Germanic name

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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 , meaning "noble", and ræd , meaning "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 CE, 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 derivation is not always clear.

Of the large number of medieval Germanic names, a comparatively small set remains in common use today. For almost a thousand years, the most frequent name of Germanic origin in the English-speaking world has traditionally been William (from the Old High German Willahelm), followed by Robert, Richard and Henry.

Many native English (Anglo-Saxon) names fell into disuse in the later Middle Ages, but experienced a revival in the Victorian era; some of these are Edward, Edwin, Edmund, Edgar, Alfred, Oswald and Harold for males; the female names Mildred and Gertrude 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

act, aht, ohtfearsome(?)Yes check.svg Ohthere, Ohtrad, Actumerus, Octric, Actulf; Actohildis, OctolindisPokorny [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, eginsword, bladeYes check.svg Egbert, Ecgbald, Eggert, Ecgwine, Ekkehart, Ecgric, Eginolf; Ecgwynn, Egon Some names in ag-, eg- may be unrelated in origin; see Förstemann, 9.
agil, ail, eildread or weapon edgeYes check.svgAgilperht, 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.
alaallYes check.svgAlafrid, Alager, Alamunt, Alarad, Alaric, Alaruna, AlasuindSome names in ala- have this etymology; others are corruptions of names in aþal-. Förstemann, 39.
ald, ealdoldYes check.svg [7] Altopold, Altiperht, Aldfrid/Aldfrith, Aldegar, Aldman, Ealdred/Aldred, Aldwig, Aldwin/Audoin/Alduin, Ealdwulf/Aldwulf; Aldedrudis, Aldeberga/Aldburg, Aldigart, Altagund/Ealdgyð, Aldelindis, Aldis
*albi- ; ælf, elf, alf elf Yes check.svg [8] Ælfwine, Ælfric, Alfred, Ælfweard, Ælfsige; [9] Ælfflæd, Ælfwaru, Ælfwynn
*alh, alah, ealh hall, templeYes check.svg Ealhhelm, Ealhmund/Alcmund, Alhred, Ealhwine/Alcuin; Ealhswith, Ælgifu(?) [10] Perhaps related to runic alu
amalawork(?)Yes check.svgAmaleberga, Amalafrida, Amalrica, Amalaswintha/Melisende/Millicentc.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 Yes check.svgAngilbald, Angilberht/Engelbert, Engilfrit, Angalgar, Angilhelm/Ingelhelm, Engilhoh; (Ingalberta), Angilburga, Angildruda, EngilgundNames in angil- may arise with Christianization, by conflation with the prefix ingal-, an extension of the theophoric ing- prefix; see Förstemann, 89.
*aþal- , adall, æthelnobleYes check.svg Æthelhard, Æthelred, Adolf/Æthelwulf, Alphonse, Albert/Adelbert, Adelbrand/Alebrand, Æthelburh, Adelaide, Æthelstan, Æthelflæd, Adalsinda, Adelmar, Æthelthryth/Audrey, Aðils, Æthelgifu see ethel, odal,
*anô- , ON anu or ái, OHG ano ancestor Yes check.svg(?) Olaf Hypocorisms Ole, Åke/Åge
*ans- , ON ás, OHG ans, AS os god Yes check.svg Asbjørn/Osborne, Ansgar/Osgar, [11] Oswin, Oswald/Ansaldo/Answald, Ansleth, Ásleikr/Anslech/Oslac, [12] Ansfridus, Anshelmus/Anselm, Ansgisus/Ansegisus, Ansbrecht/Osbert, Osburh, Osgyth, Osthryth
ar, ara, ari, arni, earneagleYes check.svgArafrid, Aramund, Arswind, Arfrid, Arnipert, Arnold, Arnulf, Arvid Many of these names cannot be distinguished with certainty from the corresponding name in hari-.
arb, erb, erfinheritanceYes check.svg [13] Arbogastis, Erbhart, Erphari, Erpolach, Erflind, Erbemar, Erpmund, Erferat, Erferih, Erpwin, ErpulfHypocorisms Aribo, Erbo
asc, æscash, spear (made of ash tree)Yes check.svg Askold, Aschari, Asclind, Ascarich, Ascwin, Asculfc.f. Oisc, Ask
*audaz, aud, od, euþ, auþ, euth, ead, eod, jóðwealth, prosperityYes check.svg 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 ?Yes check.svg Eanhere, Aunefrit/Eanfrith, Aunemund, Onerich, Aunulf; Eanflæd Possibly "one" due to vowel being pronounced farther back in the mouth. At the time, and given those bearing the name, slowly becoming Old English "an", meaning "one'. But officially the etymology is unknown; see Förstemann, 181.
aus, aust, eostradiant; a goddess Yes check.svgAuripert, Aurendil/Orendil/Aurvandil, Aurulf; Ostheri, Austrad, Austrobert, Austraberta, Ostarpurc, Aostarger, Aostargart, Austrigisil, Ostarhilt, Ostremund, Austrad, Australd, Ostruin, AustrulfPossibly theophoric, see Eostre, Aurvandil
