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 Post subject: Medieval Names
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:26 pm
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Location: Garstang
Reading Cornwell`s Death of Kings recently, I noticed that many of Alfred the Great`s extended family had names starting with AETHEL- (Aethelred, Aethelstan etc). Was this a feature of relatives at that time and what did AETHEL signify, if anything? Are any names known of those who lived around the Fylde in those times?


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 Post subject: Re: Medieval Names
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:48 pm
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Location: South Shore
PhilB wrote:
Reading Cornwell`s Death of Kings recently, I noticed that many of Alfred the Great`s extended family had names starting with AETHEL- (Aethelred, Aethelstan etc). Was this a feature of relatives at that time and what did AETHEL signify, if anything? Are any names known of those who lived around the Fylde in those times?


ath·e·ling ( th -l ng, -). n. An Anglo-Saxon nobleman or prince, especially the heir to a throne. [Middle English, from Old English ætheling.

Could it be something to do with this ?


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 Post subject: Re: Medieval Names
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:32 am
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Location: Preston
Aethel means noble / of high birth similar in meaning to the modern German 'Edel' (as in Edelweiss) and as Ed (Ead-weard : happy guardian) says, the heir to the throne was called the aetheling. Aethelstan means 'noble stone'. But you're right: the OE parents often used bits of their own names to create their child's name, so when Aethelstan married Wulfgifu (wolfgift) their son was named Wulfstan - wolf stone.

This practice meant that the resulting compound names lost any relation to their earlier literal sense. Alfred - still a good modern(ish) name means 'elf-counsel' (Aelfred). Aethelred whose nickname is 'the Unready' wasn't too lazy to fight the Danes but was Aethelred Unraed (noble counsel - but badly advised). Cornwell's series is excellent.

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 Post subject: Re: Medieval Names
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:26 pm
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Location: Garstang
Thanks,gents. Is much known about Fylde personal names from the Dark Ages?


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