Tag Archives: Catalan

Mystery Monday: Viana

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 from the 1510 census of Valencia, a beautiful Catalan name that would not be out of place amongst today’s trendy “new” coinages:

The full name as recorded in the census is: Viana Guanyador, vídua, so it’s quite clear that the element is both a given name, and feminine. Beyond that, we really have no idea what the origin of this lovely name is. If you have any thoughts — or any other instances of it, please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Briant/Brianda

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’ve actually got TWO names, because we have a passing suspicion that one is the feminine form of the other. The first is Briant/Brient, which is found in France between the 12th and 14th centuries:
Briant
These French examples are from Paris and Chartres, both in the north, which makes it tempting to associated the name with Proto-Brythonic *brigonos, and to claim a Breton connection.

But if we take the possible feminine form — Brianda — the evidence for this name that we have makes the Breton connection seem less likely, for our examples of Brianda are from Italy and Spain, not France — this would be quite far south and west to find a Breton-influenced name:
Brianda
Perhaps we’re wrong in connecting the two names. Perhaps we’re wrong about the origin of Briant. Do you have any thoughts? Any French examples of Brianda? Please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Aguilona

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.

We’re now back at the beginning of the alphabet! Today’s name is a beautiful Catalan feminine name from the 16th century. Have you seen this name before? Do you have any thoughts about its origin or etymology? Please let us know in the comments!

Aguilona

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Mystery Monday: Scolana

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 bring you a lovely Catalan feminine name from the 16th C:
Scolana
Do you recognize this name? Have any thoughts about its origin? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Arthurian names: Gawain

Taking a request from the audience, in this post post we consider Gawain, the name of a son of King Lot of Orkney and a nephew of Arthur. Under the name Gwalchmei he occurs in some of the earliest Welsh mythologies, and after Chrestien de Troyes picked up the story, calling the character Gawain, he became incredibly popular in French Arthurian cycles.

The origin of the name is disputed. The first element is Old Welsh gwalch ‘hawk’, but the element -mei is uncertain, and the later forms of the name ending in -wain and the like perhaps show influence of Old Welsh gwyn ‘white’. In any case, Gwalchmei itself is rare outside of literature: It is the Old French influenced forms that spread around Europe. The name, perhaps influenced by Gaelic gabhann ‘of the smith’, survives today in the form Gavin; because this is the most common spelling under which the name is used today in English-speaking contexts, it is the spelling we have picked for our header name.

This name was never as popular as some of the others, but it is relatively wide spread. In England and Scotland, we have a variety of English and Latin examples from the 16th C; the most common forms are Gawen and Gawyn. In unprocessed data, we have an unusual form, Gouen, in 14th C Yorkshire. On the continent, our examples are earlier: In France, we have a Latin genitive form Galweni from 1164, and a variety of Middle French forms in the 14th C, including the dialectically interesting Gauvaing. The name also moved quite far east, with Gawin, Gawinus, and Waliwan all occurring in 14th C Silesia. In Italy and Spain, the internal l was retained, as can be seen in the forms 13th-14th C Latin genitive forms Galvanei and Galvagni from Italy; Gualvanus and the diminutive Gualvaninus, two names from early 14th C Imola in our unprocessed data; and the 16th C Catalan nominative form Galvany from Valencia.

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How about some stats?

Earlier this morning we passed another milestone, reaching 30,000 citations:
30000
It’s been awhile since we did a stats post, so this seemed like as good a time as any to do one.

Entries & citations

Finalized entries: 1482
Unfinalized entries: 2636
Total: 4118

Finalized citations: 30023
Unfinalized citations: 7388
Total: 37411

Avg. no. of citations per entry (finalized): 20.25
Avg. no. of citations per entry (total): 9.08

Feminine names (finalized): 8101
Masculine names (finalized): 21901
Names of uncertain gender (finalized): 5

Languages (finalized citations only)

Latin: 14028.
English: Old English: 5; Middle English: 419; Early Modern English: 10426.
French: Old French: 684; Middle French: 946.
German: Low German: 1552; High German: 477.
Catalan: 217.
Swedish: 202.
Spanish: 159.
Scots: 148.
Hungarian: 28.
Norwegian: 9.

Dates (finalized citations only)

6th C: 4.
7th C: 73.
8th C: 33.
9th C: 844.
10th C: 370.
11th C: 1076.
12th C: 3857.
13th C: 3202.
14th C: 4490.
15th C: 3358.
16th C: 12536.

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500th entry: Innocent

Today marks a historic point in the development of the Dictionary: We’ve just finalized the 500th entry to be included in the first edition. It is the entry for the masculine name Innocent.

Innocent

Etymology

The name derives from Latin innocens ‘innocent, harmless; virtuous, upright’.

Usage

Innocent was adopted as the papal name of a number of medieval popes (and one anti-pope!), from the 5th C through to the 18th C. It was also the name of a number of early saints (including the Pope Innocent I).

Because of its use as a papal name, Innocent shows up in far more records than it would have were it simply the name of an ordinary person. As a result, during certain periods, there are disproportionately more citations for the name than might otherwise have been expected.

Of the 18,000+ citations already collected, 12 are citations of this name. Though in the actual entries, citations will be organized first by geographical area, then by language, and then by date, here I’ll present the entries by date.

12th C

  • 1132: Innocencius (Latin, nom.; France)
  • 1141: Innocentius (Latin, nom.; France)
  • 1141: Innocentii (Latin, gen.; France)
  • 1141: Innocencius (Latin, nom.; France)
  • 1142: Innocencio (Latin, abl.; Germany)
  • 1143: Innocencius (Latin, nom.; Germany)
  • 1198: Innocentius (Latin, nom.; Germany)

13th C

  • 1210: Innocentius (Latin, nom., Germany)
  • 1248: Jnnocentius (Latin, nom., Germany)

15th C

  • 1421: Innocent (French, France)
  • 1423: Innocent (French, France)
  • 1489: Innocent (Catalan, Spain)

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