Re: [SCA Newcomers] What's In A Name
- Elizabeth wrote:
> Am I correct in thinking that I would be fine if I kept my name asIf you want an English persona, at least from the latter half of the
> Elizabeth when I entered the SCA? It seems to be a name that was
> around through much of time - if in different variations depending
> on the location.
S.C.A's core period, "Elizabeth" is certainly a very reasonable
choice. "Feminine Given Names in 'A Dictionary of English Surnames'"
instances of that form from 1205 on.
If you don't want to be English, you may still be able to use that
spelling--it's found in documents from 13th-century Holland <http://
www.s-gabriel.org/3036>, 12th-century France <http://www.s-
gabriel.org/2904>, and 16th-century Wales <http://www.s-gabriel.org/
2398>, for instance--but it might not represent the same
pronunciation "Elizabeth" has in English. And like many other
Biblical names, "Elizabeth" has cognates in any number of European
languages. "Elscza" was recorded in 14th-century Poland <http://
www.s-gabriel.org/3145>, "Ilsebet" in 15th-century Germany <http://
www.s-gabriel.org/2437>, and "Ealusaid" in 15th-century Ireland
<http://www.s-gabriel.org/2659>, for instance. So even if you choose
a persona for your usual spelling isn't appropriate, you may be able
to use some form of the name if that's important to you.
There is one thing you might want to consider. "Elizabeth" and its
variants and cognates are very common in the S.C.A. "Elizabeth"
alone appears as an element in 505 S.C.A. name and armory
registrations, "Elisabeth" in 117, "Elizabet" in 18, and "Elisabetta"
in 27, for example, and there are dozens of related or at least
similar-sounding names that are also popular. It's entirely a matter
of personal preference. If you don't mind sharing your given name
with a lot of other SCAdians, that's fine. There's no limit on the
number of Elizabeths there may be, and it's not uncommon for more
than one person to use the same given name even within a single
branch. But if you want people to instantly think of you when
somebody says your S.C.A. name, "Elizabeth" is probably not the best
> Also, who and/or where should I ask for help coming up with theStart by reading "Choosing a Society Name: Hints for Newcomers"
> rest of my name?
<http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/dietmar/hints.html>. Whether you
work on your own or with a herald, that'll help you avoid the
mistakes newcomers most often make.
Then look at reliable lists of names from the period(s) and culture
(s) that interest you and pick a given name and a byname that you
like that come from the same general place and time. Your branch
herald or a consultation herald in your area may be able to provide
you with books or other resources, and there are a few go-to websites
that are a big help, the College of Arms' site <http://
heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/names.html> and the Medieval Names
Archive <http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/> chief among them. If
you're interested in a particular name, it can also be helpful to
check the archive of Academy of Saint Gabriel reports <http://www.s-
gabriel.org/advancedsearch>. They don't cover all names, by any
means, but the ones they do cover are usually covered well.
Just remember: the closer you tailor your search, the more authentic
your name is likely to be. Pick a given name and a byname that were
both recorded in Kent in 1335, for instance, and odds are pretty good
that you'll end up with a name that would seem normal to the people
who lived there, then.
I think you said you're in the West, right? Latimer Herald provides
e-mail consultation for that kingdom. If you have trouble connecting
with someone local who can assist you, reach out to him <http://
heralds.westkingdom.org/Contact.htm>. (It's a good idea to mention
your location when writing with a question, by the way. The answer
will be affected by which kingdom you call home more often than you
Good luck choosing a name, and welcome to the Society!
Barony of Bryn Gwlad
Kingdom of Ansteorra