The 2nd Tenure of Da'ud Ibn Auda (2nd year)
A combination of an Old English forename with what can only be a fairly late English form of an Irish surname is too far from period practice. [The name was returned.] (Wege Teague, 10/94 p. 12)
The modern English form of the Irish patronym is entirely inconsistent with an Old English given name. [The name was returned.] (Beornheard O'Dea, 10/94 p. 14)
Submitted as William Ethelwulf Bruce, Ethelwulf is entirely out of place in the remainder of the name. (Please remember, Anglo-Saxon and 17th Century English are two entirely different languages. We have dropped the problematic element in order to register the name. (William Bruce, 2/95 p. 7)
No evidence has been presented that kennings and other poetic expressions were used as bynames. Previous returns for this reason involved Old Norse names, but the limited evidence available for Old English bynames suggests that they were equally down-to-earth. We are therefore returning this name and broadening the precedent to include Old English as well as Old Norse bynames. (Eadwine Rune-Deniga, 2/96 p. 17)
The combination of Old English and Old Norse can probably
be justified for the Danelaw, though the available evidence suggests that
such spellings as Ulfric and Wlfric (probably representing Old Swedish
or Old Danish Ulfrik) were the norm. (Wulfric Gylðir, 3/96 p.
Arabic & Turkish
[returning the byname al-Hilal] Hilal is a given name which does not appear to have been used with the article al-. Nor does "the Crescent" appear to follow the pattern of Arabic bynames with which we are familiar. (Rashid al-Hilal, 11/94 p. 16)
Turkish does not appear to have used the Arabic bint in patronymic formations. [The name was returned.] (Atesh al- Nasmeh bint Omer, 1/95 p. 12)
[returning the epithet al-Zaa'ir] Zaa'ir was documented as a name but not as a word, so it is not clear that al-Zaa'ir is an acceptable byname. (Tadg in Sinnach, 8/95 p. 20)
[returning Arslan Sanjarzade Yildirim-Kilij] On the basis of the available information, Arslan Sanjarzade appears to be modern, Western-style Turkish name constructed from period elements; Schimmel, Islamic Names, p. 80, says, however, that the family name preceded the given name in those few families that had family names before this century. The submitter's documentation shows some period examples of names compounded from what are either simpler names or a combination of a nickname and a name, but there is no documentation for compound nicknames, nor is there evidence to show where in a period Turkish name a nickname should be placed. (Arslan Sanjarzade Yildirim-Kilij, 8/95 p. 20)
...none of the Arabic-speaking peoples seems to have used double given names, and this practice has been grounds for return in the past (Nasr Hasan ibn Muhammad Abdullaziz, Calontir, 11/93 LoAR). (Ja'mala Junaida al-Badawi, 10/95 p. 17)
[returning Umm Yaasmeen Sahar] The kunya (honorific) Umm Yaasmeen `mother of Yaasmeen' is in effect an `upside-down metronymic'; and just as metronymics do not seem to have been part of Arabic naming practice, no one has found a kunya based on a feminine name. We have previously returned Arabic names for incorporating metronymics (e.g., Raym 'Inan bint Rabi'ah, Atenveldt, 8/95 LoAR, and Aliyah bint Leyla, Middle, 4/94 LoAR); given the equal lack of evidence for the reciprocal practice and its equal implausibility in the male-oriented Arab culture, consistency requires that we return this name as well. (Umm Yaasmeen Sahar, 12/95 p. 22)
[registering Abu Isma'il Ibrahim 'Abdu'llah al Gharnatawayyi] The construction of the name is a bit questionable: Ibrahim and 'Abdu'llah are both given names, and Arabic does not seem to have used double given names. It seems possible, however, that 'Abdu'llah, literally `servant of Allah', can function here as an epithet. We do not know whether epithets of this type were used, but the idea is plausible enough to justify giving the name the benefit of the doubt. (Abu Isma'il Ibrahim 'Abdu'llah al Gharnatawayyi, 1/96 p. 1)
[returning Jaida Badr al-Din] We must return this name for violation of RfS VI.1 (Names Claiming Rank): laqabs of the form <noun> al-Din ‘<noun> of the Faith' were bestowed upon princes, statesmen, generals and high officers of state by the Caliph as titles and so constitute implicit claims to rank and station (Jaida Badr al-Din, 2/96 p. 18)
It still does not appear that metronymics based on personal
names were used in Arabic-speaking cultures. Laurel has found just
one example (apart from the inherently exceptional 'Isa ibn Maryam ‘Jesus
son of Mary'), and Ensign has one example of a metronymic apparently based
on the mother's occupational byname. This latter discovery indicates
the desirability of further research, but for now the overwhelming weight
of cultural and onomastic evidence argues against overturning the precedents
against registering Arabic metronymics. [The name was returned.]
