Tag Archives: Italian

Mystery Monday: Iesmonda/Jesmonda

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 found in early 16th C Italy, in a taxation record for one “Faustina cortesana in casa di madona Iesmonda”:
Jesmonda
It’s a particularly vexing name, because for more than a year now there has been some clue about its origin hovering just outside of ready access memory, and no matter how ingenious we’ve been in our searching, we just can’t figure it out. So we’re tapping in to the collective knowledge of the internet: What is the very-similar-but-not-quite identical word that we haven’t been able to think of that is the likely candidate for this name’s origin? If you know, or have a thought, please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Iran/Yran

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 odd little one. We’ve got four different grammatical forms of the name, which all occur in the same charter in reference to the same person. All the documented forms spell it with initial Y-, but since Y forms are always atypical we have hypothesized a standardized form with I- — but it is definitely nothing more than hypothesized!

Iran

The record comes from Tirol, and many of the other names in the same source show distinct Germanic influences, so it would be reasonable to look to Germanic origins as well as to Romance. On the Germanic side, the name could be related to Old Saxon, Old High German īsarn ‘iron’, which does show up in names in the form iren. But is yran a reasonable extrapolation from iren? We’re really not sure.

And we’re even less sure what a possible Romance origin of the name could be.

Do you have any thoughts? Seen any other examples of this name? Please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Caracossa

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 had a variety of Italian feminine names to choose from today, and we ended up going with one where we have two examples, slight variant spellings of each other, from the same context (Bergamo in the late 13th/early 14th C). One possible explanation of the name involves a compound with Latin cara ‘dear, beloved; costly, precious, valued’. In the same data set, we already have another example of such a compound with that element as the prototheme, Carabella (and indeed, the same data set gives us the telescoped version Bellacara). Another compound with cara- found in Italy, a few centuries later, is Caradonna.

Caracossa

Is that the right explanation here? If so, how should we analyse the deuterotheme?

Do you have any other examples of Cara- names in Italian? Or indeed any -cos(s)a names? Please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Ucept

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 mid-14th century Italy. It’s one of those Latin names that looks like it should be identical with some ordinary word, but no root word appears to be forthcoming. A brief search of googlebooks for “uceptus” gets a number of hits…which upon closer inspection all prove to be OCR errors, and thus provide no help whatsoever.

So we’re looking for help elsewhere: Do you have any thoughts about the origin of this name? Any other examples? Please share in the comments!

Ucept

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Mystery Monday: Sintarwizzilo

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.

Some medieval names have retained their popularity throughout the ages, and are still familiar today — and sometimes not only familiar, but ragingly popular.

Some medieval names, on the other hand, have fallen into complete obscurity and even the most hipster of hipsters would balk at giving such a name to their child. Today’s mystery name, recorded in early 9th C Italy in Latin, is one of the latter. For our purposes, we’re merely interested in investigating its etymology and determining whether it was used in any other context — we think it unlikely that anyone today is likely to revive this name. (On the other hand, “Wizzy” is a great nickname. Or maybe not!)

Sintarwizzilo

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

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Mystery Monday: Rabela

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.

There aren’t many names where we have so little information we don’t even have a guess about gender. One advantage of Latin records is that quite often one can identify the gender of a person from the (linguistic) gender of their name; but this is not a fool-proof process since sometimes you get a man with a name that declines along feminine lines (and much much more rarely, the other way around). Today’s name is one that is linguistically feminine, but from the context it was not otherwise clear that the person bearing the name, recorded in 14th C Genoa, was a woman:

Rabela

Do you have any thoughts? Please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Palotia

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.

One of the reasons we do these Mystery Monday posts is that quite often we have to click through a number of unfinished entries before we find one that counts as a true mystery — sometimes, an unfinished entry is simply an unfinished entry, just awaiting someone to look at it and finish it up. Sometimes it’s a matter of plugging in the right etymological information (Peter-Angel, Peter-Paul, and Paloma, we’re looking at you); sometimes it’s a matter of realizing we’ve got four different entries for what are in fact all variants of the same name (Beto, Betto, Pezzi, and Pezili, we’re looking at you!).

Sometimes, though, we get a name where all we can do is look at it and go “huh. That looks…Latinate?” Which isn’t saying much when it’s a name from 14th C Italy:
Palotia
Do you recognize it? Have any thoughts on its origin? Any other examples of the name? Please share in the comments!

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