Thurstan, Torsten

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: “Thor’s stone.”
  • Gender: masculine

Both names are derived from the Old Norse male name, Þórsteinn, literally meaning “Thor’s stone.” The name is attested as early as the 5th-century in Medieval Scandinavia and appears in the Norse saga, Draumr Þorsteins Síðu-Hallssonar.

It was transported to England by Anglo-Saxon & Norse settlers, the Anglo-Saxon form being Thurstan, and remained prevalent even after the conquest of the Normans, who themselves also used the name due to their original Norse heritage. Thurstan was borne by an 11th-century Bishop of York. Thurstan is the progenitor of the English surnames Thurston and Dustin.

Torsten appeared in Germany’s Top 100 Most Popular Male Names between 1960 and 1978, and peaked at #6 between 1964-68. While Torstein was in and out of the Norwegian Top 100 Male Names between 1947-1991, peaking at #84 in 1948. It’s original Old Norse form of Þórsteinn ranked in at #46 in Iceland’s Top 100 Male Names in 2012.

Forms include:

  • Turstin (Anglo-Norman, French)
  • Thurstan (English)
  • Tórstein (Faroese)
  • Torstein, Thorstein (Faroese, Norwegian)
  • Toro, Torro (Finnish, Scandinavian)
  • Torste,Torsti (Finnish)
  • Toutain (French, archaic)
  • Torsten (German, Scandinavian)
  • Thorsten (German, Scandinavian)
  • Torstene, Torsteni (Greenlandic)
  • Þórsteinn (Icelandic, Old Norse)
  • Turstino (Italian, Spanish)
  • Turstanus, Tursteinus, Turstinus (Late Latin)
  • Twyste (Middle Low German)
  • Tostein (Norwegian)
  • Dorste (Sami)
  • Toste (Scandinavian)
  • Tosten, Thosten (Swedish, archaic)

Sources

Cuthbert

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: “bright famous.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • KUTH-bert

The name is composed of the Anglo-Saxon words cuþ “famous” and beohrt “bright.” It is notably borne by St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, a 7th-century English saint who is revered as the patron saint of Northumbria. Even after the Protestant Reformation, he remained a popular figure in Northern England, the Cathedral of Durham is where he lies entered.

It is the progenitor of the eponymous English surname.

Common short forms are Cuddy & Cuth.

Other forms include:

  • Cuthbehrt (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Cuthbertus (Dutch, Late Latin)
  • Cuthbert (English, French, German)
  • Cudbert (French)
  • Cutberto (Italian, Spanish)
  • Kutbert (Polish)
  • Cuteberto (Portuguese)
  • Cuithbeart (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Katbert Катберт (Ukrainian)
  • Cwthbert (Welsh)

Sources

Osborn, Espen, Asbjørn

Osborn and Asbjørn are both composed of the Norse elements áss (god) & bjǫrn (bear), essentially meaning “divine bear.” Osborn is the modern Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Osbeorn, the latter of which was prevalent in Anglo-Saxon England and survived into the Norman period as Osbern, later developing into the common English patronymic surnames of Osbourne & Osbourn. Its Scandinavian equivalents still survive today in the forms of Esben (Danish), Espen (Danish, Norwegian) and still Asbjørn (Norwegian); and Asbjörn & Esbjörn (Swedish).

Osbeorn was borne by the son of Siward of Northumbria (circ. 11th-century CE) and one of the fallen of the Battle of the Seven Sleepers in Scotland. It was also borne by Osbern de Crépon (circ. 11th-century CE), one of the stewards of the Duke of Normandy. There are several other famous Anglophone personages who bear it as a surname and forename.

Asbjørn appeared in the Norwegian Top 100 Male Names between between 1945 & 1967, it peaked at #35 in 1946-7, while Espen appeared in the Top 100 in Norway between 1957-2004, peaking at #8 in 1982.

The designated name-day for Asbjörn is May 10th in Sweden.

General Scandinavian diminutive forms used in all Norse countries are Ebbe, Bjarne & Bjarni.

Short forms in English include Oz(z), Ozzie & Ozzy.

