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 Vs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

Female names:

Veniera (T) is a feminine form of Veniero, which ultimately derives from Venus (love, sexual desire). Its root is Proto–Indo–European *wenh₁- (to love, to wish).

Verderia (I) is probably related to the Italian word verde (green).

Verderosa (I) means “green rose.”

Verdiana (I) is a shortened form of Veridiana, which itself is a form of Viridiana. They’re all feminine forms of the Roman surname Viridianus and Greek name Viridios, of possible Celtic origin. It may derive from Proto–Celtic root wird (green) or wirja (truth), combined with the prefix di- (from, has). The Latin word viridis also means “green.”

Vermilia (I) derives from the Latin word vermiculus (little worm), the origin of the English word “vermin.” This worm was used to make crimson dye, and thus the origin of another word, vermillion.

Veronese means “woman from Verona.”

Villana (I) means “feudal tenant.”

Vivinna (I)

Male names:

Venture (I) means “fortune.” This was sometimes also used as a nickname for Bonaventure.

Villanus (I) means “farmhand.”

Vincentio (I) is a form of Vincent (to conquer).

Volta (T)

The Us of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

Male names:

Ugolino (I) is a superdiminutive of Ugo, which ultimately derives from Hugo/Hugh (see below). One of the most famous stories in The Divine Comedy features the infamous Count Ugolino della Gherardesca eternally gnawing at the skull of Archbishop Ruggieri degli Ubaldini.

Urso (I) derives from the Latin word ursus (bear).

Female names:

Ubaldesca (I) is a feminine form of Ubaldo, which derives from Old High German name Hugbald. Its roots are hugu (mind, thought, spirit) and bald (bold).

Uga (I) is a feminine form of Hugo/Hugh, which derives from Ancient Germanic root hug (spirit, heart, mind).

The Ts of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

Female names:

Taudisca (T), Tedesca (I) derives from Proto–Germanic root *þiudiskaz (popular, of the people, vernacular), and coincides with the Italian word tedesca (German woman).

Temperantia (I) means “self-control, temperance, moderation, sobriety.”

Tiberia (I) is the feminine form of Latin name Tiberius (of the Tiber River).

Tomasina, Thomsina (I) is a feminine form of Thomas (twin).

Tortula (I) means “small twist.”

Toscana (T, I) means Tuscany.

Male names:

Tallarico (I) is a shortened form of Atalarico, which derives from Ancient Germanic names Athalaric and Adalric (noble power). Its roots are Old High German adal (noble) and rîcja (mighty, powerful, strong), Celtic rîg or rix (king, ruler), and Gothic reiks (king, ruler).

Tedaldo, Teodaldo (I) derives from Ancient Germanic name Theudewald. Its roots are Germanic þeud (people) and Gothic valdan (to reign).

Teramo (I) is the name of a city in the Abruzzo region, taken from the first part of its Roman name, Interamnia Praetutiorum (between the two rivers of the Praetutii). The Praetutii were an Italic tribe. This is more common as a surname in modern Italy.

Theudo (I) derives from Gothic root þiuda (people), and was both a nickname and full given name. This was also Medieval Portuguese, Medieval Polish, Medieval French, and Medieval German.

Triadano (I)