Name Worksheet

The goal of choosing a name in Regia Anglorum is to find a name that might have been used on the British Isles during 950 to 1066, even if the name originated elsewhere. It should be a name that is non-fantasy, that would have been used by a human of the time. Names will primarily be Anglo-Saxon, Norse or Norman, and below we concentrate on Anglo-Saxon and Norse names.. Although styles mingled at times, these are the general specifics:

ANGLO-SAXON

The Anglo-Saxons had a single name in most cases. So many variations on a name were used that a byname was nor generally needed. If it was repeated within the community an occupative name or patronymic was used. Family connections were often indicated by the use of the same beginning sound: Alfred (the Great) was son of Æthelwulf and the father of Athelflæd.

WEB SITES

http://regia.org/members/names.htm
http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/engoldenglish.shtml
http://www.geocities.com/mariamnephilemon/names/medievalnames/scandanavian.html

BOOKS

Family Names of the Irish, Anglo-Saxon…by Thomas G. Gentry.
Names Through the Ages by Teresa Norman
Onomasticon Anglo-Saxonicum by William George Searle
The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names by Elizabeth G. Withycombe

NORSE

The Norse had three names: The first name, a byname (that might be ironic and that might change during the man’s lifetime) and a patronymic (rarely, when the mother was more important, a matronymic). The patronymic was not a surname; Leifr Eiriksson was known as Leifr, not as Eiriksson. Personal names might be reused every other generation so that Jon Njalsson was son of Njall Jonsson who was son of Jon Njallson.

WEB SITES

http://regia.org/members/names.htm
http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/scandinavian.shtml
http://www.geocities.com/mariamnephilemon/names/medievalnames/anglosaxon.html
http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ONNames.shtml#bibliography

BOOKS

The Old Norse Name, G. Fleck
“Personal Names” by John Kousgård Sørensen in Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia (Phillip Pulsiano et al., eds.)
“Scandinavian Personal Names in the Liber Vitae of Thorney Abbey.” by Dorothy Whitelock in Saga-Book of the Viking Society 12:3

SUGGESTIONS FOR CHOOSING A NAME

What meaning do you want your name to have?
Is there a beginning or predominate sound you want in your name?
Do you have a preferred first name?
Is there a translation of a preferred modern English name?
What was the occupation of your impression?
What might be a period version of your modern occupation?
For patronymics: What is a medieval version of your father’s name?
For descriptive names: What is a significant physical or mental characteristic? (Keep in mind that the Norse often used this for ironic or comic effect. For example, Svein the Tall might have been very short.)

CITATIONS

No one is going to grade you on it, but you should list citations showing where you found the name. If nothing else, this might help others research their own names.

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