Names from the Middle Ages are fascinating. They’re often quite similar to those parents love today, but tend to be almost entirely overlooked.
Nameberry has long had the Coolator. I would call this the Medievalizer, except that sounds like a torture device.
Instead, this is a list of the 2013 US Top Ten for girls, with suggestions for parents looking for something just a little different – or maybe something that would be right at home in the eleventh century.
This is one of the names that sounds like it could be authentic, but is actually relatively modern. Oliva was a second century saint, but her name had faded. Oliver was a fairly common masculine moniker, but for a medieval girls’ name with similar sounds, consider Oriana or Oriel.
Isabella would have worn perfectly well in the Middle Ages – she was more common than Elizabeth in many places throughout much of the era. And yet, if you’re looking for something different, consider Isabeau, Isolda, Idonia, or Belsante.
Av- names are available in abundance: Avelina, Avelot, Avice, and Avina are just a few that feel like they’re borrowed from a past era, while still being wearable in the twenty-first century.
I am indebted to several sources for inspiration for this post: the extensive lists at the Medieval Names Archive, Kate Monk’s Onomastikon, and The Middle Ages. For more Medievalizing, see the original post here.
Are there other medieval names you’d consider using in 2014?