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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Germanic given names are traditionally dithematic; that is, they are formed from two elements, by joining a prefix and a suffix. For example, King Æþelred's name was derived from æþele, for "noble", and ræd, for "counsel".

However, there are also names dating from an early time which seem to be monothematic, consisting only of a single element. These are sometimes explained as hypocorisms, short forms of originally dithematic names, but in many cases the etymology of the supposed original name cannot be recovered.[1]

The oldest known Germanic names date to the Roman Empire period, such as those of Arminius and his wife Thusnelda in the 1st century[AD?], and in greater frequency, especially Gothic names, in the late Roman Empire, in the 4th to 5th centuries (the Germanic Heroic Age).[2]

A great variety of names are attested from the medieval period, falling into the rough categories of Scandinavian (Old Norse), Anglo-Saxon (Old English), continental (Frankish, Old High German and Low German), and East Germanic (see Gothic names[3]) forms.

By the High Middle Ages, many of these names had undergone numerous sound changes and/or were abbreviated, so that their etymology is not always clear.

Of the large number of medieval Germanic names, a comparatively small set remains in common use today. In modern times, the most frequent name of Germanic origin in the English-speaking world has traditionally been William (Bill; from an Old High German Willahelm), followed by Robert and Charles (Carl, after Charlemagne).

Very few names of native English (Anglo-Saxon) origin survive in current use; the most common of these are Edward, Edwin, Edmund, Edgar, Alfred, Oswald and Harold for males; the female names Mildred and Winifred also continue to be used in present day, Audrey continues the Anglo-Norman (French) form of the Anglo-Saxon Æðelþryð, while the name Godiva is a Latin form of Godgifu. Some names, like Howard and Ronald, are thought to originate from multiple Germanic languages, including Anglo-Saxon.

