75 Genuine Medieval Baby Names with Enduring Style
Imagine a scene of medieval Europe. Picture the gallant knights, the fair ladies, the pious monks, the peasants, peasants, and more peasants. Now, what were their names?
A group of scholars is trying to answer that question. Their ambitious online project, the "Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources," is meticulously documenting every given name recorded in Europe between the years 500 and 1600. The collection already numbers over 1,000 different names.
Many of the names in the dictionary were rare even in their times. For every baby Hyssop and Sehild born in England, there were swarms named William, Alice and John. But browsing the total collection brings the multiple cultures of medieval Europe to life.
As baby names, a lot of the entries are best left to the middle ages. (I'm looking at you, Baldowald, Puglith, Ratbert and Humbelina.) Others are so familiar in the modern world that it's hard to imagine them in medieval times at all: "There stood the village blacksmith Scott, his wife Amy, and their children Brendan, Natalie and Amanda."
Between these two extremes, though, lie names that carry their age-old style into the modern world. I've selected 75 examples that could link your 21st-century baby to the age of chivalry.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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