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Edgar’s Dictionary
(in progress)





Anglicized
To “anglicize” a word or name is to make it’s spelling and pronunciation more appealing to English speakers. “Shawn” is the Anglicization of the Irish Gaelic Seán, for example, or “Anya” from the Spanish Aña.


Basque (Euskara)
Basque is a language and a region in northern Spain, near the Bay of Biscay. The Basque language is something of a mystery. It appears to be connected to no other language on earth. Some Basque names include: Diego, Inigo, and Amaya.


Breton
Breton is a language traditionally spoken in Brittany, France. It is part of the Celtic family.

British (Brythonic) -
British, or Brythonic, is a branch of the Celtic family, this branch includes the languages of Welsh, Breton, Cornish, and possibly Pictish.

(British is also a adjective identifying something or someone as part of Great Britain).
include: Donald, Duncan, Ian, Kenneth, Malcolm, and Ronald.

Byname
A byname is a descriptive nickname that forms part of a person’s permanent name, such as John of Middleton, or Peter the Tall. Bynames are used in places that have not yet developed permament surnames. Often, bynames develop into surnames, over time. In modern countries, bynames are obsolete.
Catalan
Catalan is a Romance (Latin) language spoken in northeastern Spain and Andorra. It is very similar to Provençal.


Celtic
Celtic is a language branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It was originally spoken by the Celts, a people originally from Eastern Europe (around Austria) who migrated and settled much of western Europe (including France, Portugal, Spain, and the British Isles).

Celtic languages have two main divisions: Gaelic (aka Goidelic), and Brythonic (aka British). Gaelic includes the tongues of Irish Gaelic (Ireland), Scottish Gaelic (Scotland), and Manx (the Isle of Man - extinct). Brythonic includes Breton (Brittany, France), Welsh (Wales), Cornish (Cornwall, England – extinct), and possibly Pictish (Scotland – extinct). Also included in the Celtic branch is Gaulish, spoken in ancient Gaul (France).

Cornish
The Celtic language traditionally spoken in Cornwall, England. For all intents and purposes, Cornish is an extinct language.

Famous Cornish names include Jennifer, and Tasmin.

English
A Germanic language (heavily influenced by Latin, French, and to a lesser extent Norse) that is spoken in the British Isles (where it originated), the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and in scores of other places.

English names include John, Mary, Ann, Jane, William, Ellen, James, Lucy, and Peter among many, many others.
include: Donald, Duncan, Ian, Kenneth, Malcolm, and Ronald.

Forename
A forename is one’s first name, Christian name, baptismal name, personal name. This is the name some is called by his friends and family.

Frankish, Franks
The Franks were a Germanic people who lived in northwestern Germany and were allied with the Romans. By the very early Middle Ages, they had converted to Christianity, and conquered much of Gaul (France). The nation of France was named for the Franks. Charlemagne was their most famous ruler.


Gaelic (Goidelic)
Gaelic is a branch of the Celtic family of languages., it can be divided into Scottish Gaelic (spoken in Scotland), Irish Gaelic (spoken in Ireland) and Manx (formerly spoken on the Isle of Man).

Gaul/Gauls/Gaulish
Gaul was a Celtic region of the Roman Empire about the time of Julius Caesar. It is located in what is now France.

Germanic
Germanic is a branch of Indo-European (the language family of most of Europe). It includes the Scandinavian (Norse, or North Germanic) languages such as Danish, Gothic, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish; the West Germanic languages of Dutch, English (Low German), Frisian, German, and Yiddish (High German); and the East Germanic languages of Gothic and Burgundian.

Indo-European
An ancient language spoken in Central Europe and the ancestor of most modern European languages. Its more prominent branches include Celtic, Greek, Germanic, Latin, Persian, Sanskrit, and Slavic.

Irish Gaelic
Irish Gaelic (part of the Celtic family) is a language originally and traditionally spoken in Ireland. Irish Gaelic is the language traditionally spoken in Ireland. English rulers tried to eradicate the language, pushing native speakers to the extreme, western, rural edge. Ireland, however, is making a conscious effort to revive the language. Irish Gaelic is closely related to Scottish Gaelic.

Alistair, Aoife, Caitlín, Cathal, Ciarán, Conor, Darragh, Eoin, Graínne, Liam, Niall, Sean, and Sinead are Irish Gaelic names.


Latin
Latin was the language of the Roman Empire. Although currently a "dead" language, spoken by no one, it is still used in science and in the Roman Catholic church. Vulgar Latin (the language of the common people) eventually developed into the Romance languages: Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, Provençal, Romanian, Spanish.

Some Latin names are: Cassius, Florentius, Julia, Julius, Lucia, Lucius, Octavia, Octavius, Septimus, Ursus, Virgilius, etc.

Manx
A member of the Celtic family of languages, Manx is an offshoot of Irish Gaelic. It was previously spoken by the inhabitants of the Isle of Man and became extinct in the 19th century.


Moors, Moorish
The word “Moor” comes from the Latin word “Mauretania” a land located in northwest Africa, where Morocco and Algeria are today. In European history, it refers to those Arabic and Berber Muslims who conquered Spain in the 8th century and ruled it for several centuries.


Nicknames
A nickname is an alternate name, a sometimes affectionate and sometimes derrogative term. Some examples of nicknames include: Jack for John, Bobby for Robert, Molly for Mary, Sally for Sarah, Willie for William, Charlie for Charles, Daisy for Margaret, Ned for Edward, Juanito for Juan, and Pierrot for Pierre.