Dithematic names

Element Meaning Prefix Suffix Examples Notes
act, aht, oht fearsome(?) checkY Ohthere, Ohtrad, Actumerus, Octric, Actulf; Actohildis, Octolindis Pokorny[4] suggests rather the root of OHG āhta `hostile pursuit', Germ.. Acht, OE. ōht 'pursuit, harassment'[5]< *anhtō, in OE conflated with ōht 'terror', from the preterite of ag- "fear".[6] These represent perhaps two or more roots which are indistinguishable without
*agi-; eg, ecg, egg, ekk, agin, egin sword, blade checkY Egbert, Ecgbald, Eggert, Ecgwine, Ekkehart, Ecgric, Eginolf; Ecgwynn, Egon Some names in ag-, eg- may be unrelated in origin; see Förstemann, 9.
agil, ail, eil ? checkY Agilperht, Agilfrid, Agilulf, Egilger, Agilmar/Ilmar/Elmar, Egil, Egilrat; Alruna, Agilburgis, Uncertain etymology; like agin perhaps a hypostatis of the older ag-; Förstemann, 22. See Agilaz.
ala all checkY Alafrid, Alager, Alamunt, Alarad, Alaric, Alaruna, Alasuind Some names in ala- have this etymology; others are corruptions of names in aþal-. Förstemann, 39.
ald, eald old checkY [7] Altopold, Altiperht, Aldfrid/Aldfrith, Aldegar, Aldman, Ealdred/Aldred, Aldwig, Aldwin/Audoin/Alduin, Ealdwulf/Aldwulf; Aldedrudis, Aldeberga/Aldburg, Aldigart, Altagund, Aldelindis, Aldis
*albi-; ælf, elf, alf elf checkY [8] Ælfwine, Ælfric, Alfred, Ælfweard, Ælfsige;[9] Ælfflæd, Ælfwaru, Ælfwynn
*alh, alah, ealh hall, temple checkY Ealhhelm, Ealhmund/Alcmund, Alhred, Ealhwine/Alcuin; Ealhswith, Ælgifu(?)[10] Perhaps related to runic alu
amala work(?) checkY Amaleberga, Amalafrida, Amalrica, Amalaswintha/Melisende/Millicent, Ealhswith c.f. Amalia, Amelie. This element's etymology is uncertain, but it is frequently compared to Old Norse aml "work".
angil, engel; ingal/ingel a tribal name checkY Angilbald, Angilberht/Engelbert, Engilfrit, Angalgar, Angilhelm/Ingelhelm, Engilhoh; (Ingalberta), Angilburga, Angildruda, Engilgund Names in angil- may arise with Christianization, by conflation with the prefix ingal-, an extension of the theophoric ing- prefix; see Förstemann, 89.
*aþal-, adall, æthel noble checkY Æthelhard, Æthelred, Adolf/Æthelwulf, Alphonse, Albert/Adelbert, Adelbrand/Alebrand, Æthelburh, Adelaide, Æthelstan, Æthelflæd, Adelmar, Æthelthryth/Audrey, Aðils, Æthelgifu see ethel, odal,
*anô-, ON anu or ái, OHG ano ancestor checkY (?) Olaf Hypocorisms Ole, Åke/Åge
*ans-, ON ás, OHG ans, AS os god checkY Oscar, Oswin, Oswald/Ansaldo, Ansgar, Anselm, Ansleth, Ásleikr/Anslech/Oslac,[11] Ansfridus, Anshelmus/Anselm, Ansgisus, Ansbrecht, Answald; Osburh, Osgyth, Osthryth
ar, ara, ari, arni, earn eagle checkY Arafrid, Aramund, Arswind, Arfrid, Arnipert, Arnold, Arnulf, Arvid Many of these names cannot be distinguished with certainty from the corresponding name in hari-.
arb, erb, erf inheritance checkY [12] Arbogastis, Erbhart, Erphari, Erpolach, Erflind, Erbemar, Erpmund, Erferat, Erferih, Erpwin, Erpulf Hypocorisms Aribo, Erbo
asc, æsc ash, spear (made of ash tree) checkY Askold, Aschari, Asclind, Ascarich, Ascwin, Asculf c.f. Oisc, Ask
*audaz, aud, od, euþ, auþ, euth, ead, eod, jóð wealth, prosperity checkY Audeca, Audofleda, Auduin, Odotheus, Audovacar/Odoacer, Odomir/Otmar/Ottomar/Othmar/Ademar, Edgar/Audagar/Ottokar, Edmund, Eadnoth, Eadred/Edred, Edward, Eadwig, Eadwulf, Edwin, Eadgifu, Edith. Eadgils (etc.) Extremely frequent. c.f. also Ethel, Otto, Odda, Auðr
aun, on, ean ? checkY Eanhere, Aunefrit/Eanfrith, Aunemund, Onerich, Aunulf; Eanflæd Etymology unknown; see Förstemann, 181.
aus, aust, eost radiant; a goddess checkY Auripert, Aurendil/Orendil/Aurvandil, Aurulf; Ostheri, Austrad, Austrobert, Austraberta, Ostarpurc, Aostarger, Aostargart, Austrigisil, Ostarhilt, Ostremund, Austrad, Australd, Ostruin, Austrulf Possibly theophoric, see Eostre, Aurvandil
bald bold checkY checkY Baldwin; Theobald, etc. Very frequent, and often conflated with the wald element.
band band, loop checkY ? Pandulf/Pandolfo
baud, bad, bud, badu, beadu, both battle? checkY checkY Baudigisil, Baudegund, Baudemund, Baudulf, Beadohild, Beaduhelm, Beaduwine, Bothvildr Uncertain etymology; mostly in old names (before the 8th century) Förstemann, 216f. In later use indistinguishable from bald
baug ring checkY Baugegundus, Bauglind, Baugulf
*berht-; beraht, bryht, briht bright checkY checkY Byrhtnoth, Bertrand, Bertram, Bertold/Berthold, Beorhtric, Brihtwyn; Cuthbert, Aribert, Albert/Albright/Adelbert, Rigobert, Robert/Rupert, Herbert, Humbert, Hubert, Norbert, Wilbert, Delbert/Dagobert, Engelbert, Egbert, Lambert, Sindbert, Bertstan, Lubbert, Ludbert, Wolfbert hypocorism Bert. One of the most frequent elements, but not attested before the 6th century.
burg, beorg fortress checkY checkY Burchard/Burkhart, Burgred; Cuthburh, Eadburh, Æthelburh, Osburh, Redburga, Seaxburh, Walpurga, Werburgh The suffix is feminine only. See also Burke
bera, bern, berin, beorn bear checkY Berengar, Berahart/Bernhard, Berhildis, Berahoch, Bermar, Berimund, Beornwulf cf. Beonna, Berig
