Names from the Middle Ages

History - Middle Ages




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Medieval names are often derived from biblical texts and saint names as a reflection of the important of religion in the Middle Ages.  Vernacular languages were spoken throughout Europe and names with similar roots often take different spellings in different regions.

Female Middle Ages Names

  • Aethelu: derives from English and means noble
  • Agnes: derives from Greek and means chaste
  • Alba: derives from Gaelic and means Scotland; also derives from Italian and means sunrise
  • Ava: derives from German
  • Beatrice: derives from Latin and means happy
  • Beverly: derives from English and means beaver field or beaver stream
  • Cecily: derives from Latin and means blind
  • Daisy: derives from English and means day’s eye
  • Edith: derives from English and means prosperous in war
  • Ella: derives from English and means beautiful fairy-woman
  • Emma: derives from German and means all-containing or universal
  • Heloise: derives from French and means sun
  • Isabella: derives from Hebrew and means my God is my vow
  • Margery: derives from English and means pearl
  • Matilda: derives from German and means powerful battler
  • Merry: derives from English and means cheerful and happy
  • Odilia: derives from German and means wealth
  • Reina: derives from Spanish and means queen; also Derives from Yiddish and means pure or clean
  • Rhoslyn: derives from Welsh and means lovely rose or rose valley
  • Sigourney: derives from English and means victorious conqueror
  • Trea: derives from Gaelic and means strength or intensity


Male Middle Ages Names

  • Aldous: derives from German and means old or elder
  • Alistair: derives from Gaelic and means defending men
  • Bennett: derives from Latin and means blessed
  • Conrad: derives from German and means experienced advisor
  • Constantine: derives from Latin and means steadfast
  • Dietrich: derives from German and means ruler of the people
  • Drake: derives from English and means snake or dragon
  • Everard: derives from German and means strong as the wild boar
  • Gawain: derives from Welsh and means white hawk of battle
  • Godwin: derives from English and means good friend
  • Jeffery: derives from German and means God’s peace
  • Joachim: derives from Hebrew and means God will establish
  • Ladislas: derives from Slavic and means glorious rule
  • Luther: derives from German and means people army
  • Milo: derives from German and means uncertain, perhaps, peaceful; also derives from Latin and means soldier
  • Odo: derives from German and means wealth
  • Percival: derives from French and means Pierce valley
  • Randall: derives from German and means shield rim
  • Robin: derives from German and means bright fame
  • Theobald: derives from German and means brave or bold
  • Wade: derives from English and means ford
  • Warner: derives from German and means army guard or protecting army
  • Wolfgang: derives from German and means wolf going


Middle Ages Surnames

Medieval surnames primarily originated based on occupation or place of residence.  Some of the names from the Middle Ages are still common surnames in the 21st-century.  Examples of surnames from medieval England include:

  • Baker: maker of bread
  • Baxter: a female baker
  • Bennett: blessed
  • Brickenden: maker of bricks
  • Brooker: dweller by the brook
  • Brown: one who has brown hair or dark skin
  • Carpenter: maker of wooden objects
  • Carter: transporter of goods
  • Cheeseman: maker of cheese
  • Clarke: scholar, cleric, or secretary
  • Cook: cook, butcher, or keeper of a restaurant
  • Cooper: wooden bucket maker
  • Draper: maker or seller of woolen cloth
  • Fisher: catcher of fish
  • Fletcher: maker of arrows
  • Foreman: pig farmer
  • Forester: one in charge of the King’s forest
  • Granger: farm bailiff
  • Gregory: watchful
  • Hayward: one responsible for fence and wall repair
  • Hughes: son of Hugh
  • Kilner: potter
  • Lister: textile dyer
  • Mannering: Manly
  • Mason: stone mason
  • Mercer: merchant
  • Nash: dweller by the ash tree
  • Payne: pagan
  • Rolfe: peasant
  • Sawyer: one who saws wood
  • Shepherd: one who watches over sheep
  • Slater: one who works with slate
  • Taylor: maker of clothes
  • Tyler: maker or layer of tiles
  • Walter: dweller by water
  • Ward: guardian or watchman
  • Webb: weaver
  • Webster: weaver
  • Wood: dweller by the wood
  • Wright: maker of wooden objects




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Comments 

 
-1 #1 smith 2014-05-21 20:45
good
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+4 #2 Del 2015-08-28 23:14
Very useful for my assignment, thankyou! :lol:
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+7 #3 ella 2016-09-23 15:36
very helpful, a lot of information from this article was used on my world history paper
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+3 #4 gretchen 2017-03-01 23:34
Very useful in my assessment, helped me come up with olden times names :D
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-5 #5 Mercedes 2017-03-02 02:02
this was very helpful thank you
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-2 #6 drake 2017-03-16 18:57
this was very helpful for writing a medieval times essay for sixth grade
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