baldboldYes check.svgYes check.svg Baldwin; Theobald, Ubaldo, etc.Very frequent, and often conflated with the wald element.
band band, loopYes check.svg ? Pandulf/Pandolfo
baud, bad, bud, badu, beadu, bothbattle?Yes check.svgYes check.svgBaudigisil, Baudegund, Baudemund, Baudulf, Beadohild, Beaduhelm, Beaduwine, BothvildrUncertain etymology; mostly in old names (before the 8th century) Förstemann, 216f. In later use indistinguishable from bald
baugringYes check.svgBaugegundus, Bauglind, Baugulf
*berht- ; beraht, bryht, brihtbrightYes check.svgYes check.svg Byrhtnoth, Bertrand, Bertram, Bertold/Berthold, Beorhtric, Bertrude, Brihtwyn; Cuthbert, Aribert, Albert/Albright/Adelbert, Rigobert, Robert/Rupert, Herbert, Humbert, Hubert, Norbert, Wilbert, Delbert/Dagobert, Engelbert, Egbert, Lambert, Sindbert, Bertstan, Lubbert, Ludbert, Wolfberthypocorism Bert. One of the most frequent elements, but not attested before the 6th century.
burg, beorgfortressYes check.svgYes check.svgBurchard/Burkhart, Burgred; Cuthburh, Eadburh, Æthelburh, Notburga, Osburh, Redburga, Seaxburh, Walpurga, Werburgh The suffix is feminine only. See also Burke
bera, bern, berin, beornbearYes check.svg Berengar, Berahart/Bernhard/Bernard, Berhildis, Berahoch, Bermar, Berimund, Beornwulf cf. Beonna, Berig
bilblade, swordYes check.svgBiligrim, [14] Bilihelm, Bilihild, Billfrith, Belimar, Bilidruda, Pilolfamong the Saxons often monothematic, as Bilo, Pilicho, Pillin, Billung
bliclightningYes check.svgBlictrud, Blicger, Blicgart, Plechelm, Blicildis
blidblitheYes check.svgBliddruda, Bllithar, Blithelm, Blidhild, Blidmar, Blidulf, Blidemund, Plittelmi
bordshieldYes check.svgHerebord, Hiltiport, Saelbort, Willipord
brandfire, as a kenning for "sword"Yes check.svgYes check.svgBranthildis, Branthoc, Brandulf; Adelbrand, Gerbrand, Hildebrand, Hadubrand, IJsbrand, Liutprand, Rembrandt, Theudebrandcf. Brant. Attested from the 7th century, with the exception of Gothic Brandila
brunarmour, protection; brownYes check.svgBrunfrid, Brunger, Brunric, Brunward, Brunulf/Brynolf/Brunolf/Brynjolfr/Brunulphe; Brunhild; Adalbrun, Hiltibrun, Liefbrun, Liutbrun.The words for "armour" and for "brown" are unrelated, but a distinction of these two elements is impossible.
dag, tagdayYes check.svgYes check.svgTagapald/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 Yes check.svgYes check.svgDissibod, DisnotNames with this prefix are probably theophoric. In Nordic feminine names with the suffix -dis, the meaning is "woman".
diur, deoranimalYes check.svgDeurtrudis, Thiurhilt, Deorold, DeorulfThe meaning of this element may be either "animal" (deer) or "dear". See also Deor.
dom judgement (doom)Yes check.svg ? [15] Dombert, Domedrudis, Domegerdis, Domalde, Duomolf
druht, droc, drucpeopleYes check.svgDroctbold, Drocberta, Drutberga, Drucfred, Druhtgang, Truhthari, Droctelm, Dructildis, Druhtmar, Dructimund, Dructuin, Dructulf
ebur, eber, eofor boarYes check.svgEparpert/Everbert, Eureberga, Euurdag, Ebertrudis, Eparfrid, Eberger, Eberhard/Eoforheard/Everard/Everett, Ebarhelm, Eburhilt, Ebirmuot, Ebermunt, Ebarolt, Eberwin/Ebroin, Eberulf, Eboric
era, eri, erin, ernhonourYes check.svgErarich, 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, eorcenpure, genuine [16] Yes check.svgErcanberaht/Eorcenberht/Erchempert, Ercanbold/Archibald, Ercamberta, Ercanpurh, Ercantrud, Ercanfrid, Ercangar, Ercanhilt, Erchensinda, Erchinoald/Erchanold, Archanolf/ErchenulfFörstemann, 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. [17]
erl, eorl warrior, noble Yes check.svgErlabald/Erlembald, Erlefrida, Erligar, Erlemund, Erlwin, ErlulfPokorny suggests a tentative link with ari-, arni- "eagle", an 'l' suffix form of which is found in the Balto-Slavic languages.
ewa, ew, eu, eoeverYes check.svgEuin, Eubert, Eomar, Eumund, Ewirat, Eric, Eowig, Eolf
far, fara; fart, fardjourney, travelYes check.svgYes check.svgFarabert, Faregar, Feriher, Farohildis, Ferlinda, Faraman, Faramod, Faramund, Faroald, Faruin, Faraulf, Farnulf; Farthilt, Fartman, Ferdinand, [18] Fardulf, ; Adalfer, Leobafar, Sicfara, Theudifara
fastfirm, fastYes check.svgFastburg, Fastrada, Fastrih, Fastwin, Fastulf
filimuch, many(?)Yes check.svgFilibert, Feologild?, Filuliub, Filomar, Filomuot