bil blade, sword checkY Biligrim,[13] Bilihelm, Bilihild, Billfrith, Belimar, Bilidruda, Pilolf among the Saxons often monothematic, as Bilo, Pilicho, Pillin, Billung
blic lightning checkY Blictrud, Blicger, Blicgart, Plechelm, Blicildis
blid blithe checkY Bliddruda, Bllithar, Blithelm, Blidhild, Blidmar, Blidulf, Blidemund, Plittelmi
bord shield checkY Herebord, Hiltiport, Saelbort, Willipord
brand sword checkY checkY Branthildis, Branthoc, Brandulf; Adelbrand, Gerbrand, Hildebrand, Hadubrand, IJsbrand, Theudebrand cf. Brant. Attested from the 7th century, with the exception of Gothic Brandila
brun armour, protection; brown checkY Brunfrid, Brunger, Brunric, Brunward, Brunulf; Brunhild; Adalbrun, Hiltibrun, Liefbrun, Liutbrun. The words for "armour" and for "brown" are unrelated, but a distinction of these two elements is impossible.
dag, tag day checkY checkY Tagapald/Dacbold, Dagaperht/Dagobert, Tachiprand, Dagafrid, Dachelm, Tagarat/Dagred, Dagaric, Dagewin, Dagaulf; Alfdag, Osdag, Heridag, Helmdag, Hildidag, Hroddag, Wendildag, Wulfdag, Possibly a conflation of several roots, perhaps brightness, day, and a loan of Celtic dago "good".
dis, idis lady checkY checkY Dissibod, Disnot Names with this prefix are probably theophoric. In Nordic feminine names with the suffix -dis, the meaning is "woman".
diur, deor ? checkY Deurtrudis, Thiurhilt, Deorold, Deorulf The meaning of this element may be either "animal" (deer) or "dear". See also Deor.
dom judgement checkY ?[14] Dombert, Domedrudis, Domegerdis, Domalde, Duomolf
druht, droc, druc people checkY Droctbold, Drocberta, Drutberga, Drucfred, Druhtgang, Truhthari, Droctelm, Dructildis, Druhtmar, Dructimund, Dructuin, Dructulf
ebur, eber, eofor boar checkY Eparpert/Everbert, Eureberga, Euurdag, Ebertrudis, Eparfrid, Eberger, Eberhard/Eoforheard/Everard/Everett, Ebarhelm, Eburhilt, Ebirmuot, Ebermunt, Ebarolt, Eberwin/Ebroin, Eberulf, Eboric
era, eri, erin, ern honour checkY Erarich, Eranbald, Erambert, Ernulf Probably a genuine element, but difficult to distinguish from hari, which is also often reduced to eri-, er-, or from ari, arni. The form erin-, on the other hand, is often conflated with the irm- element.
ercan, erchen, archen, eorcen pure, genuine[15] checkY Ercanberaht/Eorcenberht, Ercanbold/Archibald, Ercamberta, Ercanpurh, Ercantrud, Ercanfrid, Ercangar, Ercanhilt, Erchensinda, Erchinoald/Erchanold, Archanolf/Erchenulf Förstemann, 377 connects OGH ercan "sublime, pure, holy" (the general sense in Gothic as well). In OE and ON used in compounds designating various "precious" stones. Perhaps theophoric, from a name of Teiwaz.[16]
erl, eorl warrior, noble checkY Erlabald/Erlembald, Erlefrida, Erligar, Erlemund, Erlwin, Erlulf Pokorny suggests a tentative link with ari-, arni- "eagle", an 'l' suffix form of which is found in the Balto-Slavic languages.
ewa, ew, eu, eo ever checkY Euin, Eubert, Eomar, Eumund, Ewirat, Eric, Eowig, Eolf
far, fara; fart, fard journey, travel checkY checkY Farabert, Faregar, Feriher, Farohildis, Ferlinda, Faraman, Faramod, Faramund, Faroald, Faruin, Faraulf, Farnulf; Farthilt, Fartman, Ferdinand,[17] Fardulf, ; Adalfer, Leobafar, Sicfara, Theudifara
fast firm, fast checkY Fastburg, Fastrada, Fastrih, Fastwin, Fastulf
fili much, many(?) checkY Filibert, Feologild?, Filuliub, Filomar, Filomuot
*friþu-; ON friþ, OHG fridu protection, peace checkY checkY Fredegar, Ferdinand,[17] Fredegund/Frithugyth, Friedrich/Frederick, Frithuwold; Billfrith, Dietfried, Ermenfrid, Godfried, Gottfried, Sigfrid/Siegfried, Walfrid/Walfried, Ecgfrida[18] In Old English, used almost exclusively for male names; Ecgfriþ is noted exception[18]
flad, flæð purity, glory, beauty checkY checkY Fladebert, Flatberta, Flatberga, Fladrudis, Fledrad, Flidulf; Albofledis/Ælfflæd, Ansfledis, Audofleda/Aethelflaed, Berhtflat, Burgofledis, Druhtflat, Ermenfleda, Gerflat, Gundiflat, Hrotflat, Ratflad, Sigiflat, Wynflæd The suffix is feminine only.
fram spear, javelin checkY Frambold, Frambert, Framsindis, Franemund, Franswinda Almost exclusively Frankish names
franc a tribal name checkY Francobert, Frangomere, Franchrih
fraw, fro, frea; fri lord checkY Frowin, Frawibald, Frawiprecht, Frawihilt, Frowimund, Frowini, Frauirat, Frawisinda, Freawaru; Friher, Frehild, Friulf c.f. Fróði; theophoric (see Fraujaz, Frijjō).
frig, freh bold checkY Frigobert, Frehholt, Friculf
frod wise, prudent checkY Frotbald, Frodobert, Frotfar, Frotfrid, Frodegard, Frothard, Frotland, Frotmir, Frotmund, Frodwin, Frodulf hypocorisms Frodo, Frutilo, Frodin
frum good, beneficial checkY Frumiger, Frumihilt, Frumirat, Frumirih, Frumold, Frumolf, Frumar
fulc, folc, volc people, folk checkY checkY Folcbald, Forlberaht/Volcbert, Fulcdag, Folhker/Folcger, Folchard, Fulchar/Volker, Volkhard, Fikcgzbm Folcleih, Fulclindis, Folcman, Folcmar/Volkmar, Folcnand, Fulcrad, Fulcrich, Folcswind, Fulcuald, Folcward, Folcwin, Fulculf; Heidifolc, Herifolch, Hrodfolc, Ratfolc, Sigifolc, Saelfolc
