Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Medieval French Names

As a recovering French Lit student, I've come across quite a few French names that send me rushing to the Internet - "Guillaume is related to William? Of course!" Some names seem to defy modern or Anglicized translations, though, and many of those I've found in medieval French texts.


Chrétien de Troyes, Marie de France, Jean Bodel and Christine de Pisan are just some of the authors I've drawn from to make this list. Some names are not uncommon, while others seem totally unique. And quite a few can be found in the Tales of King Arthur!

Female

Iseult
Igraine
Elaine
Blanchefleur
Laudine
Lunete
Claris
Fresne
Codre
Guinevere
Christine
Jehanne
Yvette
Marions
Yvonne
Nicolette

Male

Jehans
Perceval
Guios
Yvain
Flore
Tristan
Roland
Guigemar
Equitan
Lanval
Rogaus
Eliduc
Brendan
Aucassin
Gautier
Gille

What are some of your favorite French names, old and new?

Online sources: Old French Literature, Medieval French Literature, History of French Literature

3 comments:

  1. If you're interested in medieval forms of French names, then do check out the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources (http://dmnes.org/), you can lose hours in there browsing!

    [Note: Your "comment as" function is failing for Wordpress. You might want to look into this.]
    (Though I wouldn't call Brendan a French name, per see. It is an anglicized version of the Latin form of an early Gaelic name which derives from a Welsh word...)

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    1. Hmm, I wonder why Wordpress isn't working....

      I see your point, Brendan isn't French, but I included it since I first read the story of St Brendan in a medieval French class. More personal than actual, but why not?

      And dmnes.org... !!!! So cool !!!!

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