*friþu- ; ON friþ, OHG friduprotection, peaceYes check.svgYes check.svg Fredegar, Ferdinand, [18] Fredegund/Frithugyth, Friedrich/Frederick, Frithuwold, Fridthjof/Fritiof; Billfrith, Dietfried, Ecgfrith/Ecgfrida, Ermenfrid, Godfried, Gottfried, Sigfrid/Siegfried, Walfrid/Walfried [19] In Old English, used almost exclusively for male names; Ecgfriþ is noted exception [19]
flad, flæðpurity, glory, beautyYes check.svgYes check.svgFladebert, 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 Yes check.svg Frambold, Frambert, Framsindis, Franemund, FranswindaAlmost exclusively Frankish names
franc a tribal name Yes check.svgFrancobert, Frangomere, Franchrih
fraw, fro, frea; fri lord Yes check.svgFrowin, Frawibald, Frawiprecht, Frawihilt, Frowimund, Frowini, Frauirat, Frawisinda, Freawaru; Friher, Frehild, Friulfc.f. Fróði; theophoric (see Fraujaz, Frijjō).
frig, frehboldYes check.svgFrigobert, Frehholt, Friculf
frod wise, prudentYes check.svgFrotbald, Frodobert, Frotfar, Frotfrid, Frodegard, Frothard, Frotland, Frotmir, Frotmund, Frodwin, Frodulfhypocorisms Frodo, Frutilo, Frodin
frumgood, beneficialYes check.svgFrumiger, Frumihilt, Frumirat, Frumirih, Frumold, Frumolf, Frumar
fulc, folc, volcpeople, folkYes check.svgYes check.svgFolcbald, Forlberaht/Volcbert, Fulcdag, Folhker/Folcger, Folchard, Fulchar/Volker, Volkhard, Folcleih, Fulclindis, Folcman, Folcmar/Volkmar, Folcnand, Fulcrad, Fulcrich, Folcswind, Fulcuald, Folcward, Folcwin, Fulculf; Heidifolc, Herifolch, Hrodfolc, Ratfolc, Sigifolc, Saelfolc
funs, fúseager, braveYes check.svgAmdefuns, Adalfuns/Alphonse, Bernefons, Hadufuns, Sigifuns, Valafons
gail, gelgay, merryYes check.svgGelbold, Geilindis, Geilamir, Gailswindis, Geilwib, Geilwih,hypocorism Gailo, Geliko
gamal, gamoldYes check.svgGamalbold, Gamalbert, Gamalberga, Gamaltrudis, Gamalfred, Gamalher, Camalrat,
gamanjoyYes check.svgGamanhilt, Gamanolt, GamanulfOnly Old High German, rare
ganmagicYes check.svgYes check.svgGannibald, Ganefard, Ganhart ; Adalgan, Audiganus, Wolfgan
gand, gend ?Yes check.svgYes check.svgGantberga, Gentfrid, Ganthar/Ganther, Gendrad, Gandaricus, Gandulf  ; Gredegand, Charigand, Hrodogand, GislegendisHypocorisms Gando, Gantalo, Gandin; cf. Gandalfr (mythological)
gangpath, journeyYes check.svgYes check.svgGangperht, Gangolf; Bertegang, Druhtgang, Hildigang, Hrodegang, Thiotcanc, Uligang, Widugang, Wiligang, Wolfgang
gar, ger, earlier gais spear Yes check.svgYes check.svg Gerald, Gerhard/Gerard, Gerbrand, Gerwin, German; Berengar, Edgar, Oscar, Hrothgar/Roger, Thøger/Tøger/Theodgarhypocorism Gero, Gerry. Very frequent both as prefix and as suffix. Gerðr is the wife of Freyr in Norse mythology.
gardenclosureYes check.svgYes check.svgGardrad, Gardulf; Hildegard, Irmgard, Liutgart, Richardis, etc.Rare as a prefix, very frequent as a suffix. The great majority of names with this suffix are feminine.
gastguest; spiritYes check.svgYes check.svgCastald, Gestilind, Gestiliub, Gastrad; Altgast, Alpkast, Andragast, Arbogast, Cunigast, Hartigast, Hiltigast, Hungast, Lindigast, Milgast, Nebiogast, Salagast, Suabgast, Widogast, VisogastMostly 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 Yes check.svgYes check.svgGauzebald/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; goldworthy; gold, payment, yieldYes check.svgYes check.svgGiltbert, 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 Yes check.svgYes check.svgGibbold, Gibborga, Gibitrudis, Giffrid, Gebhard, Gebaheri, Gibohildis, Gebahoh, Gebalinda, Geberad, Geberic, Gebawin, Gibulf; Ælgifu/Ælfgifu, Ælthelgifu/Eadgifu, Godgyfu/Godiva, Ottogeba, Thialgif, Willigiphypocorisms Gabilo, Gibilin, Gebi, Gabo, Gibicho, etc.
gisil, giselhostage, pledgeYes check.svgGiselbert, Giselric, Giselhard; GiselbergaHypocorism Gisela, cf. Giselle
glisgleamYes check.svgGlismot, Glisnot
god, got god; goodYes check.svgGodfrid/Godfrey, Godscalc, Gothard, GotwaldIn 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
graushorror, terrorYes check.svgCrosmuat (8th century), Grausolph (9th century)simplex Grauso, Chroso, Cros, Kros, etc.;
graw, gragreyYes check.svgGraobart, Grahilt (8th century), Graman (8th century), Graulf (8th century)
grimhelmet, maskYes check.svgYes check.svgGrimwald, Grimoald, Grimhild/Krimhild/Kriemhild; Isegrim/Isengrim
