Wayland the Smith and Whaitiri

FYI: The Old Norse, Old and Middle English, Faroese, and Icelandic letter Ð ð is pronounced like an English DH, and Þ þ is TH.

Wayland the Smith is a master blacksmith who features in Norse, Germanic, and Old English mythology and folklore. Other iterations of his name include Wieland (German), Weland (Old English), Völundr and Velentr (Old Norse), Wiolant (Old High German), and Welandaz (Proto–Germanic).

In Völundarkviða (part of the Old Norse Poetic Edda cycle), Völundr is one of three sons of the King of the Samis (the Far North of Scandinavia, and Russia’s northwest Kola Peninsula). He and his brothers, Egil and Slagfiðr, cohabit with Valkyries for nine years. When the Valkyries leave, Egil and Slagfiðr follow them and never return.

Völundr is captured by King Niðhad of Närke (now part of Sweden), hamstrung, and imprisoned on Sævarstaðir island. Niðhad takes advantage of Völundr’s most exquisite skill as a blacksmith, and forces him to forge many things. He also steals Völundr’s sword and the ring from his Valkyrie lover.

In revenge, Völundr kills the princes, and makes goblets from their skulls, a brooch from their teeth, and jewels from their eyes. He sends the goblets to Niðhad, the jewels to the Queen, and the brooch to Princess Böðvildr. When Böðvildr comes to have “her” ring mended, Völundr takes the ring back, rapes and impregnates her, and laughingly flies away on wings he’s made. He makes sure to tell Niðhad about his gruesome revenge.

In the Velents þáttr smiðs section of Þiðrekssaga, Niðhad is King of Jutland (now part of Denmark) After Niðhad graciously receives master smith Velend as a servant at court, Velend loses Niðhad’s knife and secretly makes another. When Niðhad realises this knife cuts much better than before, he asks Velend about the matter, and Velend pretends court smith Amilias made it.

Niðhad has his suspicions, and puts both smiths to a test. Velend forges a sword, and Amilias armour. Velend must use the sword to try to kill Amilias when he’s in the armour. Velend is about to start to work when he discovers his tools are gone. Suspecting chieftain Regin, Velend makes a lifelike statue of him. Niðhad then realises the truth, and gives the tools back.

Velend has many more adventures in Velents þáttr smiðs, also ending with gruesome revenge and flying away on wings.

As Welund, he appears in the Old English poem Deor. In Beowulf, he’s mentioned as Weland, the smith who made the title character’s mail shirt. He also featured in the story of Franks Casket, a whale’s bone chest with many knife-cut narrative scenes. No written form of this story has survived.

He also features in many other poems and folktales.

Wayland is derived from the Germanic elements wela (skill) and land.

Copyright Fir0002

Whaitiri is the Maori goddess personifying thunder, descended from several deities personifying lightning. She’s not exactly a kind and gentle goddess, particularly since she loves cannibalism. When she heard about a mortal named Kaitangata, she was thrilled. Since Kaitangata means “man-eater,” Whaitiri was convinced he’d be the perfect husband.

Whaitiri was very disappointed when Kaitangata turned out to be a kind, gentle person who didn’t engage in any cannibalism. Trying to prove her devotion, Whaitiri killed her favourite slave, Anonkia, and gave Kaitangata the heart and liver. Kaitangata was horrified.

Copyright Sailko

Kaitangata spent a lot of time fishing to feed his family, but most of the fish got away due to his lack of proper equipment. Whaitiri taught him how to make barbed fishing hooks, and he became much more successful. However, she quickly tired of this pescatarian diet, and caught two of Kaitangata’s relatives in a fishing net for her next meal.

Not suspecting the bones came from his own family, Kaitangata used them to make fishing hooks. Whaitiri likewise didn’t know some of their fish came from those hooks, and started going blind after eating it. The fish was infused with lapa, sacredness, from the humans.

Whaitiri was very offended to overhear Kaitangata describing her heart as cold as snow, with skin like the wind, and complaining about how dirty their kids were. She revealed her true nature, and returned to the heavens.

Whaitiri means “thunder” in Maori.

The many forms of Victor and Victoria

I’ve always quite liked the name Victoria, which has been up and down the Top 300 in the U.S. over the years. Its rank has kept fluctuating in recent years, but it’s been holding steady in the Top 40. In 2015, it was #20. It’s also enjoying popularity in Chile (#27), Belgium (#24), British Columbia, Canada (#43), New South Wales, Australia (#50), Denmark (#24), Norway (#33), Portugal (#44), and Mexico (#14).