(Sadira bint Raya al-Asiri, 5/96 p. 23)
Celtic see Gaelic and Welsh
Wherefore art thou Gwendolyn? Two submissions this month raised the question of the name Gwendolyn. To quote Harpy Herald: `Gwendolyn is a modern spelling variant of the name of a fictional character (Guendolen) in the Historia Regum Brittaniae whose name is based on a misreading of the masculine name Guendoleu. The name was not in common use in period, in my experience, although it certainly is in the SCA. We should probably just go ahead and declare it in the same category as Ceridwen and Rhiannon as "not historically justifiable but too deeply rooted to get rid of without a fuss".' The name is certainly quite common in the SCA: in one spelling or another it has been registered to more than 50 different people. Given this level of popularity, I am reluctant to ban the name outright despite the lack of any real justification for it. I am equally reluctant to extend the allowance to modern forms of the name, however. Therefore the name will henceforth be considered `SCA-compatible' in the forms Guendolen and Gwendolen but not the modern Gwendolyn, and the underlying principle will be extended to any other forms that are proposed. (This decision can be thought of as an extension of the `Rule of Two Weirdnesses': the name itself is one weirdness, and a modern spelling is another.) (CL 8/95)
Rowen is a documented period spelling of a name used by Geoffrey of Monmouth for a fictional character; it was not used by human beings in our period but is considered `SCA-compatible'. (Rowen the Shiftless, 9/95 p. 3)
Latinized forms of Continental Germanic masculine names were not uncommonly feminized by change of ending (e.g., Amalrada from Amalradus), but the process does not appear to have operated on Irish masculine names; despite early Latinization of Brian to Brianus, the feminine Brian(n)a is modern. The name has been registered so often, however, that we are unwillingly obliged to declare it `SCA-compatible' (Brianna of Sylverwode, 12/95 p. 4)
SCA-Compatibility is Weird. This month's submission
of the name Rhonwen Briana MacLean (Atlantia) raised in almost its purest
form the question of just what is meant by `SCA-compatibility' of a name.
(Ceridwen Rhiannon MacLean might have posed the question a little more
bluntly.) Does `SCA-compatibility' give a name the same status as
an attested period name, or does it represent a kind of second-class onomastic
In actual usage the term SCA-compatible, when applied to a name, appears to mean `not used by human beings in period (so far as we know), but too popular in the SCA to be disallowed'. Thus, use of one of these names is (on the best available evidence) a non-period practice.. We allow many practices that were non-existent or nearly so in period, both in our names and in our armory, but in general we stigmatize them as `weirdnesses' and do not allow too many of them to be combined in a single name or armory. They are `compatible' in the sense that they are not completely disallowed, but they are still not considered fully acceptable. It is consistent with this approach to allow a name to include a single `SCA-compatible' element but no more; each such element added to a name further removes it from the realm of authentic period practice. Indeed, we see no reason to distinguish between `SCA- compatible' names and other non-period names permitted under the provisions of RfS II.4 (Legal Names): both are allowed as concessions to modern sensibilities despite their inauthentic nature.