funs, fús eager, brave checkY Amdefuns, Adalfuns/Alphonse, Bernefons, Hadufuns, Sigifuns, Valafons
gail, gel gay, merry checkY Gelbold, Geilindis, Geilamir, Gailswindis, Geilwib, Geilwih, hypocorism Gailo, Geliko
gamal, gam old checkY Gamalbold, Gamalbert, Gamalberga, Gamaltrudis, Gamalfred, Gamalher, Camalrat,
gaman joy checkY Gamanhilt, Gamanolt, Gamanulf Only Old High German, rare
gan magic checkY checkY Gannibald, Ganefard, Ganhart ; Adalgan, Audiganus, Morgan, Wolfgan
gand, gend ? checkY checkY Gantberga, Gentfrid, Ganthar/Ganther, Gendrad, Gandaricus, Gandulf  ; Gredegand, Charigand, Hrodogand, Gislegendis Hypocorisms Gando, Gantalo, Gandin; cf. Gandalfr (mythological)
gang path, journey checkY checkY Gangperht, Gangolf; Bertegang, Druhtgang, Hildigang, Hrodegang, Thiotcanc, Uligang, Widugang, Wiligang, Wolfgang
gar, ger, earlier gais spear checkY checkY Gerald, Gerhard/Gerard, Gerbrand, Gerwin, German; Berengar, Edgar, Oscar, Hrothgar/Roger hypocorism Gero, Gerry. Very frequent both as prefix and as suffix. Gerðr is the wife of Freyr in Norse mythology.
gard enclosure checkY checkY Gardrad, Gardulf; Hildegard, Irmgard, Liutgart, etc. Rare as a prefix, very frequent as a suffix. The great majority of names with this suffix are feminine.
gast guest; spirit checkY checkY Castald, Gestilind, Gestiliub, Gastrad; Altgast, Alpkast, Andragast, Arbogast, Cunigast, Hartigast, Hiltigast, Hungast, Lindigast, Milgast, Nebiogast, Salagast, Suabgast, Widogast, Visogast Mostly as suffix; frequent in early (3rd to 4th centuries) names; frequent conflation with Slavic names (Radegast, Gustaph).
gaud, gaut, gaus, got, goz a tribal name checkY checkY Gauzebald/Cozpolt/Gausbolda, Gaucibert/Gozperaht, Gauseprand, Gausburgis, Gauttrudis, Caozflat, Gautfred, Gozger, Gauter/Kozheri, Gautastabaz/Göstaf/Gösta/Gustav, Gautshelm, Gauthildis, Gozleih, Gautlindis, Gautrekr, Goswin/Gaudoin, Gaudulf; Algaut, Amalgaud, Ansegaud, Ariugaud, Ostgaus/Aostargaoz, Berengaud, Danegaud, Trutgaud, Ebregaud, Ercangaud, Erlegaud, Faregaud, Gisalgoz, Helmigaud, Hildegaud, Hohgaud, Hungoz, Irmegaus, Ermengaud, Teutgaud, Ulgaud, Waldegaud, Wihgoz, Vuldargoza. The tribal name of the Geats/Goths. Hypocorisms Gaudo, Gaudila, Gauzilin, Gaudin. These names are popular during the 6th to 11th centuries. The forms in got are difficult to distinguish from the element god "god".
geld, gild; gold worthy; gold, payment, yield checkY checkY Giltbert, Gelther, Gildemir, Giltrada, Geldirih, Goldrun, Geltwif, Geltwig, Gildewin, Geldulf; Amalgaldis, Ausigildis, Adalgildis, Athanagild, Beregildis, Bertegildis, Trutgildis, Faregildis, Framengildis, Fredegildis, Frotgiliis, Gislegildis, Herigilid, Hleokelt, Lantegildis, Rihgelt, Sparagildis, Teutgildis, Wandegildis, Witgildis, Wolfgelt, etc. Hypocorisms Gildo, Gilting, Coldin, Gilticho
gifu; geb, gib gift checkY checkY Gibbold, Gibborga, Gibitrudis, Giffrid, Gebhard, Gebaheri, Gibohildis, Gebahoh, Gebalinda, Geberad, Geberic, Gebawin, Gibulf; Ælgifu/Ælfgifu, Ælthelgifu/Eadgifu, Godgyfu/Godiva, Ottogeba, Thialgif, Willigip hypocorisms Gabilo, Gibilin, Gebi, Gabo, Gibicho, etc.
gisil, gisel hostage, pledge checkY Giselbert, Giselric, Giselhard; Giselberga Hypocorism Gisela, cf. Giselle
glis gleam checkY Glismot, Glisnot
god, got god; good checkY Godfrid/Godfrey, Godscalc, Gothard, Gotwald In most cases, the etymologies guda "deus" and goda "bonus" cannot be distinguished with certainty, while in older continental names this is often an alternative form of Gund
graus horror, terror checkY Crosmuat (8th century), Grausolph (9th century) simplex Grauso, Chroso, Cros, Kros, etc.;
graw, gra grey checkY Graobart, Grahilt (8th century), Graman (8th century), Graulf (8th century)
grim helmet, mask checkY checkY Grimwald, Grimoald, Grimhild/Krimhild/Kriemhild; Isegrim/Isengrim
guma man checkY Gomadrudis, Gomoharius, Gomahilt, Gomaleih, Gomlinda, Gumemar, Gumarich, Gumesind, Gumoalt, Gomolf
*gunþ-; gund, gud, gyþ, gyð battle, war checkY checkY Günther/Gunther/Gunter/Guntar/Gundar, Gundoald, Gundulf, Gunnhild, Gudrun; Eadgyð, Ealdgyð/Edith, Fredegund/Frithugyth, Sigith/Sigita, Hildegund/Hildegunn, Rigunth
hag, hagan; hah ? checkY Hagibert, Hagihar, Hachirat, Hagoald, Hagiwolf; Hahger, Hahmund, Hahwart, Haholf Attested from the 7th century in forms such as Hago, Chaino etc. From an early time conflated with names in Ag-, Agin-. See also Haguna.
haid, heit rank, state checkY checkY Haidrich, Heidfolc, Chaideruna; Adelaide etc. Extremely frequent as second element in feminine names (83 listed by Förstemann), apparently due to early confusion with similar words for heath.
hail, heil; hailag whole, healthy checkY checkY Hailbert, Hailun, Hailburch, Hailtruda, Heilan, Heilmunt, Hailrat, Hailwin; Halagmund, Halegred, ; Rihheil, Sarahailo Hailo, Halicho (8th century); conflated with the elements agil and hal.
