|Women's Given Names from Early 13th C England|
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Women's Given Names from Early 13th Century England
by Talan Gwynek (Brian Scott)
I have corrected one consistent error by the transcriber: all four instances of Alveua were misread as Alvena. I have also silently converted to the nominative case the three names that appear in the documents in the genitive case. The head names (in bold face) are standard modern forms where those exist and normalized Middle English forms otherwise as in Feminine Given Names in A Dictionary of English Surnames, and the forms listed under them include not only spelling variants but also diminutives. For names that do not appear in that collection I have used similar head forms, which are in italics, and I have added brief notes on the origin of the name. When the same person's name is recorded in more than one form, I have listed all of the forms on a single line separated by equals signs.
After each head name I have given the number of women who bore some form of that name, and the names are listed in descending order of these frequencies. For the names borne by at least 5 women I have also given two percentages. The first is the percentage of women listed who bore some form of that name. The second is the cumulative percentage of women listed who bore that name or a more common one. Thus, the name Matilda and its variants and diminutives was borne by almost one of every six women listed. The five most common names accounted for slightly over half of the women. Over 70% of the women bore one of the 12 names that occurred at least four times; if we include the three names borne by three women each, the percentage rises above 75%. The eight names borne by two women and the 25 names borne by just one woman account for only 9.2% and 14.5% of the women respectively
There are four names that are probably feminine that I have not included in the main results. From Middlesex there are the names Alevona and Alvone, and from Wiltshire the names Elosa and Helos. In each case the two are probably variants of a single name, but the name cannot be certainly identified. (Elosa and Helos may be variants of an obscure name Elous found in Domesday Book.)
It should be remembered that these are documentary forms; in some cases we cannot be sure what the spoken forms were.
Abbreviations used: CG = Continental Germanic; ODa = Old Danish; OE = Old English; OIr = Old Irish.
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