gumamanYes check.svgGomadrudis, Gomoharius, Gomahilt, Gomaleih, Gomlinda, Gumemar, Gumarich, Gumesind, Gumoalt, Gomolf
*gunþ- ; gund, gud, gyþ, gyðbattle, warYes check.svgYes check.svg Günther/Gunther/Gunter/Guntar/Gundar, Gundoald, Gundulf, Gunnhild, Gudrun; Eadgyth/Edith, Ealdgyð, Fredegund/Frithugyth, Sigith/Sigesgundia, Hildegund/Hildegunn, Rigunth
hag, hagan; hahenclosure, yardYes check.svgHagibert, Hagihar, Hachirat, Hagoald, Hagiwolf; Hahger, Hahmund, Hahwart, HaholfAttested 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, heitrank, stateYes check.svgYes check.svgHaidrich, 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, healthyYes check.svgYes check.svgHailbert, Hailun, Hailburch, Hailtruda, Heilan, Heilmunt, Hailrat, Hailwin; Halagmund, Halegred, ; Rihheil, SarahailoHailo, Halicho (8th century); conflated with the elements agil and hal.
*haim- ; OHG haim, heim, AS hæmhomeYes check.svg Henry/Heinrich, Heimwarthypocorism Haimo
haist, heistfurious, violent(?)Yes check.svgHaisthilt, Haistulf, Hailunc.f. Old English hæst ; also compared with the tribal name of the Aesti .
hamar hammerYes check.svgHamerard, Hamarolf, HamarbertRare; limited to a handful of names of the 8th century.
handhand(?)Yes check.svgHantbert, Hantker, Handegis, Hantwin, HandolfRare, 8th and 9th centuries.
harc altar(?)Yes check.svgHarcmot, Hercrat, Harchellindis (f.), Horcholtrare, 9th and 10th centuries; c.f. the entries under ercan.
hard, heardbrave, hardyYes check.svgYes check.svgHartman, Hartmut (etc.); Æthelhard, Richard, Gerhard, Gotthard, Bernard/Bernhard (etc.)Very frequent, recorded from as early as the 3rd century.
*hari , herarmyYes check.svgYes check.svg Diether, Luther, Haraldr/Hereweald/Harold, Herbert, Herleif, Herman/Arminius, Ariovistus, Ariouualdus, Ælfhere/Alfarr/Alfheri, Hereric, Wulfhere, Herebeald, Eanhere, Oshere, Hermóðr/Heremod/Herimout, Herbrandr, Ívarr, Yngvarr/Ingvarr, Hloþhere, Æþelhere, Walter hypocorism Harry, 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, hadubattle, combatYes check.svgYes check.svgHadubrand, Hadufuns, Hedwig; Rihhad, Willihad, Wolfhad, VunnihadFrequent, from the 6th century, formally indistinguishable from haid.
hedan, haidanheathen, paganYes check.svgYes check.svgHedenold, Hedenulf ; Wolfhetanrare; 7th to 9th centuries.
helmprotectorYes check.svgYes check.svg Helmut, Helmdrud, Helmfrid; Diethelm, Ealhhelm, Anselm, Cwichelm, Nothhelm, Wilhelm/William Hypocorism Helmo. Comparatively frequent from the 6th century.
heah, hochhighYes check.svg Heaberht, Hámundr cf. Huoching/Haki
hild- warYes check.svgYes check.svgActohildis, Berhildis, Branthildis, Brunhild, Clotilde, Farohildis, Ermenhild/Imelda, Gauthildis/Gauthildr, Gerhild, Gibohildis, Grimhild/Krimhild/Kriemhild, Griselda, 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, helpaid, helpYes check.svg Chilperic, Helpoald, Helpuin, Helpwolfrare; Chilperic is from the 5th century, other names with this element occur only in the 8th and 9th centuries.
*heltą , hilt, hilz, helzhiltYes check.svg [20] Hilcekin, Helzuni, Helzoltrare; 8th to 11th centuries
himil heavenYes check.svgHimildrud, Himilger, Himilradrare, 8th to 10th centuries.
hir-/heru swordYes check.svgHiring, Hiribert, Hirburc, Hiriger, Hiriward9th century; Gothic hairus, Anglo-Saxon heoro- "sword", also in the tribal name of the Cherusci.
hiruz, hiriz, herzhart, stagYes check.svgHirizpero, Herzrad(?); dim. Hirzularare
hleoprotectionYes check.svgHleoperht, Hlevagastir
hlud, hlodafameYes check.svg Clotilde, Clovis/Chlodwig/Ludwig/Louis, Hlothhere, Ludolf, Lothar/Chlothar/Lothaire, Chlodomir; Chlodoswintha
hog, huogdexterous, nimble(?)Yes check.svgHuogobert, Huoging, Huogulf, Hogo
holcrafty, devious(?)Yes check.svgHolebert, Holomot, Holemund, Holosint
hord, horthoard, treasureYes check.svgHortbert, Horthari, Hordold, Hordward, Horduin, Hordolf
hraban, hramravenYes check.svgYes check.svg 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).
hradquick, fastYes check.svg(?) [21] Hradperaht, Hradpurh, Hradgast, Hrathari, Hradwin
hraid, hreidfamous(?)Yes check.svg Hreiðmarr, Hreidperaht, Hreidgaer, Hreitolf, Hraidmund/Raymond also in the name of the Hreiðgoths.