*haim-; OHG haim, heim, AS hæm home checkY Henry/Heinrich, Heimwart hypocorism Haimo
haist, heist furious, violent(?) checkY Haisthilt, Haistulf, Hailun c.f. Old English hæst; also compared with the tribal name of the Aesti.
hamar hammer checkY Hamerard, Hamarolf, Hamarbert Rare; limited to a handful of names of the 8th century.
hand hand(?) checkY Hantbert, Hantker, Handegis, Hantwin, Handolf Rare, 8th and 9th centuries.
harc altar(?) checkY Harcmot, Hercrat, Harchellindis (f.), Horcholt rare, 9th and 10th centuries; c.f. the entries under ercan.
hard, heard brave, hardy checkY checkY Hartman, Hartmut (etc.); Æthelhard, Richard, Gerhard, Gotthard, Bernard/Bernhard (etc.) Very frequent, recorded from as early as the 3rd century.
*hari, her army checkY checkY Diether, Luther, Hereweald/Harold, Herbert, Herleif, Herman/Arminius, Ariovistus, Ariouualdus hypocorism Harry, Walther; Heri(?). Very frequent, Förstemann lists 289 names with -hari as second element. As first element recorded as early as the 1st century (in Chariovalda), or possibly in the 1st century BC (Negau helmet B, Harigasti)
hath, had, hada, hadu battle, combat checkY checkY Hadubrand, Hadufuns, Hedwig; Rihhad, Willihad, Wolfhad, Vunnihad Frequent, from the 6th century, formally indistinguishable from haid.
hedan, haidan heathen, pagan checkY checkY Hedenold, Hedenulf ; Wolfhetan rare; 7th to 9th centuries.
helm protector checkY checkY Helmut, Helmdrud, Helmfrid; Diethelm, Ealhhelm, Anselm, Cwichelm, Nothhelm, Wilhelm/William Hypocorism Helmo. Comparatively frequent from the 6th century.
heah, hoch high checkY Heaberht, Hámundr cf. Huoching/Haki
hild- war checkY checkY Actohildis, Berhildis, Branthildis, Farohildis, Ermenhild/Imelda, Gauthildis/Gauthildr, Gerhild, Gibohildis, Grimhild/Krimhild/Kriemhild, Gunnhild, Matilda, Judelhildis, Landohildis, Nanthild, Richilda, Wanthildis; Childebert, Hildebrand, Hildegard, Hildegund/Hildegunn (etc.) One of the most frequently used stems both as prefix and as suffix, attested since the 3rd century. Among the Franks its use especially for feminine names is "almost excessive" according to Förstemann, who counts 281 names with this suffix, of which only four are masculine. Hypocorism Hilda.
hilp, help aid, help checkY Chilperic, Helpoald, Helpuin, Helpwolf rare; Chilperic is from the 5th century, other names with this element occur only in the 8th and 9th centuries.
*heltą, hilt, hilz, helz hilt checkY [19] Hilcekin, Helzuni, Helzolt rare; 8th to 11th centuries
himil heaven checkY Himildrud, Himilger, Himilrad rare, 8th to 10th centuries.
hir- sword checkY Hiring, Hiribert, Hirburc, Hiriger, Hiriward 9th century; Gothic hairus, Anglo-Saxon heoro- "sword", also in the tribal name of the Cherusci.
hiruz, hiriz, herz hart, stag checkY Hirizpero, Herzrad(?); dim. Hirzula rare
hleo protection checkY Hleoperht, Hlevagastir
hlud, hloda fame checkY Hlothhere, Chlodwig/Ludwig/Louis, Ludolf, Lothar/Chlothar/Lothaire, Chlodomir; Chlodoswintha
hog, huog dexterous, nimble(?) checkY Huogobert, Huoging, Huogulf, Hogo
hol crafty, devious(?) checkY Holebert, Holomot, Holemund, Holosint
hord, hort hoard, treasure checkY Hortbert, Horthari, Hordold, Hordward, Horduin, Hordolf
hraban, hram raven checkY checkY Bertram, Wolfram frequent in the 7th to 9th centuries; surely from the ravens of Wodanaz originally (as was wulf-). Förestemann counts 125 masculine and 15 feminine with this suffix. The simplex Hraban (and variants) is recorded from the 6th century. The Gothic name Valarauans if it contains this root would be the oldest record of the element (4th century).
hrad quick, fast checkY (?)[20] Hradperaht, Hradpurh, Hradgast, Hrathari, Hradwin
hraid, hreid famous(?) checkY Hreiðmarr, Hreidperaht, Hreidgaer, Hreitolf, Hraidmund/Raymond also in the name of the Hreiðgoths.
hring, ring ring checkY (?)[21] Hringuni, Rhincbold, Ringhelm, Hringweald, Hringolf Förstemann 1900:877 suggests that the "ring" element in origin refers to ring-mail
hroc, roc ? checkY checkY Ferderuchus, Unhroch, Wolfhroc; Rocbert, Hrohhart, Hrocculf, Ruocswint, Berthroc Förstemann 1900:878f. surmises an early conflation of two elements (1) hrauc "roar, bellow, (battle-)cry" and (2) rōc "care, circumspection", and both were further conflated with hrōþ- as first element, and with -rih as second. As a second element since the 5th century. Crocus, the 4th-century king of the Alamanni, presumably had a name formed from this element, as did Rocco bishop of Autun (7th century) and Rocho bishop of Bourges (8th century).
hrom, hruom, rom glory, fame checkY Ruombald/Rumbold/Rombout, Rumbert, Ruumker, Hrumheri, Ruomlind, Romuald, Romulf since the 5th century; hypocorisms Ruom, Roma, Rumo. Förstemann 1900:883
