Tag Archives: Bertbert

Announcing Edition 2020!

With about 40 minutes to spare, we did manage to get a new edition out in 2020!

2020 was a tough year for everyone, and things have been alternating really quiet and super productive here at DMNES central. If there’s one thing that was a pure, unalloyed joy and benefit of the upheaval of the pandemic, it was joining Mt. Holyoke’s internship scheme which facilitated the joining of four interns on our staff over summer, with one continuing on through the fall term as well. Much of what’s in this new edition — new names, new citations, updated info on Biblical and literary forms — is due to their hard work; and while some of their other work isn’t yet reflected in published editions, it’s laid the foundations for some exciting projects in the future.

So, on to some stats! The new edition has 2592 entries, with 77,248 citations distributed across those entries. (The entry with the most citations remains John, 4533 citations! That’s nearly 6% of all citations in the Dictionary in that single entry.) (Hah, as I was writing this up, our technical guru asked whether the numbers for Mary were comparable. I laughed, and said “no way, that name was never as popular, and he wanted to know the details. So: we have 832 citations for Mary, accounting for 1% of our data. Compare this to three other popular feminine names — Katherine, with 775 citations; Elizabeth, with 1159; and Margaret, with 1281 citations.)

This edition has a total of 931 distinct feminine names, 1658 masculine names, and 3 where the gender is uncertain. Of these, 44 of the feminine entries are new to this edition:

Women’s names
Agtrude
Albina
Ansilde
Aurofina
Baltrude
Bellabona
Benenata
Berna
Bernswith
Bernwara
Bertlinde
Desideria
Dominilde
Durande
Dutberta
Ermenalda
Fortuna
Gendrada
Godberg
Grimberg
Gundberg
Heilsinde
Lautrude
Lea
Lefhild
Liutwarde
Lodberta
Madalgarde
Maga
Maira
Meinfrida
Merberta
Novella
Odelrada
Oteria
Othilde
Percipia
Polemia
Radwise
Rolande
Sighilde
Warntrude
Wendelbalda
Zenobia

And there’s 98 new masculine names in this edition:

Men’s names
Adald
Adebert
Adegrim
Aitfrid
Aldebert
Amaro
Andger
Arner
Arno
Austrulf
Bago
Baldrad
Baldwald
Benenat
Benno
Bernulf
Bertbert
Bertmar
Bertram-Robert
Bertrick
Bodo
Bonald
Charles-Emmanuel
Cuthred
Dadmar
Daghard
Dodbert
Dominic-Amicus
Drutrich
Eckbald
Erchambert
Ermenald
Ermo
Everald
Folobert
Fortune
Fredebald
Gardulf
Gardwin
Gelbald
Gerhard
Gislold
Gordian
Hartnich
Helmger
Hemlwich
Hemlwin
Herger
Hildegrim
Hundolf
Hungrim
Isenbald
Isenbern
Isengrim
John-Andrew
John-Angel
John-Charles
John-Peter
Lantgrim
Liberat
Liebizo
Liutgard
Liutrad
Lodbald
Lodwin
Madaler
Madalrich
Marcrad
Marcrich
Merard
Merbod
Nantwin
Norwin
Noto
Odelrad
Otbald
Otgisl
Otrad
Peter-Andrew
Polydorus
Radger
Reinrich
Richbert
Richbod
Richsind
Rother
Sigwald
Sinbald
Sinbert
Theodeger
Waldemar
Waldemund
Wendelbald
Wilbald
Wildrad
Wineger
Witbert
Witrich

May your 2021 be filled with wonderful names! (Like Bertbert. Bertbert is such a great name.)

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Filed under announcements, publications

Mystery Monday: Mermer

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.

Most of our mystery names are mysterious because we have no idea what their origin might be. Today’s name is the opposite: We have two equally plausible options, and are looking for assistance in discriminating between them!

The name is a 14th-15th C masculine name found in Switzerland:
Mermer

Normally, a name found in a German influenced part of Europe containing the element mar or mer would be easy: We’d identify it as coming from Old English mære, Old High German, Old Saxon māri all from Proto-Germanic *mērijaz ‘famous’. Doublets — where a name is composed by duplicating an element — are rare, but not unheard of in Germanic names (our personal favorite is Bertbert, which will appear in the next edition), so ordinarily this would be a straightforward identification.

But! There is also a Greek name, rendered in Latin as Mermerus, found in mythology as the name of a centaur, of the grandson of Jason and Medea, a host of Odysseus, and of a Trojan in the Trojan war. The 14th-15th C is on the early end for the revival of classical Greek names in the Renaissance, but we don’t have a previous date for this occurrence, and Switzerland is close enough to Italy that this etymology cannot be discounted.

So we turn to you: What do you think? Do you have any evidence that ways in favor of one alternative over the other? Or any alternative etymologies to suggest? Please share in the comments!

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Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday