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!
Our very first Solution Saturday name is Kermunt. Our hypothesis that the prototheme was a variant of Ger- was borne out by the commentators, which makes this name a variant of Germund. We’ve folded the citation in the entry for Kermunt into the entry for Germund.
Apologies for the radio silence over here at DMNES central! Not only are we in the midst of busy terms for most of us, three of the editorial staff are participating in NaNoWriMo (see our monthly topic from this time last year for advice on naming characters in your historical novel!) and a fourth is busily writing up her Ph.D. dissertation.
(Almost) 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 almost the name of a muppet. In fact, the bit that has changed is the bit that is easiest to identify: The deuterotheme is Old Saxon mund, Old High German munt ‘hand, protection’. But what is the prototheme?
A gut feeling suggests Old High German, Old Saxon gēr ‘spear’, but one does not write dictionary entries on the basis of gut feelings. Does anyone have any data to corroborate this hunch? Preferably in the form of other examples of gēr being spelled ker? Next best, in the form of other examples of a g/k switch in 7th-9th C Germanic contexts? If you do, please share in the comments!