Other forms include:

  • Osbeorn (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Esbern (Danish, Faroese)
  • Asbjørn (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Esben, Espen (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Ausburn (English)
  • Osbourn (English)
  • Osbern (French, archaic)
  • Auber (French, archaic)
  • Ásbjörn (Icelandic)
  • Osberno (Italian)
  • Sberno (Italian)
  • Ásbjǫrn (Old Norse)
  • Asbjörn/Esbjörn (Swedish)

Sources

Eadric, Edric(h)

gettyimages-676166576-1024x1024


  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: “rich ruler.”
  • Gender: Masculine
  • ENG (ED-drick; EE-drick)

The name is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, ead (rich) & ric (ruler). It was borne by a 6th-century King of Kent, an 11th-century Mercian ealderman known for his treachery with the Danes, and an Anglo-Saxon resister against the Normans..


It is the name of a character in the Frank Herbert’s 1969 novel, Dune.


Other forms include:

  • Ædric (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Edric (Czech, Spanish)
  • Adric (English)
  • Eadrich (English)
  • Odrich (English)
  • Edricus (Latin)

Sources

Wilbert

Boy_bishop


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “bright will.”
  • Gender: masculine

The name is composed of the Old German elements will (will, desire) & beraht (bright). It was borne by a 9th-century bishop of Cologne and a 9th-century Bishop of Sherborne, England.

Wilbert appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1880 & 1990 and peaked at #160 in 1920.

Recent notable bearers include English children’s author of Thomas the Tank Engine Fame, Wilbert Awdrey (1911-1997) & American singer & songwriter, Wilbert Harrison (1929-1994).


Wilbert is also used in German-speaking countries, French-speaking countries (now rare), the Netherlands and in the Scandinavian countries.

Other forms include:

  • Willibert (German)
  • Willabertus (Late Latin)

Common English short forms are Wilby, Will & Willy.


Sources

Wilfred

160px-Chichester_Cathedral_Wilfrid_window


  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: “desiring peace.”
  • Gender: masculine

The name is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, wil (will, desire) and frið (peace). It was borne by 2 English bishops of Worcester, one of whom is a Catholic saint and a 9th-century Catalan count, known as Wilfred the Hairy (b. 878-897). Wilfred was of Gothic origins and he is known to have established a hereditary dukedom in Catalonia. It’s Spanish form of Wilfredo traces its origins back to the Visigoths in Spain and has remained a fairly common male name in many Hispanic countries.

Many name books and dictionaries claim this name fell out of use by the Norman Conquest, but records contradict this claim as Wilfred was still recorded by the 16th-century. More accurately, the name became extremely popular at the turn of the 20th-century in both England & the United States

Wilfred appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1880-1984 & peaked at #164 in 1917. In England & Wales, he is currently the 143rd most popular male name (2018).

Other forms include:

  • Wilfrið (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Guifré (Catalan)
  • Vildfred, Wildfred (Danish)
  • Wilfried (Dutch, German)
  • Wifred (English)
  • Wilfrid (English)
  • Wilfrith (English
  • Vilfrid (Finnish, Swedish)
  • Wilfryd (Frisian, Polish)
  • Vilfredo (Italian)
  • Wilfredus, Vilfredus (Late Latin)
  • Willifred (Old German)
  • Wilfredo (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Vilfred, Willfred (Scandinavian)
  • Wifredo (Spanish)

In the English-speaking world, common short forms include Will, Wilf, Wilfy & Fred. A feminine form that is used in German-speaking countries, the Netherlands, Spanish-speaking countries, Portuguese speaking countries is Wilfreda, while Vilfrida is a Scandinavian feminine form.


Sources

Rudy, Rudolph, Rolf

200px-Rudolf_IV


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “famous wolf.”
  • Gender: Masculine

The name is derived from the Germanic Hrodulf, which is composed of the elements hrod (fame) and wulf (wolf). The name was borne by several European rulers.

In England, it has been in use since Anglo-Saxon times, its Anglo-Saxon form of Hroðulf was usurped by the Norman Rudolph and Rodolph in the 11th-century.

In the English-speaking world, the name has come to be associated with the Christmas folk hero, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, based on a children’s book written by Robert L. May in 1939.

