[ANSTHRLD] Norse matronymics

C. L. Ward gunnora at vikinganswerlady.org
Sat Mar 9 17:48:39 PST 2002

Daniel (in explaining an entrirely different point) said:
>You have to be careful in that extrapolation.  For example, in the
>first case, it's only [a man's given name (in the genitive case)] +
>"son".  That doesn't extend to the father's nickname + "son", or a
>mother's name + "son".  To register one of those, you'd have to show
>a few examples of *those* patterns (e.g., for the last, Svein
>Estrithsson -- he was a king of Denmark, though; maybe he was an
>exceptional case?).

Not exceptional, particularly.  Matronymics were not extremely common, but
there are plenty out there to choose from.  There were a total of only 34
women in Iceland whose sons are shown by the historical records to have
borne their mother's name as a matronymic, and most of these women lived in
the northern and western districts of Iceland (Barði Guðmundsson. The Origin
of the Icelanders. trans. Lee M. Hollander. Lincoln: Univ of Nebraska Press.
1967. Library of Congress Catalog Card #66-19265. pp. 26-31). Some of these
men with matronymics were court skalds:

Eilif Guðrunarson
Hrafn Guðrunarson
Stein Herdísarson
Bersi Skald-Tórfuson
Kormak Dolluson
Ofeig Jarngerðsson of Skarð

Some of the mothers whose names were used in matronymics were:


I understand that Lind "Binamn" has a bunch of additional examples.


Who would much rather talk about period naming practices while the experts
research the award name than arguing passionately about it before the
research is done.

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