hring, ringringYes check.svg(?) [22] Hringuni, Rhincbold, Ringhelm, Hringweald, HringolfFörstemann 1900:877 suggests that the "ring" element in origin refers to ring-mail
hroc, rocrook (bird)Yes check.svgYes check.svgFerderuchus, Unhroch, Wolfhroc; Rocbert, Hrohhart, Hrocculf, Ruocswint, BerthrocFörstemann 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, romglory, fameYes check.svgRuombald/Rumbold/Rombout, Rumbert, Ruumker, Hrumheri, Ruomlind, Romuald, Romulfsince the 5th century; hypocorisms Ruom, Roma, Rumo. Förstemann 1900:883
*hrōþ- ; hruotfame, glory, honour, renown, love, godlike [23] Yes check.svgYes check.svg Rotilde, Hrothgar/Roger/Rüdiger, Hrodberht/Rupert/Robert, Hrodulf/Rudolph, Roderick/Rodrigo, Roland, Rodney, Roald; Adalrod, Fridarut, Hartrod, Liutrod, Sigirod8th century; hypocorisms Chrodius, Hrodo, Hrodio, Hroda; Förstemann 1900:883
hug, hygspirit, courageYes check.svg( Yes check.svg)Hugibald/Ubaldo, Hygelac/Hyglac, Hugubert/Hubert, Hugibrant, Hucger, Hugilind; Adalhug, Kerhugehypocorisms Hugh, Hugo
hunswelling; chip, block; offspring, (bear) cub; warriorYes check.svgYes check.svg Hunferthus, Humboldt, Hunbeorht/Humbert; Andhun, Berthun; Ælfhun c.f. Hun of East Anglia
ing a god Yes check.svg Inga, Ingeborg, Inger, Ingvar/Igor, Ingrid, Ingemar/Ingmar
irm(en), erm(en)strong, wholeYes check.svg 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)ironYes check.svgYes check.svgIsebert/Isebrecht, Isegrim/Isegrimm/Isengrim, Isenhart, IJsbrand Isegrim may in origin have been a kenning for "wolf".
jut-a tribal nameYes check.svgJudida, Judinga, Jutcar, Judilidis, Jutrad, Joduin, Judelhildisprobably from the name of the Juthungi or the Jutes
jungyoungYes check.svgJungarat, Jungericus, Jungulf, Jugenprand8th to 10th century, rare (used more rarely than ald- "old")
karl, carl, ceorlmanYes check.svgYes check.svgCarlofred, Carlman; Altcarl, Gundecarlrare; possibly extensions from the simplex.
*kōni-; cen , coenfierce, keenYes check.svg Conrad/Konrad, Cynric, Coenwulf
*kun(n)i- , OHG kuni, chun, also chim, chin, chind; AS cyne royal, of a king; kin, offspring, childYes check.svgKunibert, Kunimund, Cynewulf, Kunigunde, Cynegyth, Cynethryth, Cyneric, Chindasuinth, Adelchind, Drudchind, Widukind, Willekindhypocorism Kuno, Chintila
*kunþ- ; cuþrenownedYes check.svg Cuthbert, Cuthred, Cuthwulf
kwik- ; cwicalive, livelyYes check.svg Cwichelm
laik play, dance Yes check.svgYes check.svgEkkileich, 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, Zitleichpossibly as first element in Leikert, Leuckart; Laigobert
laif, laf, leibsurvivor, heir(Yes check.svg)Yes check.svgEggileib, 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, Leibwartthe 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".
laithdangerous, hostileYes check.svgYes check.svgAnsleth, Wolfleit; Leitbraht, Leitfrid, Leither, Leidmuot, Laidarat, Laidoin, Laidulfrare
landlandYes check.svgYes check.svgAcland, 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, Lampert, Landeberga, Lamprand, Lantbodo, Landfrid, Lampfrid, Landagar, Landegaus, Landgrim, Landegunda, Lantheida, Landohard, Lanthar, Landohildis, Landerich, Landswinda, Landoald, Landwih, Landuin, Landulf
laugbride(?)Yes check.svgAlblaug/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, Þraslaugonly as a suffix in feminine names; the suffix is presumably from a root *lug "to celebrate marriage; to be dedicated, promised (in marriage)" [24]
lindsoft, mild, alternatively "shield" (made of linden tree) in ON, OHG and OE)(Yes check.svg)Yes check.svgGislinde, Heidelinde, Rosalint, Ermelind, Kristlind, Melinda, Odelinde, Siglind/Sieglinde, Theodolinda, Þórlindur; Linddís, Lindolf, Lindvald, Lindvardh, Linveigvery frequent as a second element in feminine names
liub, leofdesirable, friendlyYes check.svg Leofric, Leofwine, Leofwynn, Leofgyth
liutipeopleYes check.svg Liutger/Leodegar, Luther, Lutold; Liutgard, Leudwinus/Liutwin, Luitpold/Leopold, Liutprand
magan, megin; mahtmight, strengthYes check.svgMaganradus/Meinrad; Mathilde, Meinfrida, Meinhard
man, mannman, personYes check.svgYes check.svg Manfred, Herman, German, Norman
*mēri-; mære , mer, mar, mirfamousYes check.svgYes check.svg Adelmar, Chlodomir, Marwig, Miro, 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
