinteus
Richbert
Richman
Richmar
Ritfrid
Sadrahar
Salefrid
Salo
Sano
Stanimir
Tancran
Theinard
Theinger
Theodebrand
Theodeman
Theodwig
Thorberg
Thorgeirr
Tigernach
Trojan
Uromod
Victorian
Vladislav
Wacher
Wineran
Winter
Wolfald
Wolfbern
Wolfbert
Wolfgrim
Wolfheah
Zemislav

Feminine names

Aichild
Aglinde
Ansegilde
Ameria
Bathsheba
Bernhilde
Bertsinde
Betta
Bonifacia
Breysia
Christofana
Dea
Ermentaria
Ermentilde
Fusca
Gerhaus
Grassa
Guilitsa
Hartgilde
Huldegarde
Imperia
Ingbalda
Jaroslava
Joan-Stephanie
Joyce
Landelanda
Lantberga
Lismod
Liutberga
Magna
Materia
Maxima
Meinberga
Meinilde
Membresia
Montana
Mora
Morbida
Noire
Olympia
Ostosia
Plectrude
Pulchia
Quentine
Radhilde
Raymonda-Ameria
Reinlinde
Reinwise
Rithilde
Rose
Sabata
Sadrilde
Santisme
Sigboda
Superantia
Verderosa
Vigore
Volkrada
Volkwara
Vuteria
Waltera
Waltilde
Weltrude
Zipporah

Names of uncertain gender

Ratgis

Enjoy!

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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.

Robasona

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!

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The DMNES at Dublin 2019 An Irish WorldCon

Our editor in chief, Dr. Sara L. Uckelman, is currently at Dublin 2019 An Irish WorldCon, where this morning she gave a talk on “Names: Form and Function in Worldbuilding and Conlangs”, with a specific focus on medieval-ish/oid European fantasies and alternate medieval European histories. Much of the talk drew on a couple of posts on this blog from a few years ago, but you can also check out the slides if you’re interested!

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Publication announcement: “Names Shakespeare Didn’t Invent: Imogen, Olivia, and Viola Revisited”

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new paper by a member of our team. Our editor-in-chief Dr. Sara L. Uckelman’s paper “Names Shakespeare Didn’t Invent: Imogen, Olivia, and Viola Revisited” is now available online from Names. Here’s the abstract:

Just as Shakespeare’s plays left their indelible stamp on the English language, so too did his names influence the naming pool in England at the beginning of the 17th century and beyond, and certain popular modern names are often described as inventions of Shakespeare. In this article, we revisit three names which are often listed as coinages of Shakespeare’s and show that this received wisdom, though oft-repeated, is in fact incorrect. The three names are Imogen, the heroine of Cymbeline; and Olivia and Viola, the heroines of Twelfth Night. All three of these names pre-date Shakespeare’s use. Further, we show in two of the three cases that it is plausible that Shakespeare was familiar with this earlier usage. We conclude by briefly discussing why these names are commonly mistakenly attributed to Shakespeare’s imagination, and the weaker, but not mistaken, claims which may underlie these attributions.

This paper shows the benefit of a large-scale cross-cultural data like the Dictionary collects and publishes; it is easy to be mislead by the data when you focus only on a single culture, resulting in the drawing of incorrect conclusions. When the net is cast wider, then we can obtain a more accurate picture about which names Shakespeare actually coined, which he merely introduced into England, and which were already in use in England before him, but were, perhaps, popularised by his use of them.

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Outage update + Mystery Monday: Wurgitan

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.

But first! A huge shout-out to our technical guru, Dr. Joel Uckelman, who got the site back up and running again Saturday evening. What should have been a simple server upgrade turned into a whole row of dominoes collapsing; first, it turned out that our original hosting service was not equipped to handle the upgrade, and the first we knew of this was when we tried rebooting the machine and it wouldn’t. We switched providers, he set up an entirely new virtual machine and server, only time find that when he tried to restore all the data via rsync, the connection kept getting dropped after 10-15 seconds, making it completely impossible to rebuild the site. After a couple of rounds with customer service, which regularly got escalated up to the next level, it became clear that (a) it was a network issue on their end, not our end and (b) they weren’t interested in doing the legwork to find out what the issue was and fix it. So, bye-bye hoster 2, on to hoster 3. He set up a new virtual machine Friday night, and thankfully by the end of Saturday we were able to have the entire site restored. If you’ve ever benefited from the DMNES and would like a way to say thanks, feel free to buy him a beer or a coffee if you’re ever in the area. The hard work of the editorial team would be nothing without the technical infrastructure to make the data available to the world.

Today’s Mystery Monday name is from the Redon cartularies, a dithematic Breton name where we’ve identified the prototheme but not the deuterotheme:

Wurgitan

Our resources for Breton names are, unfortunately, rather limited; so if an element or name doesn’t appear in what we have, we’re generally pretty much at a loss. If any of you, dear readers, have better Breton resources than we do, we’d love to know what you have to say about this name! Please share in the comments.

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DMNES outage: longer the planned

Unfortunately, what should’ve been an easily fixed upgrade problem has snowballed and we’re trouble shooting with the company that is hosting the virtual machine that runs the website concerning a networking problem that is preventing us from being able to restore from backup. It’s not clear whether they’ll be able to figure out what the networking problem is, or whether we’ll have to switch to a different hosting company.

We hope it won’t be too much longer before we’re back up!

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DMNES temporarily down

After a server upgrade this afternoon, the machine that runs that DMNES website didn’t reboot. We’re troubleshooting now and when the site is back up and running we’ll announce this on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for your patience!

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Announcement: Publication of Edition 2018, no. 1

We’re pleased to announce the publication of our first edition of 2018, now available (well, available since last night, but we’ve been traveling since then!) at www.dmnes.org. This edition has 21 new masculine names and 14 new feminine names (the full list of new entries in this edition is below), as well as many revised and updated entries – a total of 2267 entries with 56889 citations between them.

We haven’t pushed the temporal boundaries at all – no new citations earlier than our current earliest citation – but we’ve pushed the geographical ones: This edition is the first one to have any examples of European names from North Africa! (We talked about them in a post here). We’ve also increased our representation of names from Switzerland, with a selection of 15th century charters in Latin, French, and German, showing the same count of Gruyère being recorded variously as Franciscus, Francey, and Frantz. The French form is particularly interesting, because it is not a typical French spelling (that would be Francois); it clearly is showing the influence of the Swiss German diminutive construction in -i.

Thanks to the dedication of our Hungarian expert, we’ve added many more citations from Hungary, including many interesting diminutive forms, while another of our editorial team has been working through the registers of the Walloon Church at Canterbury, providing another dimension to the multiculuturalism of 16th century England.

So here are the new names in this edition! Have a fun browsing them, and the rest of the names, here. Let us know in the comments which of the new names is your favorite!

Masculine names

Adalward
Ado
Ago
Alinbert
Betto
Bonjohn
Contaminat
Crispus
Gibeon
Giselfrid
Giso
Helmbert
Peter-Angel
Peter-Paul
Reinbrand
Rene
Sichaus
Theodram
Waldefrid
Waldegaud
Waldeger

Feminine names

Alinhilde
Cassia
Dada
Gaucia
Gerhelma
Hartois
Hessa
Lena
Malitia
Paloma
Renee
Severina
Waldegilde
Waldehilde

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