Category Archives: crowd-sourcing

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:

Donalen

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

Mystery Monday: Three Cuen- Names

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 we’re giving you not one, not two, but three mystery names! Why three? Because there might be a chance that they are related to each other. All are masculine names found Switzerland in the 14th-15th C; one is recorded in Old French, one in Latin, one in Middle French; all start with Cuen-.

Cuenin

Cuenod

Cuenzy

Of the three, Cuenod is the easiest one to analyse: The -od suffix is a common Swiss diminutive suffix (cf. Perrod, Johannod, and others). If we take -in and -zy as diminutive suffixes (plausible in the case of -in, as it shows up in French; -zy is otherwise unfamiliar to us), then the root is Cuen- — possibly from Cuno or Conrad?

What do you think? Are we barking up the right tree? Have you any other examples of these names, or of names that might be related? Have you ever seen -zy as a diminutive suffix before, in Switzerland or elsewhere? Please share in the comments!

5 Comments

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

Mystery Monday: Bye

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 fun one, because we’ve got examples from 16th C England and 13th C Germany and we have no idea if they represent the same name or not.

Bye

There’s every reason to think that these are distinct names; but there’s also no reason to think that they aren’t the same. This is in part because we have no idea what name this could be; pretty much the only possible possible explanation is that the 16th C English form is a double diminutive of Sibyl via such forms as Sybeye and Sybbie.

Have you got any other ideas? Reasons to think these are the same name? Different names? Please share in the comments!

3 Comments

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, monthly topic

Mystery Monday: Agamelono

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.

And we’re back around at the beginning of the alphabet again! Today’s name is a masculine name from Renaissance Italy, and every time I type it out, I keep feeling like it should be Greek — but I’m pretty sure I’m just getting swayed by Agamemnon:

Agamelono

It’d be cool (and not unreasonable give the Renaissance Italian’s penchant for reviving classical Greek and Latin names) if this were of Greek origin, but we haven’t been able to find any Ἀγεμ- or ῾Αγήμ- name that has any ls in it.

So, do you have any thoughts about where this name might have come from? Any examples of similar names? Please share in the comments!

1 Comment

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

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?

Ztrzezna

(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

Mystery Monday: Ymar

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 occurs twice in the registers of the Protestant Church at Caen in the 1560s:

Ymar

The two references we have are to different men — in 1561, Ymar Le Mercier married Françoise; in 1562, Ymar Malet married Julienne. (Elsewhere in the registers, we find that Ymar and Julienne welcomed a baby girl named Elizabeth in October 1563!)

It’s a name we’ve not otherwise come across in France. Is it a variant of Aymar? A misspelling/misreading/mistranscription of Yvar? The only other instance of this name that we’ve ever found is an early English saint who died around 830. Is it reasonable to think of two 16th C Protestant men being named after an obscured 9th C English saint? (Probably not). Are the two names related? Are they just coincidentally identical?

If you have any thoughts or clues or other examples of the name, please share in the comments!

3 Comments

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

Mystery Monday: Weyrata

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 comes from 14th C Germany (Münster, to be precise).

Weyrata

It’s a feminine name found in a Latin document, so we’re hypothesizing the nominative form from the genitive. The Latin nominative isn’t really uncertain — but the underlying name is. The deuterotheme is probably Old Saxon rād, Old High German rāt ‘counsel, advice’, more commonly used in men’s names but occasionally used in women’s names. But the prototheme is eluding us: It’s not clear at all what would give rise to Wey- in German.

Do you have any thoughts? Any other names with the same prototheme? Please share in the comments!

4 Comments

Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday