Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dead Names.

Okay, yes, I know--there have been thousands, possibly millions of names that were once in use which, for whatever reason, just...stopped. Today, I'm going to have fun looking for now-obsolete names used in England within the last 5-700 years or so. A few survive today in surname form, but otherwise, they're gone--feminine or masculine, in pretty much any language I could find (apologies if I missed something).
(nowhere near a comprehensive list, obviously!)

Boys:
  • Adelard--Old English or Germanic "noble" + "brave"
  • Beneger--prob. from Germanic bern "bear" + gar "spear"
  • Botolph--Old English "help", "messenger", or "battle" + wulf "wolf"
  • Cuthbert--Old English cuæ "famous" + beorht "bright"
  • Degory/Digory--prob. from French egare "lost", or possibly Anglo-Norman desgarry "dispossessed"
  • Edulf--Old English ead "rich" + wulf "wolf"
  • Gerlick--from Germanic gar "spear" + laic "contest"
  • Hereward--Old English here "army" + weard "guard"
  • Osgood--Old English os "god" + Germanic god "god"
  • Osmer--Old English os "god" + mære "famous"
  • Rocelin--from Germanic hrod "fame", via French & Germanic diminutives
  • Turbert--Old Norse Thor + Germanic bert "bright"
  • Warin--from Germanic war "guard"
  • Wicard/Wychard--from Germanic wig  "war" + hard "brave"
  • Wolfstan--Old English wulf + stan "stone"
  • Wymark--from Germanic wig "war" + mar "famous", via Old Breton
  • Wymer--from Germanic wig "war" + mar "famous"
  • Wymond--from Germanic wig "war" + mund "protector"

Girls:
  • Agenilda/Einilda--from Germanic agi "sharp" or haga "enclosure" + hild "battle"
  • Ailith--Old English æðel "noble" + gifu "gift"
  • Ailova--Old English æðel "noble" + lufu "love"
  • Amice/Amicia--from Latin amicus "friend"
  • Aldiva--Old English eald "old" + gifu "gift"
  • Alviva--Old English ælf "elf" + gifu "gift"
  • Belsant/Belsante/Belisencia--poss. from Germanic bili (?) "sword" + sinþ "journey"
  • Brithwen--Old English beorht "bright" + wynn "joy"
  • Claremonde/Claremunda--from Latin clarus "bright" + Germanic mund "protector"
  • Estrild/Estrilda/Estrelda--Old English Eastre "Easter" [Germanic goddess] + hild "battle"
  • Hawis/Hawisia--from Germanic hadu "battle" + widis "wide"
  • Idemay--poss. Germanic id "work" + mæg "power"
  • Idony/Idonea--from Old Norse Iðunn [Norse goddess]
  • Kinborow--Old English cyne "king" + burg "fortress"
  • Leva--Old English léofe "beloved"
  • Levith--Old English léofe "beloved" + gýð "battle"
  • Leviva/Lyveva--Old English léofe "beloved" + gifu "gift"
  • Maysant/Maisenta--from Germanic matha "council"(?)+ suent "strength", or magan "strength" + sinþ "journey"; via French
  • Merewen--Old English mære "famous" + wynn "joy"
  • Quenell/Quenilda--Old English cwen "woman, queen" + hild "battle"
  • Queniva--Old English cwen "woman, queen" + gifu "gift"
  • Rametta/Ramett--from Latin ramus "branch" or Germanic ragn "advice"
  • Seilda/Seild--Old English sæ "sea" + hild "battle"
  • Selova--Old English sæ "sea" + lufu "love"
  • Welthian--unknown, poss. "Wealthy Anne"; or a corruption of "Welsh woman" or of a Welsh name (like Gwenllian)
  • Wymark--poss. from Germanic wig "war" + mar "famous", via Old Breton


And yet again, I come up with more feminine names than masculine. I'm amazed at how many boys' names, even from over half a millennium ago, are still in use today. Girls' names really do have more turnover!

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