|10th Century Frisian Masculine Names|
Articles > Names
10th Century Frisian Masculine Names
by Talan Gwynek (Brian Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org)
copyright 2001Sources for medieval Frisian names are scarce. There's a good reason for this: there are some early Frisian names in Latin texts, but the oldest surviving texts in Old Frisian date only from the second half of the 13th century . This article presents a list of 10th century Frisian names recorded in Latin documents .
The ultimate source of at least some of these names is a document that dates to the decades around the year 900 and deals with the rents due to the abbey of Werden. This abbey was located on the Ruhr river near modern Essen, near the western edge of Saxon territory. To the west were the Franks, and to the north, the Frisians . The abbey held land in all three linguistic areas, and its tenants included native speakers of Old Saxon, Old Low Franconian, and Old Frisian. I do not know how these names were picked out as being Frisian; they may be names of tenants identified as living in the Frisian part of the abbey's holdings. The abbey's Old Saxon scribal tradition probably affected the way some names were recorded, but all of these are generally compatible with what I know of Frisian dialect characteristics [4, 5].
In Continental European documents of this period, people are almost always known by a single name rather than the name and byname (like Richard Dullard) that became the norm throughout Europe in the later Middle Ages. Some nicknames have been preserved, but they were evidently for the most part very informal . In particular, it would be very much in keeping with Frisian practice in this period to use just a single name.
In the list below, the number accompanying each name is the page number where it appears in reference . Names marked with an asterisk, *, were recorded as parts of place-names, but I am confident that they were in contemporary use as personal names. Names from other sources are footnoted.
Notes Robinson, Orrin W, Old English and Its Closest Relatives (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992); p. 181. Scattered words and phrases appear in earlier texts.
 Stark, Franz, Die Kosenamen der Germanen (Wiesbaden: Dr. Martin Sändig oHG., 1967 ); pp. 8, 181.
 Robinson, p. 103 (map).
 Tiefenbach, Heinrich, Schreibsprachliche und gentile Prägung von Personennamen im Werdener Urbar A, in Nomen et Gens, Dieter Geuenich, Wolfgang Haubrichs, & Jörg Jarnut, eds. (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1997).
 The name Egildag may show Old Saxon influence; Egildeg would be more in keeping with the Frisian dialect. The Frisian form Tiad- could be substituted for Thiad- in any of the names beginning with that element (Tiefenbach, 273). I don't know whether the Frisians also used Thiad-.
 Schwarz, Ernst, Deutsche Namenforschung. I: Ruf- und Familiennamen (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1949): p. 63f.
 Tiefenbach, pp. 271, 272. Notheri, Frithunath, and Edulf are inferred from place-names; Raeddeg is inferred from a Latin genitive case Raeddegi.
 Robinson, p. 179.
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