Names in the Low Countries before 1150

Early-medieval personal names in The Netherlands and Flanders


Nicknames comprised only 6% of all bynames, and only 2% of all individuals had a nickname, but they did form an interesting category. Therefore, all 118 persons with a nickname have been presented here: 112 men and 6 women. From the 11th century onwards, nicknames were often registered in Middle Dutch in the (otherwise Latin) scriptures. The translations below are based of the Middle Dutch Dictionary (Middelnederlands Woordenboek, 1998) and on the Dictionary of family names (Debrabandere, 2003).
Locative bynames that referred to a country or region outside the study area have been considered nicknames here. The byname Freso has not been considered a nickname, with one exception: the Flemish count Rotbert married Gerthrude, countess of Frisia, and was therefore called 'the Frisianí.

In the earliest centuries nicknames, like bynames in general, were relatively rare and they occurred mainly among the nobility and the clergy. As much as 90% of the nicknames is from after the year 1000.
Remarkably, about one half of the nicknames came from Flanders, while nicknames were virtually absent in the regions North and East.

given name nickname modern English   century region
Latin nicknames
Aven Albe white woman 12 Fl
Ewald Albus white priest 7 C
Hermannus Albus white   12 C
Folpertus Albus / Candidus white   12 W
Roberti Anglici angle   12 Fl
Balduini Barbatus with the beard count 10 Fl
Hermanno Calf bald   12 C
Gerardi Calvi bald   12 Fl
Gerardi Calvi bald   11 Fl
Hugonis Calvi bald   12 Fl
Stephani Calvi bald   10 Fl
Wichardi Calvi bald   11 Fl
Balduinus Calvus bald count 9 Fl
Heinricus Canis dog   12 S
Gerbertum Castus pious, chaste cleric 8 C
Euerardus Corvus raven   12 Fl
Florencii Crassi fat count 11 W
Heinricus Crassus fat count 11 N
Godefridus Danus the Dane duke 9 W
Hermanni Diaboli devil   12 C
Otto Dives rich judge 12 S
Balduinus Ferreus iron, with the iron arm count 9 Fl
Rotbertus Frisonis / Fresonis / Hierosolimitanus the Frisian count 11 Fl
Godefridus Gibbosus the hunchback duke 11 S
Jordanus Grecus the Greek   12 S
Theodericus Ierosolimam Jerusalem traveller count 12 W
Theodericus Ierosolimita Jerusalem traveller count 10 W
Gerardus Jherosolimam Jerusalem traveller   11 Fl
Gerardi Longus long count 11 S
Guilhelmus Longus long knight 11 Fl
Willelmus Longus long   12 S
Theoderico Magno great   12 Fl
Arnulfus Magnus great count 10 Fl
Erlinda Monocula one eye nun 10 W
Alberto Monoculo one eye   12 C
Eggricus Niger black   11 Fl
Erenboldus Niger black   11 Fl
Ewald Niger black priest 7 C
Florencium Niger black count 12 W
Herioldus Nordmannus Norman nobleman 9 C
Rodulfo Normanno Norman   9 N
Roricus Nortmanni / fel Christianitatis Norman king 9 C
Walramus Pagino / Paganus heathen duke 12 S
Einthetus Parvus small   11 C
Saxo Parvus small   12 C
Theodericus Peregrinus pilgrim nobleman 12 W
Heremannus Piscis fish   12 C
Einfridi Rufus red   11 Fl
Everhardus Saxo rhe Saxon count 9 E
Everardus Scabio scratcher   11 C
Celestinus Scottus the Scotsman abbot 8 Fl
Middele Dutch nicknames
Margareta Badwagens bath wagon ? woman 11 Fl
Alberni Bagga / Begge / Beggha lay brother   12 C
Hugo Balsting ?   12 Fl
Sivert Batselir young nobleman   12 W
Thidger Blankart white, fair   11 W
Walterus Bouart after the horse Bayard?   12 S
Sigeri Brune brown   12 Fl
Albertus Capun capon, cock serf 12 Fl
Balduini Consel from spices?   12 Fl
Walterus Covent cunning   12 Fl
Walterus Crommelin / Crummelin crooked   12 Fl
Balduini Cuusol from clean, chaste?   12 Fl
Heremannus Dena ?   12 Fl
Goceuini Eueldach evil deed   12 Fl
Sigerus Euuen ? serf 12 Fl
Eggrifidus Foggis / Foravot ?   12 Fl
Folcolf Fot ?   12 W
Thyderico Fransoys French   12 C
Einfridus Furlant foreland   11 Fl
Fromoldi Gendbava ?   11 Fl
Folperti Grunchel ?   11 Fl
Wilhelmo Guls greedy   12 W
Heinrico Haghe hedge   12 C
Rodberti Hanas from cock?   11 Fl
Gerardi Hastin from hasty?   12 Fl
Hezelo Hercker raker servant 12 S
Theodricus Holgrim ?   12 S
Lisa Honrecrop chicken crop woman 11 Fl
Lamberto Hove court   12 S
Lamberti Kegel cone   12 Fl
Wilelmus Kinnebacken / Kinbac / Maxilla / Timpo jawbone cleric 12 W
Anfridus Knif knife servant 12 C
Arnoldus Knif knife   12 C
Ruthulfus Knif knife   12 C
Avo Kukelin cloak, or chick(en)?   12 W
Heremannus Lespart lisp, stammerer   12 Fl
Gozuinus Loscart squinter, or from place name Lossaard ?   12 Fl
Hugonis Louf from staggering, or from personal name Ludolf?   12 Fl
Wazelini Omekin uncle   11 Fl
Volcramus Punget (?) stitch, prick   12 Fl
Tingerus Quatlat evil (lot?)   12 Fl
Waltero Rageve ?   12 Fl
Gerardi Ruethel rattle   11 Fl
Rogerus Runcis wrinkled   11 C
Meinzo Sas the Saxon   12 S
Engelbertus Scathalot / Schathaloch evil lot   11 W
Fastradus Scerebart / Skerebaerd shave beard   12 C
Witzo Slabbart carouser   12 C
Albertus Snackard / Snackart / Snaggard chatterer   11 Fl
Willelmi Snel quick   12 Fl
Henricus Sneparth from snipe (bird)   12 S
Arnoldo Spikar spike   12 W
Theoderico Spise food, spice   12 Fl
Balduinus Stop patch   12 Fl
Greta Stopens patch woman 11 Fl
Balduini Stums mute   12 Fl
Heremannum Uisc fish   12 C
Simon Vak section (of a building or part of a dyke)   12 W
Sigero Wippip as in whipping?   12 Fl
Arnoldus Wtther white?   12 S
Nicknames in another or an unknown language
Gerardo Calbono ?   12 Fl
Willelmus Curtohosa / Normannus courteous count 12 Fl
Willelmus Damasus after Pope Damasus ?   12 S
Munturfi Entigis ?   9 N
Ruthardus Gymo ?   12 S
Ingelberus Scarpo from (French) scarpoyse = a cargo ship ?   12 S
Clementia Testahardith ? countess 11 Fl


Material & Methods

Male names
Male names extended
Female names
Female names extended
Table of roots
Non-Germanic names
Single rooted names
Composition rules Namesakes
© Dr. Kees C. Nieuwenhuijsen
Last update: September 2012