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17044Rules for creating descriptive/epithet bynames

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  • Sheree
    Mar 10, 2013
      Hello all -

      I've recently been pouring over the wonderful articles at The Academy
      of Saint Gabriel. However, there is so much information and my query
      is a little broad, so I'm having some trouble trying to find
      precedence or rules for how to create descriptive/epithet bynames.

      From what I can gather, it looks like the structure, language, culture
      and time period (not unsurprisingly) of the persona dictates the rules
      for this type of surname, so I'll start with those!

      I'd like my given name to be <Arianwen> which is "early medieval"
      600-900 Welsh. The surnames I'm scratching my head on deal with
      descriptions such as:

      Wild: <Wylde> <Wild> <Wilde>. Wild and the variations thereof seem to
      be the easiest to deal with in terms of historical viability,
      especially with a Welsh first name.
      (<Wylde> - English Surname. R&W pg 492 sn <Wild> dates <Uluricus
      Wilde> to 1066, <William le Witde> to 1177, <Henry le Wylde> to 1236.
      Bardsley (pg 813 sn <Wild>) dates <Johannes Wylde> to1379.)

      Now I want to know if you can simply tack on another word to a
      documented name as a descriptive nickname byname, like:
      <Wildehawk><Wildehawke><Wylehawk><Wildhawke>. There are no precedents
      that I can find for this, though both <Wilde> and <Hawke> are both
      verified independently. From what I've read in articles (listed below)
      doing this sort of thing was rare but not unheard of.

      I'm assuming something like <Arianwen the Wild Hawk> would be flat out
      impossible? How about epithet bynames such as <the Untame>? There is
      precedence for <the Untame> that was successfully registered in 1990:
      "[Rachel the Untame] Submitted as Rachel the Untamed, we have only
      been able to find one example of a period epithet in a participle
      form. Therefore, we have corrected the byname to a more likely form
      [the Untame]. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR August 1996, p. 11)".

      Has anyone had any luck with creating their own descriptive
      bynames/epithets? Thanks for any unput!