Tag Archives: Zdyslav

Taking stock, Nov. edition

This month has been a quiet one for the Dictionary, as the school year began, one member of staff hopped the channel and took up a permanent academic position, and another finished up her Ph.D. dissertation, but there’s nothing like the threat (incentive) of monthly updates to encourage last-minute-Friday-night working. When I realized how close we were to 7000 citations, how could I not put in the time needed to make sure we reached (and actually exceeded!) that number?

We start November with 460 entries ready for inclusion in the first edition (up from 414 last month, an 11% increase). 282 are masculine (still ranging from Adalbod to Zdyslav — it’ll probably be a long while before the end bound changes, and the beginning bound won’t leap forward until we start working through names of Hebrew origin), and 177 are feminine (with the same bounds as before).

The more than 7000 citations (7006 to be precise) represent a 25% increase over last month (5574); the average number of citations per entry has jumped slightly to just over 15, though it again should be stressed that most entries are far from average, either containing only one or two citations, or many, many.

Roughly 3690 citations are from Latin-language records, slightly more than 52% (what can I say? Early chartularia have so many interesting names, I haven’t been very equitable in how I’ve spent my time).

As with previous stock-takings, we’ll close with a few charts:

Citations per country

Spain has jumped ahead of the Czech Republic in the rankings, compared to previous months. (A collection of very fascinating documents from the late 15th C is partly responsible for this, with gorgeous names like Euphrosyne.)


Not much change here.

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Taking stock, Oct. edition

Last month we posted some statistics about the current state of the Dictionary. It was so interesting, we decided to do such a summary every month. So, here’s how things stand as we head into October!

There are 414 entries ready for inclusion in the first edition, up from 297 last month (a 39% increase!). 253 are masculine (ranging from Adalbod to Zdyslav), and 161 are feminine (ranging from Accorsa to Zoete, so nothing new there).

There are 5574 citations distributed over these 414 entries, up from 3880 last month (a 44% increase!). The average number of citations per entry is still just over 13 citations per entry (though the caveats from last month still stand).

Approximately 2750 entries (about 50%) are from Latin-language records, the rest from various vernaculars. The citations from 779 are still the earliest, but a number of other 8th and 9th C examples have been added, broadening substantially our view of vernacular-influence spellings of early Germanic names, even though they come from Latin-language records.

And since charts are so much fun, here are how the citations are distributed over language and country:

Citations by country

Citations by country

Citations by language

Citations by language

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Taking stock

Though, as noted earlier, we will be unable to release the first edition of the Dictionary at the end of this month as originally planned, nevertheless we are continuing to make good progress on the data-collection and -entry side of things. I thought it would be fun to take stock of things as they stand, and put up a few teaser statistics.

There are currently 297 entries ready for publication: Each of these entries includes the etymological derivation of the name; brief notes about any major royalty (kings/queens; emperors/empresses), popes, or saints who bore the name; and any other relevant information concerning the linguistic development of the name, references to secondary literature, or cross-references to other application dictionary entries. 176 of the entries are masculine names, ranging from Adolf to Zdyslav, and the remaining 121 are feminine, ranging from Accorsa to Zoete.

There are 3880 citations distributed over these 297 entries, making an average of just over 13 citations per entry. Of course, the reality is much different: Many of the entries have only a single citation, and a bare handful of entries have hundreds. Such minimal data is already indicative of the larger sample being confirmative of Zipf’s Law; one exciting consequence of the Dictionary is that research concerning empirical matters such as Zipf’s Law will be much easier to undertake as a huge body of data will all be gathered in a single place.

The citations are taken from records from the Czech Republic, Germany, England, France, Italy, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden. The earliest citations are from 779, a handful of masculine names from a Carolingian charter; the latest are from 1600 and are drawn from English parish records. Approximately 1850 citations are from Latin-language records; the remainder are from various vernaculars.

I rather like nice little statistics: Maybe we’ll do updates like this the beginning of every month!


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