Tag Archives: Cornish

Mystery Monday: Stethyans

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.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a typo? Is it a name?

Today’s mystery name comes from a Cornish parish register in the 1580s.

Stethyans

Unless there’s a scribe who’s really confused about how to spell feminine forms of Stephen, we haven’t really any clue what name this is supposed to be, or whether the editor has even managed to represent the original source material correction.

On the other hand, there are some weird and unusual names in Cornwall that turn up in the 16th C, and maybe this is one of them — do we have any Cornish experts reading? If you’ve got any ideas about the origin of this name, please share in the comments!

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Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, mystery monday

Mystery Monday: Pregyon

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.

Sometimes it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense that in the 16th C, the naming pool across England was relatively uniform and predictable. After all, going through parish register after parish register filled with Johns, Williams, Thomases, Roberts, Margarets, Janes, Elizabeths, and Alices can (dare we say it!) get a bit tedious sometimes (no, no, we don’t really mean it. Names are NEVER tedious and boring).

Sometimes, though, you get a name that reminds you that there was regional variation, and this variation can be seen most clearly in the liminal places — in the counties bordering the Welsh marches, in the Scottish border lands, and, in the case of today’s Mystery Monday name, in the far reaches of Cornwall.

Today’s name is a masculine one that shows up in a Cornish parish in 1562, 1577, and 1593. (All marriage records, so it’s unlikely to be the same person, but the third could be the son of the first.)

Pregyon

We’ve not found any examples of the name outside of Cornwall, and it isn’t clear at all what the origin of the name is, other than that it’s at least plausible that it’s ultimately of Cornish origin. Do you have any suggestions? Seen the name, or something like it, elsewhere? Please share in the comments!

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Filed under crowd-sourcing, dictionary entries, monthly topic