mundprotectionYes check.svg Edmund, Erlemund, Kunimund, Sigmund, Rechimund, Reginmund/Raymond, Remismund, Normund
niw, niwi, niu, nianewYes check.svgYes check.svgAdalniu, Baudonivia, Dagný, Folcniu, Nibumir, Nivulf, Niwirat, Niwirich, Odalniu, Signý/Sigeneow, Teudonivia
noþ, OHG nand [25] courageYes check.svgYes check.svg Nanthild, Notburga, Nothhelm; Byrhtnoth, Eadnoth, Ferdinand, Folcnand, Wieland/Wayland
nord, nor, ON norðrnorthYes check.svg Norman, Normund, Norbert also in use as the first element in Norway
ræðcounsel, wisdomYes check.svgYes check.svgRadegast, Radwig, Radulf; Alfred, Eadred, Conrad, Tancred, Wihtred; Ratberga/Redburga
ragincounselYes check.svgRaginald/Reginald/Reynold/Reinhold/Reynhold/Ronald, Reginbert, Reginmund/Raymond; Regintrud, Rægenhere, Ragnar
*remez, remispeaceYes check.svgRemisto, Remismund
run rune, secretYes check.svg Gudrun, Walaruna
rīki- ; OHG rihhi, AS rīcrulerYes check.svgYes check.svg Rigobert, Alaric, Ælfric, Beorthric, Brunric, Theodoric/Dietrich, Friedrich/Frederick, Richard, Richardis, Rictrude, Richilda, Rechila, Rechiar, Rechimund, Richimir, Rickstan, Eboric, Ulrich, Haidrich/Heidrich, Leofric, Wulfric, Roderick, Sigeric, Sedrick, Cedric, Chilperic, Theodoric, Henry/Heinrich, Eric, Godric
sax, seax seax; a tribal name Yes check.svg Sexred; Seaxburh
sinþ , sind, siþtravel, timeYes check.svgYes check.svgSindolf/Sindulf, Sindram, Sindbald, Sindbert; Adalsinda Sinthgunt as "Sun's sister" in the Merseburg Incantations
sig, sigi, sige, sieg, siginvictoryYes check.svgYes check.svgSigborg/Siborg, Sigebald/Sibbald/Sibold/Sinibaldo, Sigbod/Sibot, Sigibert/Sigebert, Sibrand, Sigmar, Sigmund, Sighart/Sicard, Sighelm, Sigher/Siger/Sighere, Sigrad/Sigered, Sigeric, Sigtrygg, Sigward/Siward, Sigfrid/Siegfried, Sigith/Sigesgundia, Sigvald, Sigwald/Siwald, Sigulf/Sigewulf/Siconulf; Ælfsige; [9] Sigelinde/Siglind, Sigtrudpossibly theophoric in origin, in reference to Teiwaz, and later Odin, the god of victory. [26] Hypocorisms Sigo, Sike, Sikke.
stanstoneYes check.svg Æthelstan, Thorsten, Wulfstan, Bertstan, Rickstanalso in simplex Sten, from Scandinavian Steinn
swint, swiþ strengthYes check.svgYes check.svg Swithwulf, Swinthibald; Amalaswintha, Ealhswith; Swinthila
tankthought, counselYes check.svgTancred/Dancrad, Dancmar, Tammaro
tryggtruthYes check.svg Sigtrygg
Valdrruler, leaderYes check.svgRaginald/Reginald/Reynold/Reinhold/Reynhold/Ronald, Roald, Sigvald
wand , wandalwander, wendYes check.svgWandefrid, 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, Waldpower, brightnessYes check.svgYes check.svg Waldemar/Vladimir, Walther; Edwald, Ewald, Frithuwold, Harold, Sigwald/Siwald, Gerald, Gundoald, Waldwolf/Waldolf/Adolf, Oswald/Ansaldo, Walfrid/Walfried
warin; weardguardianYes check.svgYes check.svgWarinhari/Wernher/Werner; Brunward, Edward, Sigward; Freawaru, Ælfwaru
wiht wight, spirit Yes check.svg Wihtred
wil will, desire Yes check.svg Wilhelm/William, Wilmer, Wilfred, Wilbert, Willihad, Willigip
win, wini, winefriendYes check.svgYes check.svgWinibald, Winimund, Winibert; Ælfwine/Alboin, Alcuin, Aldoin, Baldwin, Darwin, Ecgwine, Edwin/Audoin, Erlwin, Erwin, Gerwin, Goswin, Leofwine, Oswin
wigbattle, warYes check.svgYes check.svg Wiglaf, Wigbert, Wigheard/Wighard; Clovis/Chlodwig/Ludwig/Louis, Hedwig, Marwig
wal(a), wel, wæl battleYes check.svgWieland/Wayland, [27] Walaman, Walarad, Walerand, Walaruna, Walesinda, Wala-anc, Walahelm, Walaram/Waleran hypochoristic Wallia, Walica. c.f. Valhalla, Valkyrie, Valföðr etc.
wod (wad?) fury Yes check.svgWodilhilt (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. [28] 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". [29]
wid(u), witwood, forestYes check.svgWithhold, Widukind hypocorism Guido, Guy
wulfwolfYes check.svgYes check.svg Aethelwulf/Adolf, Arnulf, Atenulf, Beowulf, Brunulf/Brynolf/Brunolf/Brynjolfr/Brunulphe, 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)
wyn(n) joy Yes check.svgYes check.svg Wynflæd; Ælfwynn, Ecgwynn, Brihtwyn
þeod people Yes check.svg Theodoric/Dietrich/Derick/Dirk, Detlef, Diether, Diethelm, Theobald, Dietfried, Theudebert, Theodemar; Dietlinde
*þegnaz, degen warrior, thane Yes check.svgYes check.svgDegenhard, Degericus; Deitdegen, Edildegan, Drûtdegan, Heridegan, Swertdegan, Volcdegen