Beginning with the 5/96 meeting, therefore, use of two individually permissible non-period elements in a single name will be considered two `weirdnesses' and will be grounds for return. Such elements include non-period names allowed under the Legal Name Allowance as well as those names, apparently not used by human beings in period, that have been declared `SCA-compatible', e.g., Briana, Ceridwen (in several variants), Gwendolen/Guendolen, R(h)onwen, and Rowena. (CL 1/96)
Rhonwen does not seem to have been used by human beings in our period; it is the modern Welsh form of a name used by Geoffrey of Monmouth for a fictional character. Briana is a modern name that does not appear to have been used at all in period. Both have been ruled `SCA-compatible'; in accordance with current practice, we are therefore registering the name. However, we consider the use of one these names a `weirdness'; use of two is excessively weird and will be grounds for return as of the May, 1996, Laurel Meeting (Rhonwen Briana MacLean, 1/96 p. 7)
Not Another ‘SCA-Compatible' Name. According to Harpy, Myrddin is a unique legendary name. Henceforth it will not be acceptable (unless, of course, evidence of actual period use can be found). (CL 4/96)
What Names Are ‘SCA-Compatible'?... Having found that my own baronial herald was slightly confused on the subject of ‘SCA-compatibility', I thought that it might be helpful to list the status of some of the most common names that have been considered under this rubric. The post-period English name Fiona, which is not to be confused with the period Irish name Fíona (earlier Fíne), has long been considered ‘SCA-compatible'. So have the names Cer(r)idwen (Ker(r)idwen), Rhiannon, Bronwen, Branwen, Rowen(a), and Rhonwen, all of which may be found in Welsh myth and legend, but none of which seems to have been in actual use by real people in our period. Guendolen/Gwendolen, a name based on a misreading of a masculine name and attested only in fiction, was declared ‘SCA-compatible' in the 8/95 Cover Letter; more modern spellings of the name were disallowed. Brian(n)a, a modern feminization of Brian that follows no known period model, was declared ‘SCA-compatible' in the 12/95 Cover Letter.
The name Amber has had a checkered history in the SCA, but at present it is not considered ‘SCA- compatible', and its use was disallowed in the 3/94 Cover Letter. Three months later the use of Cedric was also disallowed, and in the 4/96 Cover Letter Myrddin was disallowed. (In each case the reasons can be found in the appropriate Cover Letter.) (CL 6/96)
The names Morgana and Alana, as well as any other
similarly feminized masculine names for which there is no evidence of period
use (and which have not already been declared ‘SCA-compatible'), are not
considered ‘SCA- compatible'. In other words, the argument based
on the Latin/Romance practice of using inflectional endings to change the
gender of a name is not automatically valid; it must be supported either
by evidence of period use of the specific name or by evidence that the
practice was in general use in the linguistic culture of that name.