Rudolf appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1887-1932, and peaked at # 715 in 1916. He appeared 3 times in the French Top 1000 in 1914, 1931 and again in 1933, peaking at #454 in 1934. He was in the German Top 20 between 1893 and 1936, peaking at #11 in 1899 and in 1916.

In France, it’s native form of Rodolphe appeared in the Top 1000 between 1900 and 2001 and peaked at #79 in 1970.

Its contracted form of Rolf has been in occasional use in England since the 11th-century. It was a favorite in German-speaking countries in the 1920s-50s, peaking at #11 in 1947. In Norway, it peaked at #14 in 1945. Rolf has also appeared in the American and French charts, though not very high. Rolf peaked at #210 in France in 1943 and #772 in 1960 in the U.S.

It his diminutive form of Rudy, often used as an independent given-name, is the one which has gained some traction in recent years. Rudy appeared in the French Top 100 between 1979-1984, and peaked at #76 in 1980. Rudy’s current rankings in the popularity charts are as follows:

  • #271 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #822 (U.S.A., 2018)

Rudolf is used in Albanian, Armenian, Czech-Slovak, Dutch, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, the Scandinavian languages and Russian.

Other forms include:

  • Hroðulf, Hrothulf (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Roel, Roelof, Ruud (Dutch)
  • Rodolf (Catalan)
  • Rolph (English)
  • Rudo, Ruudo, Ruudolf (Estonian)
  • Róðolvur (Faroese)
  • Ruuto, Ruutolffi, Ruutolhvi, Ruutolppi (Finnish)
  • Rodolphe (French)
  • Roele, Roelef, Roelf, Rolef, Rolof, Roloff, Roluf, Roolof (Frisian)
  • Rudolp რუდოლფ (Georgian)
  • Roff (German)
  • Rudi (German, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian)
  • Rudo (German)
  • Rul (German)
  • Rûtulfe, Ruutuulfi (Greenlandic)
  • Rhodólphos Ροδόλφος (Greek)
  • Rúdólf (Icelandic)
  • Rodolfino (Italian)
  • Rodolfo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Ridolfo (Italian)
  • Rudolphus (Latin)
  • Rūdolfs, Rūdis (Latvian)
  • Rudolfas, Rudas (Lithuanian)
  • Doffen (Norwegian)
  • Roffe (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Hróðólfr, Hrólfr (Old Norse)
  • Rudulf (Polish, archaic)
  • Duff, Dusch, Riedi, Ruosch (Romansch)
  • Ruedi (Swiss-German, diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent form)

Feminine forms include:

  • Rudolfia (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Rodolphine (French)
  • Rudolfine (German, Scandinavian)
  • Rodolfa, Rodolfina (Italian, Spanish)
  • Rodolfetta (Italian)
  • Rudolfa (Polish, Scandinavian)
  • Rudolfina (Hungarian, Polish, Scandinavian)

Sources

Bear

Bear Lenormand


Though Bear is a relatively recent name, it has ancestors that can be traced to Medieval Europe to the point that Bear just seems like a naturally modern and legitimate alternative.

Bero & Pero are the Old Saxon progenitors that can be traced to 9th-century Austria. There is the Anglo-Saxon Beorn, German Bern, Dutch Beren, Norse Björn and the Yiddish Ber.

Ber was used by European-Jews for centuries. Ber spun off the Hebrew name of Dov (bear) and Ber-Dov was a popular compound name found among Eastern-European Jews up until the mid 20th-century. It spawned diminutive offshoots such as Berl (not to be confused with Beryl) and Berek, borne by Berek Joselowicz, a Polish general of Jewish extraction who participated in the Kociuszko Uprising and was the first commander of a Jewish regiment in modern military history (1764-1809).

There are numerous Germanic names that have the element of Bern, the most notable being Bernhard or Bernard. The Swiss city of Bern is of the same etymology, and while folk etymology does link Berlin with bär (bear), it is actually related to a Slavic source meaning “swamp.”