OH þrúðr, OE þrȳð, [30] drut, trud, thrud, thryth

force, strengthYes check.svgYes check.svgDrutmund; Æthelthryth, Osthryth, Cynethryth, Ermintrude, Gertrude, Bertrude, Rictrude, Sæthryth, Waltrud/WaltrautNames 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 Yes check.svg(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 Yes check.svg Thusnelda (1st century; presumably for *Thurishilda), Thurismund (6th century), Thurisind (6th century), Turisulfusan 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 may have originated as hypocorisms of full dithematic names, but in some cases they entered common usage and were no longer perceived as such.

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 may have originated as bynames rather than hypocorisms of old dithematic names; examples may include Old English Æsc "ash tree", Carl "free man" (Charles), Hengest "stallion", Raban "raven" (Rabanus Maurus), Hagano/Hagen "enclosure", Earnest "vigorous, resolute".


Germanic names often feature a range of bynames: additional names that accompany a 'forename'. These can be toponymic (locational), occupational, genealogical, or 'nicknames'. [31]

Uncertain etymology

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles</span> Name list

Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English and French speaking countries. It is from the French form Charles of the Proto-Germanic name ᚲᚨᚱᛁᛚᚨᛉ or *karilaz, whose meaning was "free man". The Old English descendant of this word was Ċearl or Ċeorl, as the name of King Cearl of Mercia, that disappeared after the Norman conquest of England.

Arnulf is a masculine German given name. It is composed of the Germanic elements arn "eagle" and ulf "wolf". The -ulf, -olf suffix was an extremely frequent element in Germanic onomastics and from an early time was perceived as a mere suffix forming given names. Similarly, the suffix -wald, -ald, -old, originally from wald "rule, power" underwent semantic weakening. Therefore, the name Arnulf and Arnold were often conflated in early medieval records, as is the case with bishop Arnulf of Metz, especially as the final consonant came to be dropped (Arnoul).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yngvi</span> Germanic deity

Old Norse Yngvi, Old High German Ing/Ingwi and Old English Ing are names that relate to a theonym which appears to have been the older name for the god Freyr. Proto-Germanic Ingwaz was the legendary ancestor of the Ingaevones, or more accurately Ingvaeones, and is also the reconstructed name of the Elder Futhark rune ᛜ and Anglo-Saxon rune ᛝ, representing ŋ.

Wulf was one of the most prolific elements in early Germanic names. It could figure as the first element in dithematic names, as in Wulfstan, but especially as second element, in the form -ulf, -olf as in Cynewulf, Rudolph, Ludolf, Adolf etc., it was 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.

Bert is a hypocoristic form of a number of various Germanic male given names, such as Robert, Albert, Elbert, Herbert, Hilbert, Hubert, Gilbert, Wilbert, Filbert, Norbert, Osbert, Roberto, Roberta, Bertram, Berthold, Bertrand, Umberto, Humbert, Humberto, Alberto, Alberta, Albertine, Albertina, Cuthbert, Delbert, Dagobert, Rimbert, Egbert, Siegbert, Gualbert, Gerbert, Lambert, Engelbert, Bertie, and Colbert.

Theudebert is a Germanic dithematic name, composed from the elements theo- "people" and bert "bright". The name is attested primarily in the German Middle Ages. The Cat character in Reynard the Fox is called either Tibert or Tybalt.

Enguerrand is a medieval French name, derived from a Germanic name Engilram, from Angil, the tribal name of the Angles, and hramn "raven".

