NAFNGIFT – get a period name

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Knight at Arms

One of the many things that make Víkingr special is its aim for historical soundness. The developers are doing their best to ensure that all items in the game are faithful representations of actual 10th and 11th century items. This takes a lot of time and effort.

But luckily you too can make this game more historical: by using names of the time and places it is set in. This greatly increases the authentic atmosphere and makes for deeper immersion in this gripping time in European history. Moreover, as most of the clans of Víkingr are already dedicated to using these period names, players who bear such names will be noticed and considered for recruitment sooner than those who don’t.

To help you get started on your quest for a suitable name, links to reliable sources are provided below, arranged by faction. If you have any questions, just ask, and one of our language experts will be happy to help you. Good luck with the nafngift 'name-giving'!

NORÐMENN (Northmen)
An excellent list of Old Norse names, ordered by how popular they were at the time, can be found here. These particular names are taken from the Landnámabók, a medieval document describing the settlement of Iceland. For a list of Old Norse bynames from the same source, see here. And to see how Old Norse patronyms were formed (i.e. the names ending in -son and -dóttir), look here.

ENGLE (Anglo-Saxons)
A short and general introduction to Anglo-Saxon (a.k.a. Old English) names is available here. Included is a large selection of names, as well as instructions on how to make bynames, patronyms and even clan names.

NORMANT (Normans)
For a rare and invaluable introduction to Old Norman names, look no further than here. Included is a carefully compiled selection of some of the most common names of 11th century Normans and information on pronunciation and grammar.

GOÍDIL (Gaels)
One of the best sources on the web for Old and Middle Irish names can be found here. Names are taken from the Irish Annals and ordered by period; suitable are names as they were written down between 700 and 900 AD (Old Irish) and between 900 and 1200 AD (Middle Irish). Most names come with their genitive form, that is the form of the name when it is used for a patronym (i.e. after mac 'son' or ingen 'daughter').

RUS (Rus)
English information on Old Russian (a.k.a. Old East Slavic) names is scarce, but here is a long list of Russian names throughout history. Each name comes with with a date; suitable names are those closest to 1000 AD, roughly the time this game is set in. For a selection of names specifically from this period and notes on usage, see this thread.

Many thanks to Úlfvaldr, who made the first version of this thread, and to former Víkingr developer Eiríkr who made a second version.
Now that you mention the Norman names thread, please note I just posted a short list of names used by Norman individuals attested in the early 11th century. It's by no means exhaustive, and people are welcome to look at the sources I gave for earlier names.

Also, despite all the work I put into that thread, I must say the best resource in this thread is the one pertaining to Old and Middle Irish names. It's simply spectacular. Makes you want to play as a Goídel nonstop.
One correction Eadric: Rus are the most EASTERN Slavs there are, not western (Poles, Moravians, Weneds) :razz:
And, since they were not entirely assimilated with slavs yet in these times, some Rus people might also bear scandinavian names. Especially if someone aimes for being a Varangian.
Thanks everyone!

And well spotted, Dragomir, don't know how I got that wrong, my draft had it right after all!  :grin:
Amazing, Eadric cousin, amazing. I hope people will take this brilliant read you have given them and we should see more historical names!
Thank you Willelm, but please note that this is simply a revision of two previous versions, the first one by Úlfvaldr, the second one by Eiríkr. I acknowledged this at the bottom of the post.

Dragomir, the list of period Russian names also includes slavicised Scandinavian names, like Askold, Riurik and Rogvolod. But I shall see what I can do.
If someone wants to recreate an old Polish name, it may be constructed from similar joints as eastern slavic names, but with special signs.
What divided slavs into western and eastern was christian church. Poles became Catholic, and Rus embraced the Orthodox Church. Thus, Eastern slavs were introduced with Greek alphabet, modified by Cyryl and Metody (priests) to have signs adequate to slavic language. That's basically how Cyrilic alphabet was developed.

Western, catholic Slavs on the other hand, used Latin alphabet, that had some signs added as well. Many eastern slavic names have corresponding versions in Polish, better suited for latin alphabet mostly used in the mod. For example: Światosław (Sviatoslaw), Włodzimierz (Vladimir), Mirosław (Miroslav), Chwalibóg (Khvalibog) etc. They're pronounced a bit differently though.
Continuing the nice in-game discussion we were having about the name Jófríðr:

It would seem that there was indeed two distinct name elements, friðr (<*friþuz), "peace", and fríðr" (<*frídaz), "fair, beautiful". Apparently Faroese is the only language where the form with fríðr is mostly or exclusively male. In Old Norse, Jófríðr is attested as a female name. I don't know if *frídaz appears as a name element in non-Scandinavian languages, so some degree of merging may have happened.

So, Jófríðr is fine, although it means "beautiful as a horse". I'll stop writing Jófriðr from now on.
As a horse?... Sorry, you lost me there... By the way, Járnskeggi is an impressive character in:

EDIT: Oh yes, you're quite right - it means "Beautiful horse".. It should be said that being compared to horses was not anything degrading, horses were much valued.
As it happens, I'm in the middle of a big project in names, and I came across Jófríðr and like names the other day.

I can tell you that Jó- in Jófríðr most likely does not represent jór 'horse'. What exactly it does mean I cannot tell you, but the element can also be found in jódís 'sister': heitir ek systir, dís, jódís "a sister is called dís and jódís." But it is probably related to jóð 'baby', which has its parallels in continental names, e.g. Old High German Eutbrand, Euthar, Old Saxon Eodbert, Eodfriđ. Perhaps at the time of names like Jófríðr the element had come to mean something vague and general as 'dear, kin'.
Interesting, thanks for that! Most dubious internet sources seem to think it meant "horse", like the Norwegian (nynorsk) Wiki article:
Det norrøne Jófríðr er sett saman av jór, 'hest' og frjá, 'elska'.
I don't know, I'd say both name elements are plausible, but it's hard to argue against an (almost) perfect equivalent like "Eodfriđ".

Þorkell, when I said "beautiful as a horse" I wasn't being too serious, since names, even when their meaning was transparent, were largely conventional and people didn't generally analyze them as normal compounds. :p "Horse+beautiful" would have been closer to what an ON native might have heard, if they linked jó- to "horse" in the first place regardless of its etymology.
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