Tuesday, January 10

Sad-Eyed Naming of the Low Lands

misty, placid creatures in the Dutch countryside, by Herm_B on Flickr


I came across a fabulous onomastic niche recently — Names in the Low Lands before 1150 is a wealth of data compiled on names used in the Netherlands and Flanders in early medieval times. Before you're off to peruse the lists yourself, here are the ones that caught my eye. 


Male
Avuko 
Avutet 
Craft 
Etto 
Folquin — romantic, could be called Quin, sounds like "falcon" 
Foravot
Illehere 
Maluin
Raingod — would make a killer surname 
Sahso 
Saxamer — another lovely sound 
Tangrad 
Vocco 
Witter 
Wolfrer — this is a new-to-me "wolf" name 

Female
Athela 
Baue
Bessela
Duvin — I'm (mis)-pronouncing this one with a French "-vin," and I like it 
Esacha 
Geva 
Lievilt — girl names ending in "T" are so unusual
Maruui 
Otgive 
Uuitta 
Vdonis 
Volcent — something about this appeals to me. Like an evil twin to Millicent, maybe? 

So many of them seem like they'd be right at home in a science fiction novel. I love these little time-travelers —  they're so old and unfamiliar, yet they're comprised of elements that still hold meaning. It's a nice connection to our (human) past.


A little Eponymia-update: to the right, you'll notice a link to my Twitter feed. I'll be using it to post names I hear when out and about here in LA. I almost always hear something worth mentioning!

4 comments:

  1. This is fantastic! Geva and Duvin are great, as are Etto, Saxamer and Wolfrer. From the extended list I liked Sita, Ansfrid, Bertric and Reiner.

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  2. I rather like the name Folquin - could certainly see him working.

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  3. Fascinating! Some are easy to decipher, such as Tangrad from Tancred, and Athela from Athalia/Adela. Others are quite bizarre... will come back to these when I've got a bit more time!

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  4. Please write a kids' book about Millicent & Volcent, a witchy version of Goofus and Gallant maybe? Totally dig it.

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