75 Genuine Medieval Baby Names with Enduring Style

Oct 13th 2016

 
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

MEDIEVAL BOYS                  MEDIEVAL GIRLS
Alaric Alba
Alban Amabel
Aldo Aquila
Ambrose Argenta
Anselm Beatrice
Archibald Celestina
August Clement
Baldwin Damiana
Balthasar Euphemia
Barnabas Genevieve
Bartholomew Gervaise
Benedict Gisela
Cassian Gratiana
Castellan Gregoria
Chapman Guardia
Crispin Guinevere
Cyprian Gwenllian
Dunstan Honora
Edmund Idalia
Everard Idony
Ferdinand Laria
Florian Lavinia
Frost Meliora
Gavin Mirabel
Giles Pacifica
Godfrey Petra
Godric Regina
Hugh Savia
Ivar Sigrid
Ivo Thora
Leopold Viola
Lucian Winifred
Maxim  
Milo  
Neville  
Otto  
Palmer  
Peregrine  
Quentin  
Rudolf  
Sebastian  
Severin  
Wolf  

 

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Comments

1
October 13, 2016 11:50 AM

Just a note:  Gervaise, both then and now, was/is used for both males and females.  Alternate spellings Gervase and Gervais are generally male.  All forms are still in use, albeit very rarely.

Others I like: Enguerrand, Berengar/Berangeria, Jacquetta, Alcwin, Godelief, Clovis, Melisande, Amaury, Lambert, Ranulf, Avice.  And, of course, for lovers of Petrarch, Laura :-).

2
October 14, 2016 3:17 PM

I love almost every one of these and the additions from Miriam. One correction, though, Aquila is a masculine name! The related Aquilina is feminine.

3
October 14, 2016 8:31 PM

Wow, if someone I know wants to start a fanfic in GRRM's Ice and Fire universe, I'll definitely point them here to name any original characters! ;-)

I can't recall exactly what was we learned about Sansa--Does it fit in this category?

Also, love the people who came to this site and ~thoughtfully entered Robb, Arya, Jon, Rickon, and Bran as sibling names for Sansa, LOL. 

4
March 6, 2019 11:06 AM

Nice) Niver new that Edmund is such an old name. I used to visit Edmund(musician) concert thanks to http://efficienttickets.com concert tickets website who helped me with cheap tickets) Moreover, I recently watched the TV show "Vikings" and Edmund is one of the main heroes in the last part of the film...Great name!