A to Z reflections 2021

This was my eighth year doing the A to Z Challenge with this blog, my tenth with two blogs. Much to my disappointment, for the fourth year in a row I had to suffice with a fairly simple theme, one I didn’t need to do a huge amount of research for. I remain hopeful I can return to more research-intensive themes in the coming years.

For the third year running, I didn’t start writing and researching my posts on either blog till March. Maybe someday I’ll be at liberty to resume my former habit of putting my posts together many months in advance, and returning to more research-heavy themes on my names blog. There’s just such a theme I’ve been wanting to do here since 2017, and I’ve not forgotten about it.

As always, I featured both female and male names on each day, unless I failed to find names for both, and alternated which sex each post started with. Though I’ve done six each the last few years, there were a number of days this year I ended up with fewer than six, or more than six.

Since Italian doesn’t have certain letters, K, Q, W, X, and Y had to be wildcard days.

Seeing as this year, 2021, is Dante’s 700th Jahrzeit (death anniversary) year, I considered revisiting my 2016 theme of Divine Comedy names. There were plenty of names I had on my list but opted against, and I could’ve easily done wildcards for the few letters without any names or whose few names I already did. But since I didn’t have much lead time, and have never repeated a theme on either blog, I decided to go with the related theme of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names.

For whatever reason, I’ve tended to have bad luck when clicking on links in the master A to Z list the last few years. Many bloggers gave up early or never started, and I even found one without a link. The theme sounded great, but there was no way to check it out from a hyperlink!

Also annoying are blogs without the option to comment or where we have to sign up with a unique-to-the-blogger commenting service, or a really uncommon commenting interface.

As other people have been noticing, participation does seem down in recent years. Then again, the medium of blogging itself has undergone a lot of changes over the past decade. Many of the bloggers I knew 5–10 years ago have entirely stopped blogging or moved to a much more infrequent schedule.

Post recap:

The As of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Bs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Cs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ds of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Es of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Fs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Gs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Hs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Is of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Js of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ks of Medieval German names
The Ls of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ms of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ns of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Os of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ps of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Qs of Medieval Mongolian, Arabic, Dutch, English, and Scandinavian names
The Rs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ses of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ts of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Us of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Vs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ws of Medieval English, German, Slavic, French, Norman, Flemish, and Cornish names
The Xs of Medieval Galician, Spanish, and Basque names
The Ys of Medieval Scandinavian, Breton, Basque, Flemish, French, Cornish, Galician, and Spanish names
The Zs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

The Zs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

Female names:

Zaneta (T) is a diminutive of Giovanna, a feminine form of John.

Zebaina (I)

Zelante (T)

Zuana (T) is a feminine form of Zuane, a Venetian form of Giovanni (i.e., John). It means “God is gracious.”

Male names:

Zane (I) is a Venetian form of Gianni, a short form of Giovanni.

Zilio (T) is a form of Gilio, which I suspect ultimately derives from Giles. Its origins are the Latin name Aegidus and the Greek word aigidion (young goat).

Zorzi (I) is a form of Giorgio (i.e., George), and means “farmer.” This is a surname in modern Italy.

The Ys of Medieval Scandinavian, Breton, Basque, Flemish, French, Cornish, Galician, and Spanish names

Because Italian has no names starting with Y, today is another wildcard day. I took great care not to repeat any of the Medieval Y names from my 2018 post.

Male names:

Yagu (Breton) is a form of Jakob, which derives from the Hebrew name Ya’akov. Though traditional etymology claims this name means “heel” and “supplanter,” many modern Biblical scholars believe it comes from Semitic roots meaning “may God protect.”

Yowann (Cornish) is a form of John (God is gracious).

Yrian, Yryan (Scandinavian) is a form of Jurian (i.e., George, which means “farmer”).

Ysaque (Galician) is a form of Isaac, which comes from the Hebrew name Yitzchak (he will laugh).

Ythier (French) derives from Ancient Germanic roots id (labour, work) or idhja (negotiate), and hari (warrior, army).

Yuzhael (Breton)

Female names:

Ybba (Swedish) is a form of Eyba, a diminutive of names starting with the Ancient Germanic root ebur (wild boar). The modern form is Ebba.

Yden (Flemish)

Yenega (Basque) is a form of Iñiga, a feminine form of Eneko. The name may derive from the Basque words ene (my) and ko (a diminutive suffix).

Yfame (French)

Ynes (Spanish) is a form of Agnes, which derives from the Greek word hagnos (chaste). Since St. Agnes was frequently depicted with a lamb, the name acquired the secondary meaning of “lamb,” from the Latin word agnus.

Yzabé (French) is a form of Elizabeth (my God is an oath).

The Xes of Medieval Galician, Spanish, and Basque names

Because Italian has no names starting with X, today is another wildcard day. I’ve taken care not to reuse any of the Medieval X names featured in my 2018 post.

Female names:

Xabadin (Basque) is a form of Sabina (Sabine woman).

Xixili (Basque) is a form of Cecilia (blind).

Male names:

Xabe (Spanish) may be a form of Xavier (the new house), but perhaps it just has a similar sound and appearance.

Xabiça (Spanish) may also derive from Xavier, but I don’t want to assume without any evidence.

Xacob (Galician) is a form of Jakob, which derives from the original Hebrew name Ya’akov. Though traditional etymology claims this name means “heel, supplanter,” many modern Biblical scholars now believe it truly comes from Semitic roots meaning “may God protect.”

Xácome (Galician) is a form of James, which in turn also derives from Jakob.

Xain (Spanish)

Xame (Spanish)

Xemeno (Spanish) looks like an obvious form of Simon, which derives from the Hebrew name Shimon (he has heard).

Xil (Galician) is a form of Giles, which comes from Latin name Aegidius and Greek word aigidion (young goat).

The Ws of Medieval English, German, Slavic, French, Norman, Flemish, and Cornish names

Seeing as there are no Italian names, Medieval or otherwise, from any region of Italy, starting with W, today is another wildcard day featuring other Medieval names. I’ve taken special care not to include any repeats from my 2018 post on Medieval names starting with W.

Male names:

Waelweyn (Flemish)

Waltram (German) derives from Ancient Germanic roots wald (to rule) and hraban (raven).

Wenceslaus (Czech) is the Latinised form of Veceslav (more glory). The modern form of this name is Václav.

Wilkin (English) is a nickname for William (will helmet)

Wilky (English) is also a nickname for William.

Wischard (Norman) is a form of Guiscard, which derives from Old Norse roots viskr (wise) and hórðr (hardy, brave).

Wszebąd (Polish) derives from roots wsze (always, everything, everyone) and bąd (to live, to exist, to be).

Wynwallow (Cornish) is a form of the Breton name Gwenole, derived from Old Breton roots uuin (white, blessed, fair) and uual (brave). The modern Breton form is Guénolé.

Wyot (English) is a form of the Old English name Wigheard, which derives from roots wig (battle) and heard (brave, hardy).

Female names:

Wantliana (English) is a form of the Welsh name Gwenllian, which is composed of roots gwen (fair, white, blessed) and lliain (flaxen).

Wastrada (German)

Weltrude (German) derives from Proto–Germanic roots wela (good, well), and þrūþ (strength) or trut (maiden).

Wigfled (English)

Wilburga (Polish)

Willberna (German) derives from Old High German roots willo (will) and bero (bear).

Williswinda (German) means “strong desire, strong will.”

Wilmot (English) is a feminine form of William. This is also a male nickname for William.

Wistrilde (French) derives from Proto–Germanic root *westrą (west) and Old High German hiltja (battle).