The name Victor isn’t quite so popular in the English-speaking world, and was down to #160 in the U.S. in 2015. It’s never charted any higher than #63, in 1918. However, it’s #7 in Belgium, #5 in Denmark, #33 in Spain, and #42 in France. The spelling Viktor is #3 in Iceland, #22 in Sweden, and #39 in the Czech Republic.

Forms of Victoria:

1. Victoria is English, Spanish, Scandinavian, Romanian, and sometimes German. This name was quite uncommon in the Anglophone world until Queen Victoria took the throne and began her long reign in 1837. The variation Victòria is Catalan, and Victória is Portuguese.

2. Viktoria is German, Greek, Scandinavian, and Estonian. The variation Viktória is Hungarian and Slovak, and Viktoría is Icelandic. Hungarian nicknames include Vica, Viki, Vikta, Vicu, Viktu, Vikica, and Vityi.

3. Viktoriya is Russian, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian, with nicknames including Vika and Vita.

4. Viktorija is Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian, and Croatian. Nicknames in the four Slavic languages include Vikica, Vika, and Viki.

5. Viktorie is Czech, with the nickname Viki. The last two letters of Viktorie are said separately, not as one.

6. Vittoria is Italian.

7. Vitória is Portuguese.

8. Victoire is French.

9. Wiktoria is Polish, with the nickname Wisia.

10. Wikolia is Hawaiian.

11. Vitòri is Provençal.

12. Victoriana is an elaborated Latin and Spanish form.

13. Wikitōria is Maori.

14. Vittorja is Maltese.

15. Vittoriana is an elaborated Italian form.

16. Viktoriana is a rare elaborated Swedish form.

17. Viktorina is an elaborated Hungarian form.

18. Fieke is Frisian.

19. Buddug is sometimes used as a Welsh form of Victoria.

20. Bikutoria is Japanese.

21. Barriaght is Manx. This is a modern, not traditional, name.

22. Victorique is a rare Québécois form. When used for a woman, it’s a feminine form of Victoricus.

23. Viktoryya is Belarusian. This may also be transliterated as Viktoryja.

24. Victorine is French.

Forms of Victor:

1. Victor is English, French, Romanian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Swedish. The variation Víctor is Spanish and Catalan.

2. Viktor is Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Serbian, Icelandic, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Danish, German, Slovenian, Georgian, Greek, Estonian, Finnish, and Croatian. The Russian nicknames include Vitya and Vika, while the Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian nickname is Viki.

3. Viktoras is Lithuanian and Greek.

4. Viktors is Latvian

5. Veturían is an elaborated Aragonese form.

6. Vittore is Italian.

7. Wiktor is Polish, with the nickname Witek.

8. Bittor is Basque.

9. Gwythyr is Welsh.

10. Vítor is Portuguese and Galician.

11. Wiktoryn is Polish.

12. Wiktoriusz is also Polish.

13. Wiktorian is another alternate Polish form.

14. Vittorico is an elaborated Italian form.

15. Vittoriano is another elaborated Italian form.

16. Viktorin is a rare Russian, German, Slovenian, and Croatian form.

17. Viktorik is an alternate Croatian form.

18. Vihtori is Finnish.

19. Vihtor is also Finnish.

20. Vigtore is Greenlandic.

21. Victurnien is a rare, archaic French variation.

22. Victorin is a rare French and Romanian form.

23. Victorique is a rare Québécois form. When used for a man, it’s an alternate form of Victoric.

24. Victorien is an elaborated French form.

25. Victoric is French.

26. Victorico is Spanish.

27. Victoriano is an elaborated Spanish form.

28. Victoras is Romanian and Cypriot Greek.

29. Viktar is Belarusian.

30. Buadhach is Irish.

31. Vittorio is Italian.

32. Vittorino is yet another Italian form.

33. Victorino is an elaborated Spanish form.

The many forms of William

William has long been one of the most popular, common male names in the Anglophone world after only John. In the U.S., it’s never fallen out of the Top 20, and has been in the Top 5 during many of the years from 1880 to the present day. Its highest position has been #2, which it’s held many a time. The name is also very popular in Great Britain, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Australia, and Canada.

