[ANSTHRLD] RE: Name documentation help

C. L. Ward gunnora at vikinganswerlady.com
Wed Sep 22 19:12:59 PDT 2004

Lord Seamus O Dubhda asked:
>A submitter is looking to see if "Gilana"
>came about. I know that it is hebrew for
>"joy" but I don't know when it was first
>used and if it would be appropriate. It
>is pronounced with a G as in "give".

How do you know it's "Hebrew for 'joy'"?  Are you getting that
info from one of the online "name your baby" websites?  In
general, you can't trust those sites for much - they're often
extremely wrong, and they all borrow information from one
another, so if something wrong shows up about a name anywhere on
the web, the others propagate the misinformation rapidly.  I'm
going to quote from the Academy of St. Gabriel on this topic:

   "Not all dictionaries of names are good
   sources for medieval re-creation. In fact,
   most of them aren't. A name-your-baby book,
   for example, is written for the purpose of
   giving parents long lists of varied, attractive
   names to consider. The author is probably not
   interested in how old the name is or how it was
   spelled in the 14th century; he's only interested
   in listing names. He will copy names from any
   useful source and might make up names to fill
   gaps in his lists. A name selected from a
   name-your-baby book is probably not a medieval
   name; even if it is, you need to check a more
   scholarly source to ensure that it is medieval.

   Here are some characteristics of dictionaries of
   names that are useful for medieval re-creation:

   * It gives dated examples of names.
   * It gives sources where the author found each name.

   Here are some characteristics typical of
   dictionaries that aren't helpful for medieval

   * The title includes the word "Baby" or "Celtic"
   * It gives a meaning for each name.
   * Languages of origin are given with unscholarly
     terms like 'Teutonic' or 'Celtic'.
   * There is no variation in spelling; i.e. every
     <William> is spelled the same."

For people to be able to help you intelligently with a name, we
also need to know something about where and when - what country
or culture does your client want the name to be from? what time

I've done some looking, and I don't find <Gilana> anywhere except
on the baby name websites.  I think you can get pretty close with
one of the "Juliana" names from the Middle Ages.  For instance,
see these, all from research done by the folks at the Academy of
St. Gabriel:

"<Giliana> is a Latin form of the name <Juliana>. [1]  <Juliana>
was a popular name in many European cultures in the Middle Ages.
Because you expressed interest in forms such as <Gilian> and
<Gillian> as well as <Giliana>, we have focused on spellings that
begin with <G->. Forms of <Juliana> using <G-> were most popular
in England.  We found the following spellings throughout the
Middle Ages:
Giliana   1194, 1198, 1301, 1315 [1]
Gillian   1273, 1568, 1573, 1574, 16th C [1,3,5,9,10,17]
Gelyan    1538 [13]
Gilian    1558 [17]
Gillyan   1573 [9]
Gyllian   1573 [9]
Gyllyan   1578 [17]
Gillion   1585 [4]
Gilean    1595 [14]
_pet forms_
Gelleia   1221 [1]
Gille     1273 [1,10]
Gelle     1275, 1279 [1]
Gylle     15th C [10]"

<Galiana> Occitan
<Galienne> French
<Gualiana> 11-13th century
<Galiana> before 1223
<Galliena> Lyon, probably 9th-10th century
"<Galiana> is the Occitan form of the name [6, 7]. <Galienne> or
<Galiene> would be French forms of the same name. We are thus
confident that <Galiana> is an appropriate name for an
Occitan-speaking woman living in the late 12th century to early
13th century. The same woman
would use <Galienne> or something similar in French contexts."

<Gilenebra> and <Gilnebra>, 16th century Palermo; may be forms of

>Lord Seamus O Dubhda
>Kingdom Of Anestorra
>Barony Of Elfsea
>"No matter where you go there you are." -B. Banzai

Note that it's "Kingdom on Ansteorra" - you may want to fix your
signature block if your email is automatically inserting it.


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