Ælfwine is an Old English personal name. It is composed of the elements ælf "elf" and wine "friend", continuing a hypothetical Common Germanic given name *albi-winiz which is also continued in Old High German and Lombardic as Albewin, Alpwin, Albuin, Alboin. Old Norse forms of the name are Alfvin and Ǫlfun. The modern name Alwin may be a reduction of this name, or alternatively of Adalwin, the Old High German cognate of the Anglo-Saxon Æthelwine. The name of the elves is clearly of Common Germanic age. As an element in given names, it is not found in the earliest period, but it is well attested from the 6th century and extinct by the Late Middle Ages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Migration Period spear</span> Germanic weapon

The spear or lance, together with the bow, the sword, the seax and the shield, was the main equipment of the Germanic warriors during the Migration Period and the Early Middle Ages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Haguna</span>

Haguna or Hagana is a historical Germanic name. It is attested in the form Hagano in Old High German and as Haguna and Hagena in Old English. Old West Norse has Hǫgni, presumably loaned from the character in German legend. Old Danish has Haghni and Hoghni; Old Swedish Haghne and Høghne.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geoffrey (name)</span> Name list

Geoffrey is an English and German masculine given name. It is generally considered the Anglo-Norman form of the Germanic compound *gudą 'god' and *friþuz 'peace'. It is a derivative of Dutch Godfried, German Gottfried and Old English Gotfrith and Godfrith.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vé (shrine)</span> Shrine or sacred place in Germanic paganism

In Germanic paganism, a or wēoh is a type of shrine, sacred enclosure or other place with religious significance. The term appears in skaldic poetry and in place names in Scandinavia, often in connection with an Old Norse deity or a geographic feature.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ernst Förstemann</span> German historian, archivist and librarian (1822–1906)

Ernst Wilhelm Förstemann was a German historian, mathematician, doctor of linguistics, librarian, and director of the Saxon State Library in Dresden. He is known as a founder of onomastics and folk etymology studies in Germany, and also for his seminal contributions made in the early years of Mayanist research, towards the decipherment and understanding of calendrical elements in the pre-Columbian Maya script. He was the first European to understand and interpret the Maya number system, their use of the “zero,” and their calendar system.

Hedwig is a German feminine given name, from Old High German Hadwig, Hadewig, Haduwig. It is a Germanic name consisting of the two elements hadu "battle, combat" and wig "fight, duel". The name is on record since the 9th century, with Haduwig, a daughter of Louis the German. The name remained popular in German high nobility during the 10th and 11th centuries. Other medieval spellings include Hathuwic, Hathewiga, Hadewich, Hadewic, Hathwiga, Hadwich, Hatwig, Hadwig, Hediwig, Hedewiga, Hedewich, Hedewiih, Hatuuih, Hetvic, Haduwich, Hadawich, Hatuwig, etc. Forms such as Hadiwih, Hadewi etc. suggest that the name is the result of a conflation of two separate names, one with the second element wig "fight", the other with the second element wih "hallowed".

Bodo is an Old High German name, also adopted in Modern German. It is in origin a short name or hypocorism for Germanic names with a first element Bod-, Puot-, reflecting the verbal root beud- "to bid, command". As a monothematic name, Old High German Boto, Old Saxon Bodo, could mean "lord, commander" or alternatively "messenger" . Full dithematic names with this first element included Bodegisil, Bothad, Bodomar, Boderad, Poterich, Bodirid, Butwin, Potelfrid, Botolf, Podalolf, Bodenolf.

Vadamerca or Valadamarca may have been a Gothic princess and Goth royal family member by birth, and consort of the Rex Hunnorum Balamber, possibly the first ruler of the Huns. The only extant source that mentions her or Balamber is Jordanes' Getica, and it is possible that both are unhistorical.


  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. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2022-04-02.
  4. "ank-1".
  5. c.f. OE ehtan
  6. "agh-".
  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. 1 2 attested as latinized Ælsinus
  10. perhaps reduced from Ælfgifu, or Ælthelgifu.
  11. the name Oscar is an unrelated name of Irish origin meaning "deer-friend"
  12. this name survives in corrupted form in the given name Axel and in the surnames Aslock, Hasluck
  13. some possible rare exceptions, such as Fulcarb.
  14. often conflated with Latin Pilgrim, Peregrinus
  15. perhaps as a suffix in certain names latinized as -domus.
  16. 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".
  17. Erchtag was a name of Tuesday in Bavarian dialect; see Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie , 113; 182—185.
  18. 1 2 apparently a Gothic name; perhaps from fardi "travel" (Förstemann, 401), perhaps also from frithu "protection".
  19. 1 2 Okasha, Elisabeth (2016-12-05). Women's Names in Old English. Routledge. ISBN   9781351871211.
  20. perhaps conflated with hild- from an early time.
  21. names with this second element have been conflated with names in -rad. Förstemann 1900:875.
  22. names with this second element are uncertain, most of the candidates could contain the simple suffix -ing. Förstemann 1900:877.
  23. "HROD - Nordic Names".
  24. Lena Peterson Nordiskt runnamnslexikon (2002)
  25. cognate to Old Irish néit "combat", see Pokorny (1959), p. 755.
  26. Yonge, p. 306.
  27. see Hellmut Rosenfeld (1969). Der Name Wieland. Beiträge zur Namenforschung.
  28. Förstemann, 1332f.
  29. Förstemann, 1224.
  30. "ÞRUÐ - Nordic Names Wiki - Name Origin, Meaning and Statistics". Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  31. Alphey, T. K. (2023). "The Definite Article in Old English 'Nicknames'". Notes & Queries. 70 (4): 223–224. doi: 10.1093/notesj/gjad103 .