[Morwenna 'r Glyn vs. Morwen o'r Llyn] Per RfS V.1.a., which notes that "two name phrases are considered significantly different if they differ significantly in sound and appearance" (emphasis added). It was the consensus of those at the Laurel meeting that the differences between the two names are not sufficiently "significant". (Morwenna 'r Glyn, 7/94 p. 13)
In the recent name rules revision, in Rule for Submission V.1.b.ii (Number of Name Phrases), the existence of a few anciently-registered names consisting of just a single element was overlooked. To restore the intended usage, this Rule is being modified to read: "ii. Number of Name Phrases - A personal name containing at most two name phrases does not conflict with any personal name containing a different number name phrases." The subtext remains the same. (CL 10/94)
[House Dragonmoor vs Shire of Draca Mor] The two names here are significantly closer in sound to each other than the "Auda/Ali" test. [The name was returned.] (Petrus von Burghausen, 12/94 p. 11)
[Canton of Caer Dreath vs Shire of Caer Darth] This does not conflict aurally with the registered name of the Shire of Caer Darth; the difference in pronunciation between Darth and Draeth is essentially the same as the difference between tart and trite. (Caer Draeth, Canton of, 8/95 p. 12)
[Wyll Hauk vs William of Havoc] The possibility of conflict with William of Havoc... depends on the fact that Middle English hauk derives from Old English hafoc `hawk'. Nevertheless, Hauk and Havoc look and sound significantly different. They are also not really variant forms in a single language: hauk is best viewed in this context as a late Middle or early Modern English translation of the late Old English havoc, and we don't protect translations unless they preserve both the appearance and the sound. [The name was registered.] (Wyll Hauk, 10/95 p. 3)
Under RfS V.1.i (Given Names) the given names Elizabeth and Isabeau do not conflict: they differ significantly in sound and appearance, and neither is a diminutive of the other. (It is true that Isabel/Isabeau began as a form of Elizabeth, but the two were differentiated quite early, just as Margery was from Margaret.) (Elizabeth de Valence, 12/95 p. 11)
[Mathieu Bohemond vs Matthew de Beaumont] Unfortunately, this fine name conflicts with Matthew de Beaumont, registered 9/93; they simply sound too much alike. (Mathieu Bohemond, 12/95 p. 21)
The name does not conflict with Bridgit Ruadh, registered 8/90: the Irish and English bynames look and sound substantially different. (Brighid the Red, 1/96 p. 2)
It is a close call, but the extra syllable is just enough to bring this name clear of Conn MacNeill. (Conor MacNeil, 1/96 p. 3)
[registering the Order of the Cordon Rouge] A possible aural conflict was noted with the Couronne Rouge Herald of An Tir. They are very close, but we agree with Palimpsest that they are just clear: the addition of the d and the change in the vowel of the first syllable constitute a significant difference. (There is also a quite noticeable difference in the second syllables if they are pronounced in the French style.) (Politarchopolis, Barony of, 1/96 p. 20)
[Jehan Fitz Alan vs Jonn Elynn] he question is much more difficult than most commenters realized. As Black Dove pointed out, Jehan was monosyllabic; the h was silent, and the name sounded rather like ‘zhonn'. Thus, Jonn and Jehan should sound very similar despite their very different appearances and are therefore not significantly different in the sense of RfS V.1.a.i (Given Names). The question of conflict therefore depends on the bynames.
It is also quite possible that the difference in sound between Alan and Elynn is insufficient to bring them clear of each other. Nevertheless, we agree with the majority who thought that the names oughtn't to conflict; and by good fortune a strict interpretation of RfS V.1.a.ii (Bynames) justifies the conclusion that Fitz Alan is significantly different from Elynn. Certainly the two are quite different in sound and appearance; the only question is whether it is necessary to compare Elynn with Alan rather than with Fitz Alan. The rules do not explicitly cover this situation. However, any conflict between Alan and Fitz Alan lies in their potential interchangeability. Elynn, on the other hand, is not a variant of Alan and is therefore not interchangeable with Fitz Alan; consequently, the reasoning that brings Richard into conflict with Richardson does not apply to Fitz Alan and Elynn. Therefore the names need only meet the basic criterion of significant difference in sound and appearance, which, as we already noted, they clearly do. (Jehan Fitz Alan, 2/96 p. 8)
Moro and (della) Mare are sufficiently different to bring this clear of Maria Beatriz Moro. (Maria Beatrice del Mare, 2/96 p. 8)
[registering House Loch Mor] This is clear of the registered branch names Lochmorrow and Lochmere. (Alina of Loch Mor, 2/96 p. 9)
[Bridget Killeen vs Brighid Ni Chillin] As RfS V.1.b
(Conflict of Personal Names) is written, these names conflict unless either
Bridget differs significantly from Brighid, or Killeen differs significantly
from Ní Chillín. In each case the names will be considered
significantly different only if they differ significantly in sound and
In the case of the patronymic, the particle Ní is ignored in the comparison. Even without it, Killeen and Chillín look significantly different. The difference in pronunciation, however, which is mostly the difference between the sounds of k and kh, is too small to be considered significant. The bynames, therefore, are not sufficiently different to avoid conflict.