*hrōþ-; hruot fame checkY checkY Hrothgar/Roger/Rüdiger, Hrodberht/Rupert/Robert, Hrodulf/Rudolph, Roderick, Roland, Rodney, Roald; Adalrod, Fridarut, Hartrod, Liutrod, Sigirod 8th century; hypocorisms Chrodius, Hrodo, Hrodio, Hroda; Förstemann 1900:883
hug, hyg spirit, courage checkY ( checkY) Hugibald, Hygelac/Hyglac, Hugubert, Hugibrant, Hucger, Hugilind; Adalhug, Kerhuge
hun swelling; chip, block; offspring, (bear) cub checkY checkY Hunferthus, Humboldt, Hunbeorht/Humbert; Andhun, Berthun; Ælfhun c.f. Hun of East Anglia
ing a god checkY Inga, Ingeborg, Inger, Ingvar, Ingrid, Ingemar/Ingmar
irm(en), erm(en) strong, whole checkY Eormenred, Ermenrich/Hermeric/Emmerich/Emery/Amerigo; Ermendrud/Ermintrude/Irmtrud, Ermenfrid, Ermengarde/Ermegard/Irmgard, Ermengild/Hermenegild, Ermenhild/Imelda possibly theophoric, see Irminsul; hypocorisms Irma, Armin, Emma
ise(n) iron checkY checkY Isebert/Isebrecht, Isegrim/Isegrimm/Isengrim, Isenhart, IJsbrand Isegrim may in origin have been a kenning for "wolf".
jut- a tribal name checkY Judida, Judinga, Jutcar, Judilidis, Jutrad, Joduin, Judelhildis probably from the name of the Juthungi or the Jutes
jung young checkY Jungarat, Jungericus, Jungulf, Jugenprand 8th to 10th century, rare (used more rarely than ald- "old")
karl, carl, ceorl man checkY checkY Carlofred, Carlman; Altcarl, Gundecarl rare; possibly extensions from the simplex.
*kōni-; cen, coen fierce, keen checkY Conrad/Konrad, Cynric, Coenwulf
*kun(n)i-, OHG kuni, chun, also chim, chin, chind; AS cyne kingly, noble, kin, offspring, child checkY Kunibert, Kunimund, Cynewulf; Kunigunde, Cynegyth, Cynethryth, Cynewulf; Chindasvinth; Adelchind, Drudchind, Widukind, Willekind hypocorism Kuno, Chintila
*kunþ-; cuþ renowned checkY Cuthbert, Cuthred, Cuthwulf
kwik-; cwic alive, lively checkY Cwichelm
laik play, dance checkY checkY Ekkileich, Albleih, Amalleih, Ásleikr/Oslac, Audolecus, Perlaicus, Perahteih, Chinileihc, Dagaleich, Fridileih, Frotalaicus, Folcleih, Gozleih, Gundelaicus, Halulec, Hildelaicus, Hugilaih/Hyglac, Isanleih, Mathlec, Radleic, Sigelac, Wadelaicus, Walalaicho, Waldleich, Werinleih, Widolaic, Willileih, Winileih, Wolfleiga, Zitleich possibly as first element in Leikert, Leuckart; Laigobert
laif, laf, leib survivor, heir (checkY) checkY Eggileib, Albleib, Olaf, Oslef, Athulef, Adalleib, Otleib, Berahtleib, Dagalaif, Danleib, Dotleib, Truhtleib, Edilef, Fridaleib, Folkleib, Guntaleiba, Hartleib, Haduleif, Herleif, Hiltileip, Hordleif, Hunleib, Isanleib, Mahtleip, Nordleip, Ortlaip, Ratleib, Reginleib, Richleib, Sileif, Starcleib, Thiotleip, Wiglaf, Wineleib, Wolleip, Wulfleip, Wunnileif, Zehaleip; Leibuni/Leiboin, Leibher, Leibhilt, Leibrat, Leibwart the probable original meaning "heir of" suggests that this element at first appeared only as second element; it was from an early time it conflated with liub "dear". In Old Norse also used as a simplex, Leifr "heir".
laith dangerous, hostile checkY checkY Ansleth, Wolfleit; Leitbraht, Leitfrid, Leither, Leidmuot, Laidarat, Laidoin, Laidulf rare
lamp fitting(?) checkY Lampert, Lampfrid rare, 8th to 10th century
land land checkY checkY Acland, Ingaland, Oslant, Osterlant, Auilant, Perelant, Perahtland, Cululant, Thruadland, Frotland, Gerland, Gotlanda, Grimland, Gundoland, Artaland, Hasland, Hiltiland, Hrodlant, Itislant, Inlant, Ermoland/Hermenland, Madoland, Meginland, Odallant, Ratland, Roland, Landon, Gagentland, Ricland, Sigilant, Wariland, Wiclant, Vulfland; Landolin, Landbold, Lambert/Landberta, Landeberga, Lamprand, Lantbodo, Landfrid, Landagar, Landegaus, Landgrim, Landegunda, Lantheida, Landohard, Lanthar, Landohildis, Landerich, Landswinda, Landoald, Landwih, Landuin, Landulf
laug bride(?) checkY Alblaug/Alflaug, Adallouc/Aðallaug, Ólaug, Árlaug, Arnlaug, Áslaug, Perahtlouc, Eyðleyg/Edlaug, Droplaug, Dýrlaug, Ellaug, Ercanloug, Fastlaug, FInnlaug, Fridlaug, Grímlaug, Gerlaug, Gundlauc/Gunnlaug, Heiðlaug, Hiltilauc, Hrafnlaug, Íslaug, Jerlaug, Kristlaug, Ratlauga, Róslaug, Sigilouc/Siglaug, Sollaug, Sturlaug, Swanaloug/Svanlaug, Sveinlaug, Týlaugr, Triulaug, Vélaug, Wiglauh/Víglaugr, Þórlaug, Þraslaug only as a suffix in feminine names; the suffix is presumably from a root *lug "to celebrate marriage; to be dedicated, promised (in marriage)"[22]
lind soft, mild, alternatively "shield" (made of linden tree) in ON, OHG and OE) (checkY) checkY Gislinde, Heidelinde, Rosalint, Ermelind, Kristlind, Melinda, Odelinde, Siglind/Sieglinde, Theodolinda, Þórlindur; Linddís, Lindolf, Lindvald, Lindvardh, Linveig very frequent as a second element in feminine names
liub, leof desirable, friendly checkY Leofric, Leofwine, Leofwynn
liuti people checkY Liutger/Leodegar, Luther, Lutold; Liutgard, Liutwin
magan, megin; maht might, strength checkY Maganradus/Meinrad; Mathilde, Meinfrida, Meinhard
man, mann man, person checkY checkY Manfred, Herman, German, Norman
