Adalbert, Wojciech, Vojtěch


Gender: Masculine
Origin: German/Polish/Czech/Slovak
(Adal-bert) (VOY-chehk); (VOY-tyek).

The name, Adalbert, is derived from the Germanic elements adal meaning “noble” and behrt meaning “bright; shining; illustrious.”

The name was borne by a 9th century saint, who was known as the apostle of the Slavs.

He was a German Bishop of the town of Madgeburg who was assigned under the Pope as a missionary to Russia, upon the request of Queen Olga. Olga’s son oppossed Adalbert’s visit, and had his companions slain while Adalbert himself barely escaped alive. He returned to Germany where he established several archbishopric’s and trained missionaries for the Slavic tribes.

His feast day is commemorated on June 20.

One of his students was St. Adalbert of Prague, also known as Vojtech, in Czech, (or Slovakian), and as Wojciech, in Polish.

He was born into a noble Czech family in Bohemia and studied in Madgeburg under Adalbert of Madgeburg. He returned to Prague and entered the priesthood, eventually becoming the Bishop of Prague.

He was noted for his rejection of wealth and insisted to live a life of poverty. As a result, he gave up his Bishop’s position and decided to become a hermit instead. However, the pope had other plans for him in mind. The pope talked him back into becoming a bishop and was sent on a mission to convert the neighboring Slavs and Prussians in Poland.

He was succesful in coverting the Polish King Boleslaw the Brave, but met resistance in the west of Poland.

He was beheaded by the locals when he attempted to cut down an oak tree. He was martyred in what is now Elblag, Poland.

King Boleslaw retrieved his body and consecrated a church, in his honour, in Gniezno, Poland, where his body is still interned. His cult is still very popular in Poland, where he is known as Wojchiech (VOY-chehk).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Apke (Frisian)
  • Adalberta (Basque)
  • Adalbertu (Corsican)
  • Adalbert (Czech/Catalan/English/French/German/Hungarian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Adelbert/Edelbert (German)
  • Adelbrecht (German)
  • Adelspret (German: Austrian dialectical form)
  • Aðalbert (Icelandic)
  • Adalbertus (Latin)
  • Adalberts (Latvian)
  • Adalbertas (Lithuanian)
  • Ahlert/Alert (Plattdeutsch)
  • Adal’bert Адальберт (Russian)
  • Aebi (Swiss-German)
  • Adalberto (Spanish/Galician/Italian/Portuguese)
  • Edilberto (Spanish)

Feminine forms are Adalberta and Adalbertina.

4 thoughts on “Adalbert, Wojciech, Vojtěch

  1. I just found a few variants of this name and thought I’d share them with you 😉

    German variants seem to be Adelbert, Edelbert, Adelbrecht, Albrecht.
    The Frisian form of this name is Apke. Austria seems to have come up with its own form of Adelspret, while the Swiss form seems to be Aebi the Dutch use the variant Elbert and Ailbert appears to be not unheard of in Scotland. There is also the Latinised form Adalbertus and the feminine form Adalberta. Adalberto is the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese form.
    An internationally well-known short form is Albert and all of its feminine forms Alberta, Alberte, Albertine and Albertina.
    In addition to all of these variants, there is also French Aubert, Finnish Alpertti (and its short form Pertti), Altti and the Latinised form Albertus as well as Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Alberto.

    • Wow, thanks Capucine!

      I never put Adalbert and Albert together, I always assumed that they were just two different names, both of Germanic origins. I have seen Aebi several times as a surname in Switzerland. Now I know exactly what its derivative is. Adelspret has an appealing sound. I have also just found Delbert. I hope you don’t mind me editing these and adding them to my blog 🙂

      • I never thought of Albert and Adalbert as two forms of one and the same name either. Then I did some research on the surname Oberlin – and the names Apke, Albert and Edelbert appeared on the surface. I knew that Edelbert is a variant of Adalbert but Apke sounded a tad strange or rather unfamiliar (and soooo not related to the rather soft sounding Oberlin), so I started digging a little deeper and voilà 😉
        Please feel free to use the results of my little “name archaeology”, maybe they’ll be helpful for someone else, too 😉

  2. Pingback: Albert, Alberta | Legitimate Baby Names

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