|Dutch Women's Names to 1100|
Articles > Names
Dutch Womens' Names before 1100
by Walraven van Nijmege (Brian R. Speer)
to the Eykenbosch Library
The following list of women's names recorded prior to 1100 in the Low Countries (which are today Belgium and the Netherlands) was compiled primarily from two sources: C. Tavernier-Vereecken. Gentse Naamkunde van ca. 1000 tot 1253, 1968, Belgium. and O. Leys. Vlaamse Vrouwennamen, 1958, Leuven & Brussel. Full details of these publications may be found in the bibliography. A third source provided a few additional names: K. Roelandts. Nederlandse Familienamen in Historisch Perspectief, 1951, Leuven & Brussel.
Entries have been coded according to source information, the default being that the entry is an 11th century name from Tavernier-Vereecken. When these entries are from an earlier date, the century of their use is indicated. Entries with a two-letter code come either from K. Roelandts (KR) or from O. Leys (OL). No entries from Leys are dated. The symbol (?) indicates that Tavernier-Vereecken has not indicated the gender of an entry, but that I have included it here because it appears to be a feminine form. The symbol ("?") is used when T-V indicates uncertainty about the gender of the name in the text.
The list is arranged alphabetically, though for indexing, PH is listed under F, and UU under W. Variants are generally listed under a simpler form of the name, and this will occasionally violate the alphabetizing. The list was put in this order to complement T.-V. and Leys, since they organize their names by roots.
The combination of the two large lists yielded surprisingly few identical names, though there were a number of similar variants, and the elements and general structure of names were the same. It is not clear whether this is the result of cultural differences between the northern (T.-V.) and southern (Leys) regions, or whether because of the small numbers of recorded women's names. Only seventeen names appear on both lists:
Adala, Amalberga, Danburga, Enna, Ermecin, Ermengardis, Geila, Hildegard, Hildegardis, Ida, Imma, Lietgardis, Mathildis, Reingard, Richildis, Rodgarda, TietzaA great many of the names in this list are composed of a protheme (first part) and a deuterotheme (second part), and these appear to have been used in almost every combination. Prothemes of course are listed together alphabetically, and so may be studied easily. The more common deuterothemes are: -berg, -burg (-burch), -gard, -hild, -lind, -rad, -swind, -trud, and -wara. These have variant spellings, and usually have an -a or -is appended to them; these are Latin feminine endings, and may reflect scribal convention rather than usage in the spoken language.
Caution should be taken with this list. A few names may imply relationship, such as those ending in -wif. A few names were also omitted, such as Elftrudis, which appears to be the name of Alfred the Great's daughter, and not a native Lowlander. Latin genitive and accusative endings from recorded forms have been normalized to nominitive endings; my thanks to Talan Gwynek for his assistance with this.
A final point: Since there really was neither a distinct Dutch language nor a Dutch culture until beginning around 1100, the title of this list is a bit of a misnomer. Also, none of the names below will look like Dutch, they are more like Frankish. Though these are all names of women, many will not sound feminine to the modern English speaker.
Names from non-Germanic Roots
Agatha OL Amabilia Auriana OL Benedicta 10 KR,OL Cilia Flouerana OL Geneva Iolitha OL Mauriana OL Murina OL Odriana OL Susanna OL
Names from Germanic Roots
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