Tag Archives: Italian

Mystery Monday: Uideal

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 figure the odds are pretty high that if you were presented with the name “Uideal”, you’d have no guess about it’s gender, language/culture, or time period; it is a remarkably peculiar little name.

Uideal

To answer those questions exhausts what we know about this name: It’s the name of a man, recorded in a document written in Italy, in 827.

Early Italian names are remarkably recalcitrant to identify; often, they’re too late to show a clear connection with Latin vocabulary, but too early to reflect the influence of the Germanic naming practices. That’s exactly where this name falls: There’s nothing about it that gives us an “in” into understanding it.

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? Have you seen this name — or something like it — before? Please share in the comments if you have!

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Mystery Monday: Teagaton

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.

The hardest of names are those that are from one language, rendered into another, often by a scribe that doesn’t know anything about the original language.

One source that we’ve been working through for awhile (it’s one that has to be taken in small chunks, due to the heavy nature of the subject matter) is a register of enslaved people in Florence in the middle of the 14th century. This is a fascinating source from an onomastic point of view because so many of the people were renamed when they were enslaved — and yet, despite this, the notarial records relating to them often include their previous name, as well as the “language” it was in. I put “language” in scare-quotes because most of the time, the recording simply gives the person’s name “in the Tartar language”, and this is not really a single language at all.

So this means we have a large number of likely-Turkic-origin names being rendered in Latin by an Italian speaker — that’s many many layers of obscurity to poke through.

A lot of these names, we’ll probably never known what their actual origin is. But that makes them perfect candidates for Mystery Monday, and it’s why we’ve chosen one such name for today’s post:

Teagaton

We know that Teagaton was of Tartar descent, and that this is a representation of her name in her original language/culture. We haven’t the faintest idea what that original name might have been, and would love to know if you have any thoughts or suggestions. Please share in the comments if you do!

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Solution Saturday: Iesmonda/Jesmonda

Every Saturday, we will revisit one of our Mystery Monday names that we have solved. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed their knowledge and expertise, whether commenting here or on twitter or via email. You’ve all helped solve a mystery!

Today’s solution is for a 16th C Italian feminine name that we had two variants of. As it turned out, we actually had a third — but hidden under a different header name! But Gismonda, Gismunda, and Iesmonda are all variants of the same name, Gismunda, and all the citations will be together in the same entry in the next edition.

The name gained its popularity in Italy as the result of Boccaccio’s Decameron. If you haven’t ever read the Decameron, what better time than during a modern-day plague to read it?

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Solution Saturday: Trauta

Every Saturday, we will revisit one of our Mystery Monday names that we have solved. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed their knowledge and expertise, whether commenting here or on twitter or via email. You’ve all helped solve a mystery!

Today’s name is Trauta. Our suspicion that the name was Germanic in origin, despite it’s appearance in 14th C Italy, was corrected! It is a variant of the name Druda, and the examples we found will be incorporated into that entry in the next edition.

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Mystery Monday: Donalen

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 masculine name found in late 13th/early 14th century Italy:

Donalen

It’s never a good sign when a search of googlebooks for other instances of a name turns up nothing! Is this a scribal error? A hapex legomenon? A legitimate name with a straightforward etymology? We have no idea! We’d love to know your thoughts, please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Agamelono

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.

And we’re back around at the beginning of the alphabet again! Today’s name is a masculine name from Renaissance Italy, and every time I type it out, I keep feeling like it should be Greek — but I’m pretty sure I’m just getting swayed by Agamemnon:

Agamelono

It’d be cool (and not unreasonable give the Renaissance Italian’s penchant for reviving classical Greek and Latin names) if this were of Greek origin, but we haven’t been able to find any Ἀγεμ- or ῾Αγήμ- name that has any ls in it.

So, do you have any thoughts about where this name might have come from? Any examples of similar names? Please share in the comments!

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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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Mystery Monday: Robasona

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 so mysterious, we don’t even know (a) whether it is in fact a name or (b) if it is, what gender it is.

Robasona

It shows up in notarial records from Tirol in contexts that make it look like a name — e.g., all the other records follow the same structure, and in the place were “Robasone” and “Robasonam” appear, the other records have identifiable given names — but it is also not entirely clear whether it’s a given name or a byname. If it is a given name, by the grammar one would expect it to be feminine, but that’s the only clear indication — and almost all of the other people mentioned in these records are men. Hence, our uncertainty.

The word ‘robasona/robesone’ shows up in a few places on googlebooks (distinct from our instances), but unfortunately only in ones that don’t give a big enough snippet to be able to read the context, so that doesn’t help.

Do you have any thoughts? Access to different parts of googlebooks than we do? Please share what you find in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Phyofius

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 looks like it should be easily identifiable as a classical name revived in Renaissance Italy — it has the look of a Latinized name of probably Greek origin (so many Phs…). But if that’s true, we haven’t been able to determine what the root Greek name is!

Phyofius

We have two examples, in slightly different spellings, from early 14th C Veneto, and so far we haven’t found any other instance of the name, even considering other variant spellings. There’s nothing like it in the LGPN or Liddell and Scott. So we’re rather clueless.

Do you have any thoughts? Other examples of the name? Please share in the comments!

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Mystery Monday: Orlofia

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 mystery name is a lovely Italian feminine name:

Orlofia

We have one example of the name from late 13th/early 14th century Bergamo — other than that, we’ve found found in the name in the 18th century. We would love to know if you have any other examples of the names, or any suggestions concerning its etymology. Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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