Category Archives: mystery monday

Mystery Monday: Nivelo/Nevelo

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.

It’s always interesting when a particular mystery name has more than one citation (and they’re not just the same person showing up in a collection of related documents). It’s even more interesting when that mystery name appears in different sources. It’s even more interesting when that mystery name appears in different sources and different centuries — and in both Latin and the vernacular. It’s not often that we have that much disparate evidence for a name (albeit all in France and all within a 150 year period) and have no idea what the origin of the name is. Welcome to today’s Mystery Monday name!

Nivelo

Have you seen this name before? Got any guesses for its origin? (This doesn’t seem relevant). Any further examples? (Apparently there was a Bishop of Soissons by this name in 1205; and another Crusader in the First Crusade). Please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Mabca

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’re not even sure what gender it is. Grammatically, it looks to be feminine — it’s recorded in Latin and ends in -a in the nominative, which tips the evidence in favor of a feminine name — but the context provides no clear indication of the gender of the bearer, so we are still listing the gender as “unknown”.

It does appear to be a diminutive, with -ca or -ka being a moderately common feminine diminutive suffix in Slavic contexts, but what the root name might be, we haven’t a clue. Do you? Please share your thoughts in the comments!Mabca

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Mystery Monday: Lempold

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.

Lempold

Today we’re going to play “How might the Germanic prototheme propogate down into 14th century Italian?” The masculine name we’ve got from Friulia in 1326 is clearly of Germanic origin — the deuterotheme is Old High German bald ‘bold’ — but the prototheme is clearly something that has been corrupted over time. Could it be Old High German lant, Old Saxon land ‘land’, making this a variant of Landbald? It could be, but we’d like to see more evidence for lan(d/t) becoming lem, in Italian contexts or otherwise, before we draw such a conclusion. Do you have any such evidence? Any other examples where lem is clearly a variant of lan(d/t)? Or an alternative hypothesis for its origins? Please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Jeufine

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 one from late 16th C Normandy (Protestant context, if that makes any difference). It’s one where we can easily come up with various guesses about its origins, but that’s all they are — guesses.

Jeufine

  • Guess one: It is related to French jeu ‘game’ and fin(e) ‘fine, nice’ or fin(e) ‘final’. Problem: Very atypical type of construction (unless the phrase was some sort of phrase in common parlance at the time that we are not familiar with); fine is fem. but jeu is masculine (but perhaps this is simply because the name was borne by a woman!)
  • Guess two: The editor misread an s for an f and the name is Jeusine; possibly then it is related to the English Josine we have from 1549. (An attempt to feminise Joseph? Or Josiah?)

Care to share any guesses of your own?

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Mystery Monday: Islana

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 an unusual one — a feminine name found in 14th C Münster, Germany, which is not an immediately recognizable saint’s name or clearly of Germanic origin. We have also extrapolated the header form, working from the general principle that “I” is more common than “Y”. Nevertheless, this is just a hypothesis at the moment, and we would welcome evidence showing that Yslana is a more suitable standardized form — or indeed, any information or further evidence concerning this name.

Islana

Do you recognize the name? Have any thoughts about it? Please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Hadolowald

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.

Since we’ve been revisiting Germanic themes recently, how about a round of “guess the prototheme”? The deuterotheme here is easy — Old Saxon wald, Old High German walt ‘power, authority’, but anyone want to hazard a guess at what the prototheme is? Leave your best guess in the comments!
Hadolowald

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Mystery Monday: Gutusius

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 is yet another delving into the Italian names we have not yet identified, this time a masculine name from 14th-century Rome.
Gutusius
Have you any thoughts about its origin (likely Germanic)? Seen any other examples of the name? Please share in the comments!

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