The root of the word bear itself and its other Germanic cousins, all relate back to a Proto-Indo European euphemism meaning, “the brown one,” which relates back to the name Bruno. It is suspected that the ancient Germanic peoples feared the bear so much that they had to use a euphemisim to describe it in fear of conjuring its power if the animal’s true name was evoqued. The bear was a sacred animal among the early Germanic tribes that they also used its euphemistic name on their children.

As a given-name, Bear has recently entered the Top 500 Most Popular Male Names in England & Wales, currently ranking in at #384 (2018).

A notable bearer is Bear Grylls, borne Edward Michael Grylls (b.1974).

Feminine forms are Bera & Berna.

Sources

Alfred, Alfreda

alfred


The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon, Ælfræd, which is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, ælf  “elf” and ræd “counsel. A notable bearer was the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon King, Alfred the Great.

This is one of the few Anglo-Saxon male names to survive popular usage after the Norman Conquest and slowly waned in use by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th-century.

Though quite uncommon in the United States in this day and age, it has never completely fallen outside the U.S. Top 1000, and once reigned in the U.S. Top 100 between 1880 and 1951. Alfred peaked at # 32 in 1886.

Alfred reigns supreme in the Scandinavian charts, he is currently the 8th Most Popular Male Name in Denmark (2018), the 12th Most Popular in Sweden (2018) and the 42nd Most Popular in Norway (2018).

He ranks much lower in the U.K., coming in at #106 and even lower in France, ranking in as the 491st Most Popular Male Name (2018).

Alfie, a diminutive form which has become a much loved independent given-name in the U.K, is currently in England & Wales’ Top 100 Baby Names, ranking in at #15 (2018).

Alfred is used in Danish, Dutch, German, Polish, Norwegian & Swedish

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ælfræd (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Alfredo (Aragonese, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Alfredu (Asturian)
  • Alperda (Basque)
  • Aofred (Breton)
  • Alfréd (Czech, Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Alfie (English)
  • Alfre (Finnish, Greenlandic)
  • Alfreeti, Alfreetti (Finnish)
  • Alfrédos Αλφρέδος (Greek)
  • Alfreð (Icelandic)
  • Alfredino (Italian)
  • Alfredus (Late Latin)
  • Alfrēds (Latvian)
  • Alfredas (Lithuanian)
  • Al’fred Альфред (Russian)
  • Alfrid, Allfrid (Scandinavian)
  • Arfredu (Sicilian)

Its feminine form of Alfreda also has an Anglo-Saxon counterpart in the form of Ælfthryth. It was borne by a 9th-century English saint.

Alfreda is used in Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish & Swedish.

Other forms of the female form include:

  • Alfrede (Danish)
  • Elfrida (Croatian, Italian, Spanish)
  • Alfriede, Alfrieda (German, Scandinavian)
  • Elfriede (German)
  • Alfrède (French)
  • Alfrédie (French)
  • Alfride (French)
  • Alfreðsína (Icelandic)
  • Afreda (Italian)
  • Alfredina (Italian)
  • Alfrida (Scandinavian)

Sources

Frida

Frida_Kahlo,_by_Guillermo_Kahlo


The name is either derived from the Old Norse fríðr (beautiful; loved) or the German fried (peace, joy), (which is also the same case in Yiddish). In modern Swedish, Danish & Norwegian, the name may also be associated with the word frid, which also means peace.

The name has been imported into several cultures. It is not only used in Northern Europe, but has experienced usage in Anglophone, Francophone & Hispanophone countries. A notable bearer from the latter was Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954).

It is currently the 7th Most Popular Female Name in Norway & the 19th Most Popular in Denmark (2018).

In the United States, it currently comes in as the 693rd Most Popular Female Name.

The Frida form is used in the following languages: Danish, Dutch, Czech/Slovak, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, Hungarian, German, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish

Other forms include:

  • Fritha (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Fryd (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Freda (English, German, Spanish)
  • Frieda (Estonian, German)
  • Friida (Finnish)
  • Riitu (Finnish)
  • Friede (German)
  • Friedel, Friedl (German, Yiddish)
  • Fríða FREE-thah (Icelandic, Old Norse)
  • Fríður FREE-thoor (Icelandic)
  • Frid (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Fryda (Polish, Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Freyda, Frejda (Yiddish)

Sources