*mēri-; mære, mer, mar, mir famous checkY checkY Adelmar, Chlodomir, Marwig, Miro, Morgan, Filimer/Filimir, Hreiðmarr, Odomir/Otmar/Ottomar/Othmar/Ademar, Dietmar, Agilmar/Ilmar/Elmar, Ricimer, Richimir, Theodemir, Theodemar, Thiudimer, Sigmar, Ingemar/Ingmar, Valamir, Waldemar/Vladimir, Wilmer, Vidimir/Widemir, Wulfmar/Wulfomir
mund protection checkY Edmund, Erlemund, Kunimund, Sigmund, Rechimund, Reginmund/Raymond, Remismund, Normund
noþ, OHG nand[23] courage checkY checkY Nanthild, Nothhelm; Byrhtnoth, Eadnoth, Ferdinand, Folcnand, Wieland/Wayland
ræð counsel, wisdom checkY checkY Radegast, Radwig, Radulf; Alfred, Eadred, Conrad, Tancred, Wihtred; Ratberga/Redburga
ragin counsel checkY Raginald/Reginald/Reynold/Reinhold/Reynhold, Ronald, Reginbert, Reginmund/Raymond; Regintrud, Rægenhere, Ragnar
*remez, remis peace checkY Remisto, Remismund
run rune, secret checkY Gudrun, Walaruna
rīki-; OHG rihhi, AS rīc ruler checkY checkY Rigobert, Alaric, Ælfric, Beorthric, Brunric, Theodoric/Dietrich, Friedrich/Frederick, Richard, Richilda, Rechila, Rechiar, Rechimund, Richimir, Rickstan, Eboric, Ulrich, Haidrich/Heidrich, Leofric, Wulfric, Roderick, Sigeric, Sedrick, Cedric, Patrick, Chilperic, Theodoric, Henry/Heinrich, Eric, Godric
sax, seax seax; a tribal name checkY Sexred; Seaxburh
sinþ, sind, siþ travel, time checkY Sindolf/Sindulf, Sindram, Sindbald, Sindbert Sinthgunt as "Sun's sister" in the Merseburg Incantations
sig, sigi, sige, sieg victory checkY checkY Sigborg/Siborg, Sigebald/Sibbald/Sibold, Sigbod/Sibot, Sigibert, Sibrand, Sigmar, Sigmund, Sighart, Sighelm, Sigher/Siger, Sigrad, Sigeric, Sigtrygg, Sigward/Siward, Sigfrid/Siegfried, Sigith/Sigita, Sigwald/Siwald, Sigulf/Sigewulf; Ælfsige;[9] Sigelinde/Siglind, Sigtrud possibly theophoric in origin, in reference to Teiwaz, and later Odin, the god of victory.[24] Hypocorisms Sigo, Sike, Sikke.
stan stone checkY Æthelstan, Thorsten, Wulfstan, Bertstan, Rickstan also in simplex Sten, from Scandinavian Steinn
swint, swiþ strength checkY checkY Swithwulf, Swinthibald; Amalaswintha, Ealhswith; Swinthila
tank thought, counsel checkY Tancred/Dancrad, Dancmar
trygg truth checkY Sigtrygg
Valdr ruler, leader checkY Ronald, Roald
wand, wandal wander, wend checkY Wandefrid, Wandedrudis (f.), Vandebercth (7th century), Wandemar, Wandarich, Wendulf, Wanthildis (f., 9th century); Wandalbold (8th century), Wandalbert (7th-9th centuries), Wandalburgis (f., 10th-11th centuries) in the names of the Vandals, Wends and Aurvandil
weald, Wald power, brightness checkY checkY Waldemar/Vladimir, Walther; Edwald, Ewald, Frithuwold, Harold, Sigwald/Siwald, Gundoald, Waldwolf/Waldolf/Adolf, Oswald/Ansaldo, Walfrid/Walfried
warin; weard guardian checkY checkY Warinhari/Wernher/Werner; Brunward, Edward, Sigward; Freawaru, Ælfwaru
wiht wight, spirit checkY Wihtred
wil will, desire checkY Wilhelm/William, Wilmer, Wilfred, Wilbert, Willihad, Willigip
win, wini, wine, wyn(n) friend; joy checkY checkY Winibald, Winimund, Winibert; Ælfwine/Alboin, Alcuin, Aldoin, Baldwin, Darwin, Ecgwine, Edwin/Audoin, Erlwin, Erwin, Gerwin, Goswin, Leofwine, Oswin; Wynflæd; Ælfwynn, Ecgwynn, Brihtwyn
wig battle, war checkY checkY Wiglaf, Wigbert, Wigheard; Ludwig, Hedwig, Marwig
wal(a), wel, wæl battle checkY Wieland/Wayland,[25] Walaman, Walarad, Walerand, Walaruna, Walesinda, Wala-anc, Walahelm, Walaram hypochoristic Wallia, Walica. c.f. Valhalla, Valkyrie, Valföðr etc.
wod (wad?) fury checkY Wodilhilt (f.), Wodalgarta (f.), Wodilbalt (a. 969), Wodalbert (a. 773), Wodelfrid (a. 912), Wodilulf (11th century), Vudamot (a. 821) because of the close association with Wodanaz, these names are rare already in the OHG period, and fall out of use entirely during the High Middle Ages. Some hypocorisms such as Wote (a. 784), Woda (f., 8th century), Wodal (a. 889), Wode, Wodtke, may derive from this element. Wotan is recorded as a given name in the early 9th century.[26] Association of most of these names with wod "fury" is uncertain, as there are the homophonic but unrelated roots of OHG watan "to wade" and wat "garment".[27]
wid(u), wit wood, forest checkY Withhold, Widukind hypocorism Guido, Guy
wulf wolf checkY checkY Aethelwulf/Adolf, Arnulf, Atenulf, Beowulf, Cuthwulf, Cynewulf, Eadwulf, Ealdwulf/Aldwulf, Eardwulf, Ernulf, Gangolf, Gundulf, Pandulf, Swithwulf, Rudolph; Wulfstan, Wolfgang, Wolfram, Wulf (etc.) Especially as second element, -ulf, -olf is extremely common. Förstemann explains this as originally motivated by the wolf as an animal sacred to Wodanaz, but notes that the large number of names indicates that the element had become a meaningless suffix of male names at an early time. Förstemann counts 381 names in -ulf, -olf, among which only four are feminine. See also Offa (name)
þeod people checkY Theodoric/Dietrich/Derick/Dirk, Detlef, Diether, Diethelm, Theobald, Dietfried, Theudebert, Theodemar; Dietlinde
*þegnaz, degen warrior, thane checkY checkY Degenhard, Degericus; Deitdegen, Edildegan, Drûtdegan, Heridegan, Swertdegan, Volcdegen
þryþ,

