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Medieval names took many forms.

Human Names

Human names tend to use combinations of the following:

e.g. Ingrid, Michael, Giovanni, Ivan, Catherine, Tomas
  • Locatives
e.g John of London, Jhonne Glasgow, Jehan de Paris, Gunther Berliner
  • Patronymic/Matyrnomic (citing your father or mother)
e.g. Thorvald Thorgeirs son, Bernardo di Vincenzo, Ifor ap David, Mari inghean Sheain
  • Clan or family affilation
e.g. O Brien, dei Medici
  • Nicknames
e.g. John Longshanks, Eric the Red

Which specific names and types of bynames are appropriate for you depends entirely on what you are trying to re-create. The most important factors are the time, place, and culture you want to re-create, but your gender and class are important, too. Not all types of surname were used in all cultures -- many early medieval cultures used no surnames at all. Modern naming customs are generally Bold textnotBold text a good guide to medieval naming customs. For example, the Spanish custom of multiple given names and compound surnames refering to your mother and father did not come into general use until well after our period.

See also:

Place Names


Names in the SCA

Your SCA persona will have an SCA name that should be registered with your herald and the SCA College of Arms. However, there is no requirement that you register your name. It is far more important that you choose a name that is a good re-creation of the naming customs of some medieval culture. You can find reliable information to help you do that at the Academy of Saint Gabriel, , and particular in its Medieval Names Archive, . Be careful using other web resources: Almost none of them are intended as sources for accurate historical re-creation, and so the names you find there will generally Bold textnotBold text be correct.

Your branch will have to register a name as well. Some types of branches often follow particular fashions in naming, e.g. colleges are often named after a patron saint. This follows one of the historical models for naming colleges in medieval Europe.

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