The situation in respect of the given names is quite different: they do differ significantly in sound. Irish Brighid is pronounced roughly ‘breed'; a slightly earlier pronunciation would more resemble ‘bree-yid'. Both pronunciations are clearly quite different from the usual English pronunciation of Bridget. It is less clear how much the names differ in appearance, and unfortunately commentary dealt only with the issue of sound.
People tend to look first at the beginnings of words, so that privet and pricks are likely to be perceived as more similar than pricks and trucks. Moreover, the fact that the kinship between these names is widely recognized also tends to increase the perceived visual similarity. After much consideration we have therefore reluctantly decided that Brighid and Bridget are not significantly different in appearance and in consequence are forced to conclude that the submitted name does conflict with the Irish version already registered.
In some ways this is a regrettable decision even apart from the question of whether the concept of name conflict is a reasonable one. If the names were considered as wholes, rather than by elements, there would be no conflict, since the names themselves do differ significantly in sound and appearance. On the other hand, one of the considerations that went into the present version of RfS V (Name Conflict) was that names that were interchangeable in period probably ought to conflict. (For an example see RfS 1.a.ii(b) (Locative Bynames).) Since Bridget Killeen and Brighid Ní Chillín could indeed have signified the same person very late in our period, it is at least consistent with other parts of the rules to say that they conflict (Bridget Killeen, 3/96 p. 10)
The name is clear of Ian MacCoinnich, registered 9/90; Eoin and Ian are significantly different in sound as well as appearance. (Eoin Mac Cainnigh, 4/96 p. 1)
The name does not conflict with Conor MacPherson (3/96, Meridies); the forenames are markedly different in sound. (Conan MacPherson, 4/96 p. 4)
[Aethon Herald vs Aten Principal Herald] This does not conflict with the registered title of the Aten Principal Herald; both the medial consonants and the initial vowels are different. (In the quasi-Classical pronunciation usually taught nowadays, the Latin diphthong ae rhymes with eye; in the traditional English pronunciation it rhymes with me.) (Middle, Kingdom of, 5/96 p. 13)
[registering Michael Kellahan] As was noted in commentary,
the name conflicts with that of the bartender in Spider Robinson's Crosstime
Saloon books; the question is whether that character's name should be protected.
Commentary on this was light and not unanimous. Silver Crescent noted
that the name is very generic; unlike Richard Nixon of Watergate, say,
it does not demand identification with a particular person, real or fictitious,
and for this reason it is much less jolting than the latter name.
Another commenter, though arguing for protection, underlined the generic
nature of the name by remarking that he was personally acquainted with
a bartender named Michael Callahan. While granting that many members
of the Society have read the novels in question, we find ourselves in agreement
with Silver Crescent: the name is far too unremarkable to be considered
intrusively modern in an SCA context.
According to the revised wording of section III.A.4 (Names of Major Characters from Literary Works) of the Administrative Handbook, ‘[c]haracters from period or modern literary works of all genres may be considered major if they play a significant role in the action of the work in which they appear' [emphasis added]. We do not think that it serves the best interests of the submitter, the College, or the Society to protect the name of every significant character in every work of fiction; only those that would be genuinely intrusive or out of place in a Society context warrant such protection, and as we have already explained, Michael Callahan does not appear to us to satisfy this criterion. In contrast, Oliver Twist is perhaps an example of a name that does satisfy it: its elements, especially the surname, are somewhat unusual, and the widely recognized literary reference is therefore almost inescapable. (Michael Kellahan, 5/96 p. 15)
Table of Contents of Precedents of Da'ud Ibn Auda, 2nd Tenure
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