Normans, Norman Invasion, or Norman Conquest
The Normans were a group of people who lived in Normandy (now part of France). Although they spoke a French dialect (called Norman French), they (and their names) were descended from Scandinavian and Germanic tribes (including Vikings). In 1066, the Duke of Normandy (William the Bastard) conquered England and became King William the I of England (also known as William the Conqueror).

The victors imposed the French language on the native Anglo-Saxons of Britain. Old England and Norman French eventually merged to become Middle English, and eventually Modern English as we know it today.

Famous Norman names include: Adele, Alice, Constance, Emma, Geoffrey, Gerald, Henry, Hugh, Matilda/Maud, Oliver, Richard, Robert, Roger, William.


Picts
The Picts (from Latin “picti,” or “painted”) were a people who lived in northeastern Scotland in ancient times (they predated the Celts, even) and fought against the Romans. They remained a distinct group until the 9th century when, under Kenneth I MacAlpin (died 858), they were combined with the Scots into the Kingdom of Alba (Scotland).

Pictish
The Language spoken by the Picts. It is sometimes said to be a Celtic language.

Provence/Provençal
Provence is a region of southeastern France, with a distinct history, culture and language. Their language, Provençal (also called Occitan, or Languedoc) is very similar to Catalan, and resembles Spanish more than French. From the 12th to 14th centuries it was a language of literature for much of France and northern Spain.

Puritans
The Puritans were a group of English Protestants who thought that England’s official church (Anglican) was unacceptably similar to the Roman Catholic Church. Persecuted in England for their beliefs, many fled to the Americas and formed the foundation for many American traditions.

The Puritans were responsible for reviving and giving their children Hebrew, Biblical names (especially Old Testament names), and for reintroducing “quality” names like Faith, Hope, Charity, and Flie-Fornication.

Reformation/Protestant Reformation
The Reformation was a religious movement that began in Germany when a former monk named Martin Luther began to protest corruption in the church. His protests eventually led to the establishment of the different Protestant churches and denominations (Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Puritans, etc.) . It's effect on naming is the revival of many Biblical (especially Old Testament) names, such as Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Daniel, Rebecca, Rachel, and Abigail.

Scandinavian
The word “Scandinavian” is an adjective, one used to describe the region of Scandinavia which encompases the nations of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and usually Finland. Scandinavian is not a language, per se, but we often use it to collectively describe the various, terribly similiar Scandinavian languages. When we say the Scandinavian form of Henry is Henrik, that means Henry can be translated as Henrik for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and usually Finland.

Scott, Sir Walter
(1771-1832)

A Scottish novelist who wrote many romantic, historical, popular novels set in medieval times (often in Scotland). In fact, he is often credited with inventing the historical novel. He is partially (mostly?) responsible for the early Victorians revived interest in all things medieval and Middle Ages (this included the revival of many medieval, Arthurian, and Old English names).
Sir Walter Scott is considered responsible for the revival of the names Brenda, Brian, Cedric, Minna, Quentin, Roderick, Rowena, Wilfred, among others.

Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic (part of the Celtic family) is a language originally spoken in Scotland. Scottish Gaelic derived from Irish Gaelic, after a group of ancient Irishmen colonized Scotland about 500 A.D.

English rulers tried to eradicate the language, pushing native speakers back to the extreme northern end of the island (the Highlands) and Scottish Gaelic was the language traditionally spoken in the Scottish Highlands. The other language spoken in Scotland is the English-based “Scots” dialect, spoken in the “Lowlands.”

Scottish Gaelic is closely related to Irish Gaelic. Famous names of Scottish Gaelic origin include: Donald, Duncan, Ian, Kenneth, Malcolm, and Ronald.

Slavic
A language branch of Indo-European. It includes Czech, Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian. Slavic names include Ivan, Nadezhda (Nadia), Olga, Vera, and Mikayla.


Surname
A surname is a last name, a family name, a name passed down from parent to child. Surnames come in four main categories: Descriptive, Occupational, Location, and Patrynomical.

Vernacular
Vernacular refers to the language and/or pronunciation of the common, everyday, or lower-class. In medieval ireland, for example, the names John and Mary were translated as Eoin and Máire in church (when referring to St. John and the Virgin Mary), and as Sean and Máel Muire (“Servant of Mary”) when given to children.

Another example may be when a man was christened Thomas and referred to as Thomas in legal documents, although his vernacular (everyday) name was Tom.

And the English Empress Matilda, for a third example, was only Matilda in Latin records and other official documents. She was called Empress Maud by the people.



Victorian/Victorian Age
This is usually used to refer to the later 1800s, during the reign of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. Usually, it is stereotyped as an age of prim, proper, repressed behavior, middle-class values, patriotism, imperialism, and class stratification.

The Victorians are famous for being pious, melancholy, strict, repressed and incurably sentimental. They can be held responsible for the introduction of “flower names” like Lily, or Primrose; and “jewel names” like Lily, Ivy, Pearl, or Ruby. They also liked Old English names like Edgar or Athelstan or Edward and Mildred, and Norman names like Alice, and Emma and Roger, and and Arthurian names like Arthur and Percival and Tristan.

Visigoths/Visigothic
The Visigoths were a Germanic tribe (originally from Romania) which conquered parts of Gaul (France) and (more successfully) Spain in the 4th century.

The Visigoths brought to Spanish several Germanic names like Adalfuns (Alfonso), Ferdinand (Fernando), and Roderick (Rodrigo), Ramiro and Rosalind.

The Spanish Visigothic kingdom was conquered by Muslims in 711.

Welsh
Welsh is the language spoken in Wales. It is part of the Celtic family.

Famous Welsh names include Dylan, Evan, Gladys, Gwendolyn, Lloyd, Marvin, Sabrina, and Winifred.





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