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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Some 9th C Dutch families

One of the neatest experiences, trawling through documents to collect names for the DMNES, is when you get family units, and you can see how the names of parents do or do not affect the names of the children. A few years ago, we were able to give some multi-generation family trees from records from early 9th C France. Recently we came across some similar records — showing the names of people indentured to particular lands — in a document from the east of the Netherlands written in 850. Here, we don’t have multiple generations but we do have a 11 sets of parents, each with a single child.

What’s fascinating is how none of the names of the children reflect the names of the parents — quite the opposite story from what we find in the French data! There is only one case where the child’s name shares any themes with either parents’. Let’s take a look! (Shared themes are in bold.)

Richelem

Father Mother Child
Gerwala Weleka Bernheri
Ludold Reghenlend Ritger
Wigrad Vulfbald
Helprad Ricgard Gerwi
Lantbrad Wana Engilrad
Alfri Werenburgh Letheri
Aclaco Odelard
Liefolt Alfrat Folcheri
Leifans Wenda Asvui
Richard Memsund Sigehard
Vilfranene Odwi Helithans

The other thing that is really cool about this data is that none of the names are Latinized. There is such a dearth of vernacular material from this period, this provides us with such a wealth. More than one of the names would — in isolation — be most likely identified as masculine rather than feminine (Alfrat, Odelard, Odwi), lacking the definitive grammatical gender that Latin imports. But here we see clearly that these are feminine names, identical in form to their masculine counterparts.

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Mystery Monday: Vudeota

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 12th C France, in two variants:
Vudeota
The Vud- / Ud- beginning makes it likely that this name is of Germanic origin, possibly deriving from a variant of Otto (which name was occasionally spelled Udo in France in the 11th and 12th century). If that is correct, then the -ot- is possibly a diminutive suffix rather than a deuterotheme; but if it is, it’s certainly not a common one in 12th C France.

We’d love to hear your suggestions about what the origin of this name might be. Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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How about some stats?

We love doing stats on the data in the DMNES (in fact, we’ve previously done another post with this same name, back in 2015, when we passed the “30,000 entries in the database” milestone.), and no better time to do it than when we’ve just published new edition!

Entries and citations

Finalized entries: 2458
Unfinalized entries: 4871
Total: 7329 (compared to 4118 in 2015!)

Finalized citations: 68788
Unfinalized citations: 10430
Total: 79218 (compared to 37411 in 2015!)

Avg. no. of citations per entry (finalized): 28 (compared to 20.25 in 2015)
Avg. no. of citations per entry (total): 10.8 (compared to 9.08 in 2015)

Feminine names (finalized): 15304 (compared to 8101 in 2015)
Masculine names (finalized): 53469 (compared to 21901 in 2015)
Names of uncertain gender (finalized): 6 (compared to 5 in 2015)

Languages (finalized citations only)

Latin: 36362 (compare: 14028).
English: Old English: 7 (compare: 5); Middle English: 441 (compare: 419); Early Modern English: 15523 (compare: 10426).
French: Old French: 1605 (compare: 684); Middle French: 4194 (compare: 946); Occitan: 6 (compare: 0); Anglo-French: 79 (compare: 0).
German: Low German: 1800 (compare: 1552); High German: 1248 (compare: 477).
Swedish: 1627 (compare: 202).
Italian: 365 (compare: 0).
Spanish: 359 (compare: 159).
Catalan: 257 (compare: 217).
Scots: 170 (compare: 148).
Danish: 142 (compare: 0).
Welsh: 100 (compare: 0).
Polish: 60 (compare: 0).
Icelandic: 41 (compare: 0).
Norwegian: 12 (compare: 9).
Lithuanian: 6 (compare: 0).
Latvian: 2 (compare: 0).
Sicilian: 2 (compare: 0).

Our data has gotten too complicated to easily calculate how many citations we have per century, but this is something that — perhaps — our friends at ARC can help us with. In fact, we’re hoping to get some tools that will allow easier calculation of more complicated statistics in the future — watch this space!

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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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What do you want from the DMNES?

We had an exciting meeting today with members of Durham University’s Advanced Research Computing group to see whether there’s an opportunity for collaboration on tools to develop the DMNES’s website and to make the data we’ve collected more accessible and useful. We talked about some long-wanted desires, such as having interactive maps tracing the spread of particular names across Europe and over time, as well as more practical matters such as best ways to search and present the data, beyond just the static browse pages we currently have.

There’s a lot of scope for cool projects to be done here, and we’re quite excited about the potential of working together to build some new tools not only to enhance the Dictionary but also to hopefully be of use to other similar digital humanities projects (it would be great if we can harness ARC’s resources to produce research that’s of benefit not only to us but to them as well!). One thing that came out of our discussions is that until we start building things, it’s not entirely clear what sorts of tools could — or should — be built (beyond what’s been mentioned above).

So, here’s where we turn to you, our faithful readers, for input: If the DMNES could do anything (related to given names found in records in Europe between 500 and 1600 🙂 ), what would you like it to be able to do? Whether you’re an onomastician, a historian, a parent, a re-enactor, or simply someone who just finds names neat, we want to hear from you. Hit us with your suggestions, practical, theoretical, and fantastical, and we’ll see what we can do!

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Mystery Monday: Ultesmana

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 appears in Bergamo, Italy, in a list of women between 1265 and 1339. The lady in question is named Domina Ultesmana uxor condam Zoanni de Lapsina “Lady Ultesmana, wife of the late Zoanni of Lapsina”.

Ultesmana

This is the sort of record we like: It’s a clearly identifiable feminine given name. But it’s also the sort of record we don’t like — if you search google books for “Ultesmana”, the only hit you will get is this record. This makes it frustratingly difficult to determine anything about the origin or etymological roots of the name. On the off chance that someone else has come across this name in another context, we’re posing it as today’s mystery. Please share any thoughts you might have in the comments!

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