OH þrúðr, OE þrȳð,[28] drut, trud, thrud, thryth

force, strength checkY checkY Drutmund; Æthelthryth, Osthryth, Cynethryth, Ermintrude, Gertrude, Sæthryth, Waltrud/Waltraut Names with this suffix are feminine only; Þrúðr is a daughter of Thor in Norse mythology. Short form Trudy, Trudi
þonar, donar, þór (the god of) thunder checkY (rare) Donarperht (9th century), Donarad (8th century), Þórarin, Þórhall, Þórkell, Þórfinnr, Þórvald, Þórvarðr, Þórgeir, Þórsteinn (9th century), Thunerulf/Þórolf ; Albthonar (8th century) These names appear from the 8th or 9th century; popular in Scandinavia during the 10th to 11th centuries. Förstemann 1199.
þurs, Thuris, Turis giant checkY Thusnelda (1st century; presumably for *Thurishilda), Thurismund (6th century), Thurisind (6th century), Turisulfus an archaic element in names of the migration period, extinct during the medieval period. Förstemann 1200.


Monothematic names

Some medieval Germanic names are attested in simplex form; these names originate as hypocorisms of full dithematic names, but in some cases they entered common usage and were no longer perceived as such.

  • Masculine: Aldo (whence English Aldous), Adel, Anso/Anzo/Enzo, Folki/Folke/Fulco, Gero, Helmo/Elmo, Ise/Iso, Kuno, Lanzo, Manno, Odo/Otto, Rocco, Sten, Waldo, Warin, Wido, Wine, Wolf/Wulf
  • Feminine: Adele, Alda, Bertha, Emma, Hilda, Ida, Isa, Linda, Oda

Some hypocorisms retain a remnant of their second element, but reduced so that it cannot be identified unambiguously any longer; Curt/Kurt may abbreviate either Conrad or Cunibert. Harry may abbreviate either Harold or Henry.

Other monothematic names originate as surnames (bynames) rather than hypocorisms of old dithematic names; e.g. Old English Æsc "ash tree", Carl "free man" (Charles), Hengest "stallion", Raban "raven" (Rabanus Maurus), Hagano/Hagen "enclosure", Earnest "vigorous, resolute".

Uncertain etymology

  • Gustav has been interpreted by e.g. Elof Hellquist (1864 - 1939) Swedish linguist specialist in North Germanic languages as gauta-stabaz (gauta-stabaR) "staff of the Geats"; it may also originate as an adaptation of the Slavic name Gostislav.
  • Old English Pǣga (unknown meaning)
  • Pepin
  • Serlo
  • Morcar
  • Zotto
  • Zaban
  • Cleph
  • Pemmo

See also

References

  1. ^ e.g. the names of kings Penda, Pybba, Offa, Wuffa, and Sebbi, all Anglo-Saxons born in the 6th or 7th centuries
  2. ^ The oldest attested Germanic name may be Harigast, written harikast in the Negau helmet inscription, but there are dissenting minority opinions.
  3. ^ Gothic or pseudo-Gothic names also constitute most of the personal names in use in the Christian successor states of the Visigothic kingdom in the Iberian peninsula during High Middle Ages; c.f. Boullón Agrelo, Ana Isabel (1999). Antroponomia medieval galega (ss. VIII - XII). Tübingen: Niemeyer. ISBN 978-3-484-55512-9. and Förstemann, Ernst (1900). Altdeutsches Namenbuch (3 ed.). Bonn: P. Hanstein.
  4. ^ "ank-1". indo-european.info.
  5. ^ c.f. OE ehtan
  6. ^ "agh-". indo-european.info.
  7. ^ names terminating in -ald are from -wald.
  8. ^ Vestralpus, the name of an Alamannic king, may be a rare instance of this element occurring in the second part of a name.
  9. ^ a b attested as latinized Ælsinus
  10. ^ perhaps reduced from Ælfgifu, or Ælthelgifu.
  11. ^ this name survives in corrupted form in the given name Axel and in the surnames Aslock, Hasluck
  12. ^ some possible rare exceptions, such as Fulcarb.
  13. ^ often conflated with Latin Pilgrim, Peregrinus
  14. ^ perhaps as a suffix in certain names latinized as -domus.
  15. ^ c.f. Old English eorcnan-stan "precious stone, gem". Pokorny (1959) tentatively grouped the word with PIE *arǵ- "glittering, shining", whence Latin argentum "silver"), but Gothic ark- may also represent an early loan from Greek ἀρχι- ("arch-", c.f. Ulfilan Gothic arkaggilus for archangelus). Formerly (Diefenbach 1851) also compared to Sanskrit arh- "to be worthy".
  16. ^ Erchtag was a name of Tuesday in Bavarian dialect; see Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, 113; 182—185.
  17. ^ a b apparently a Gothic name; perhaps from fardi "travel" (Förstemann, 401), perhaps also from frithu "protection".
  18. ^ a b Okasha, Elisabeth (2016-12-05). Women's Names in Old English. Routledge. ISBN 9781351871211.
  19. ^ perhaps conflated with hild- from an early time.
  20. ^ names with this second element have been conflated with names in -rad. Förstemann 1900:875.
  21. ^ names with this second element are uncertain, most of the candidates could contain the simple suffix -ing. Förstemann 1900:877.
  22. ^ Lena Peterson Nordiskt runnamnslexikon (2002)
  23. ^ cognate to Old Irish néit "combat", see Pokorny (1959), p. 755.
  24. ^ Yonge, p. 306.
  25. ^ see Hellmut Rosenfeld, Der Name Wieland, Beiträge zur Namenforschung (1969)
  26. ^ Förstemann, 1332f.
  27. ^ Förstemann, 1224.
  28. ^ "ÞRUÐ - Nordic Names Wiki - Name Origin, Meaning and Statistics". www.nordicnames.de. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  • Colman, Fran (2014). The Grammar of Names in Anglo-Saxon England: The Linguistics and Culture of the Old English Onomasticon. Oxford linguistics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198701675.
  • Olof von Feilitzen, The Pre-conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book (1937).
  • E. Förstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch (1856; online facsimile)
  • Förstemann, Ernst (1900). Altdeutsches Namenbuch (3 ed.). Bonn: P. Hanstein.
  • Lena Peterson, Nordiskt runnamnslexikon, 4th ed. (2002); 5th ed. (2007).
  • P. R. Kitson, (2002). How Anglo-Saxon personal names work. Nomina, 24, 93.
  • F. C. Robinson, (1968). The significance of names in old English literature. Anglia, 86, 14–58.
  • Justus Georg Schottel, De nominibus veterum Germanorum, in: Ausführliche Arbeit Von der Teutschen Haubt-Sprache, Zilliger (1663), book 5, chapter 2, pp. 1029–1098.[1]
  • Franz Stark, Die Kosenamen der Germanen: eine Studie: mit drei Excursen: 1. Über Zunamen; 2. Über den Ursprung der zusammengesetzten Namen; 3. Über besondere friesische Namensformen und Verkürzungen, 1868.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Viehbeck, Die Namen der Alten teutschen: als Bilder ihres sittlichen und bürgerlichen Lebens (1818; online facsimile)
  • H. B. Woolf, (1939). The old Germanic principles of name-giving. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • H. C. Wyld, (1910). Old Scandinavian personal names in England. Modern Language Review, 5, 289–296.
  • Charlotte Mary Yonge, History of Christian names, vol. 2, Parker and Bourn, 1863.
  • Schönfeld, Moritz (1911). Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen- und Völkernamen. Heidelberg: C. Winter.

External links

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