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Sourcing Names

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  • Tikuko
    So I posted a little while ago about designing a persona, and now I have another question - how do you guys source names? What resorces do you use? Be
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 7, 2007
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      So I posted a little while ago about designing a persona, and now I have another question - how do you guys source names? What resorces do you use? Be specific, don't say 'a book' or 'a website', give me titles and links. I've read the avoid lists so I know what not to use.
      On a similar note, can someone point me at a page describing the naming practices of renissance italy?
      Thanks again,
      -Tikuko (Namehunting)

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    • Coblaith Mhuimhneach
      ... The single best resource available online is the Medieval Names Archive . Which printed resources will serve is, of
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 7, 2007
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        Tikuko wrote:
        > . . .how do you guys source names? What resorces do you use?

        The single best resource available online is the Medieval Names Archive
        <http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/>.

        Which printed resources will serve is, of course, determined by which
        language, culture, and period you want.

        > On a similar note, can someone point me at a page describing the
        > naming practices of renissance italy?

        If you visit the guide to Italian names in the Medieval Names Archive
        <http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/italian.shtml>, you'll find several
        articles that give information on the patterns seen in names in
        specific sources from northern, central, or southern Italy. "Italian
        Men's Names in Rome, 1473-1484" is one example; a full page of the
        article is devoted to the discussion of name construction
        <http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/mari/Studium/Construction.html>.


        Coblaith Mhuimhneach
        Barony of Bryn Gwlad
        Kingdom of Ansteorra
        <mailto:Coblaith@...>
      • Sara L Uckelman
        ... My first place is always the Medieval Names Archive: http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/ After that, my next place is my heraldic library. I won t list
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 8, 2007
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          Quoth Tikuko:
          > So I posted a little while ago about designing a persona, and now I have an=
          > other question - how do you guys source names? What resorces do you use? Be=
          > specific, don't say 'a book' or 'a website', give me titles and links. I'v=

          My first place is always the Medieval Names Archive:

          http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/

          After that, my next place is my heraldic library. I won't list
          everything that is in it, but I will list the books the get used
          frequently enough to be on the shelf closest to the computer (or
          indeed sitting permanently on the computer desk because they get
          referenced every day!)

          Reaney, P. H., & R. M. Wilson, _A Dictionary of English Surnames_
          (London: Routledge, 1991; Oxford University Press, 1995). The best
          source out there for English names. Even though the title says
          "surnames", you'll also get info on given names, since most surnames
          are exampled with complete names.

          _Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Based on the Collections
          of the English Place-Name Society_, Edited by Victor Watts, Edited in
          association with John Insley, Margaret Gelling (Cambridge University
          Press: January 2004). Very comprehensive

          Morgan, T.J. and Prys Morgan, _Welsh Surnames_ (Cardiff: University of
          Wales Press, 1985). Not the easiest to use, but the best available on
          the topic.

          Mills, A. D., _A Dictionary of English Place-Names_ (Oxford: Oxford
          University Press, 1991). Every once in awhile has something that Watts
          doesn't, but Watts is always my first choice.

          O/ Corra/in, Donnchadh and Fidelma Maguire, _Irish Names_ (Dublin: The
          Lilliput Press, 1990). Not all of the names in here are medieval, but
          they are very good at saying when a name was used in the Middle Ages,
          if it was.

          Withycombe, E.G., _The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names_,
          3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988). Highly recommended.

          MacLysaght, Edward, _The Surnames of Ireland_ (Dublin: Irish Academic
          Press Ltd., 1985, ISBN 0-7165-2366-3). Recommended as a starting point
          only. All his forms are modern, and so are generally not registerable
          without independent evidence that they are also medieval.

          De Felice, Emidio, _Dizionario dei cognomi italiani_ (Arnoldo Mondadori
          Editore, 1978).
          De Felice, Emidio, _Dizionario dei nomi italiani_ (Arnoldo Mondadori
          Editore, Milan, 1992). These fall in the "better than nothing" category.
          They rarely have dates, but often have general information about
          medieval usage.

          Bardsley, Charles Wareing, _Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature_ (Detroit:
          Gale Research Company, 1970). Narrow in focus, but absolutely hilarious.

          Dauzat, Albert, _Dictionnaire Etymologique des Noms de Famille et Prenoms
          de France_ (Paris: Libraire Larousse, 1987). Like the two de Felice books
          above; most forms are undated, but there sometimes is information about
          medieval usage.

          Black, George F., _The Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning and
          History_, (New York: The New York Public Library, 1986). Highly recommended
          with the caveat that unless he states explicitly otherwise, his Gaelic
          spellings are all modern.

          Bahlow, Hans, _Dictionary of German Names_, tr. Edda Gentry (German-
          American Cultural Society, 1994 ISBN: 0924119357). Not very comprehensive,
          but most entires have dated citations.

          Bardsley, Charles, _A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames_ (Baltimore:
          Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980). Often has later-period citations
          that Reaney & Wilson doesn't have.

          > On a similar note, can someone point me at a page describing the naming pra=
          > ctices of renissance italy?

          What part of Italy, and for a man or a woman?

          A good place to start is the Italian section of the Medieval Names Archive
          that I linked to above.

          -Aryanhwy




          --
          vita sine literis mors est
          http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/
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