It’s also one of those great universal names, with equivalents in so many other languages. Here are some of the other forms:

1. Wilhelm is German and Polish.

2. Guillaume is French.

3. Vilhelm is Scandinavian, Finnish, and Hungarian.

4. Viljami is another Finnish form.

5. Vilhelmi is also Finnish. Nicknames for all three Finnish forms include Vili, Vilho, Viljo, Ville, and Jami.

6. Willem is Dutch. Nicknames include Pim, Wim, Willy, Willi, and Jelle.

7. Vilhelms is Latvian. The nickname is Vilis.

8. Vilhjálmur is Icelandic and Faroese.

9. Wöllem is Limburgish.

10. Wullem is another Limburgish form. The nickname is Wum.

11. Vilmos is Hungarian. The base nickname form is Vili.

12. Wilhelmus is the official Dutch form of William, used on birth certificates but typically not in everyday life.

13. Viliam is Slovak.

14. Wilmot is a Medieval English diminutive.

15. Vilhelmo is Esperanto. The nickname is Vilĉjo.

16. Villem is Estonian.

17. Vilhelmas is Lithuanian.

18. Viljem is Slovenian. Nicknames include Vili and Vilko.

19. Guillem is Catalan.

20. Gwilherm is Breton.

21. Guillermo is Spanish.

22. Guilherme is Portuguese.

23. Uilliam is Irish. Nicknames include Ulick, Uilleag, and the super-trendy Liam.

24. Uilleam is Scottish.

25. Gwilym is Welsh.

26. Gwilim is another Welsh form.

27. Gwillym is a third Welsh form.

28. Vilém is Czech.

29. Guglielmo is Italian.

30. Illiam is Manx.

31. Vilim is Croatian. The base nickname is Vilko.

32. Wiremu is Maori.

33. Guildhelm is Medieval Dutch.

34. Guilhem is Occitan and Gascon.

35. Guillen is Gascon, Aragonese, and Medieval Spanish.

36. Guillerme is Galician.

37. Ouiliam is Greek.

38. Uiliam is a rare Brazilian–Portuguese form.

39. Uilyam is Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Turkish.

40. Uiriamu is Japanese.

41. Vilgelm is Russian.

42. Vilhjalmr is Old Norse.

43. Vîliarme is Greenlandic.

44. Viliami is Tongan.

45. Vilius is Lithuanian.

46. Viljam is Swedish and Faroese.

47. Villiam is Scandinavian and Faroese.

48. Viļums is a rare Latvian form.

49. Wella is Cornish.

50. Wëllem is another Limburgish form.

51. Wiliama is Hawaiian.

52. Velvel is Yiddish. Though the name truly means “wolf,” it’s often used as a Yiddish equivalent of William.

Names for the discerning arachnophile

If you’re a passionate arachnophile like I am, you may have considered giving either your child or your pet tarantula a spider-themed name. Everyone knows the Greek name Arachne, but there are a lot of other names with an arachnid flavour to consider. I was delighted to discover not only some new-to-me names whose meanings relate to spiders, but also to discover a number of spider genera names could work as personal names too.

Male:

Anansi means “spider” in Akan, a Central Tano language spoken in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Benin. This is the name of a popular folklore character who often assumes the form of a spider.

Araneus is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Ariamnes is a type of cobweb spider.

Atrax is a type of venomous spider.

Corryn means “spider” in Welsh.

Dolomedes is a type of large spider, resembling a wolf spider. The word means “deceitful, wily” in Greek.

Eresus is a type of velvet spider.

Hasarius is a type of jumping spider.

Menemerus is another type of jumping spider.

Níngut can mean “spiderweb” in Greenlandic.

Sicarius is a desert spider.

Simalio is a type of sac spider.

Tartarus is a cave-dwelling spider. The name comes from a place in the Greek underworld, even lower than Hades. This was also the name of a primordial deity.

Tenedos is a type of ant spider.

Thanatus is a type of false crab spider. This is also the Latinized spelling of Thanatos, the Greek god of Death.

Theridion is a type of tangle-web spider.

Tibellus is a type of slender crab spider.

Wabasso is a type of sheet-weaving spider.

Zelotes is a type of ground spider.

Zodarion is a type of ant-eating spider.

Zosis is a type of non-venomous spider.

Female:

Acacesia is a type of orb-weaver spider.

Admestina is a type of jumping spider.

Aganippe is a type of spider which resembles a tarantula, and the name of several women in Greek mythology. The name means “gentle horse” in Greek.

Agelena is a type of spider which traps its prey by weaving entangled, non-sticky funnel webs.

Agyneta is a type of sheet-weaver spider.

Allocosa is a type of wolf spider.

Alopecosa is another type of wolf spider.

Andasta is a type of ray spider.

Arania means “spider” in Persian.

Araniella is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Anansia is the feminine form of Anansi.

Archaea is an extinct type of assassin spider.

Arctosa is a type of wolf spider.

Argiope is a type of spider with a very strikingly-coloured abdomen. The name means “silver-faced” in Greek.

Artema is a type of cellar spider.

Bagheera is a type of jumping spider.

Bellota is another type of jumping spider.

Bredana is also a jumping spider.

Bromella is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Camillina is a type of ground spider.

Cantuaria is a large spider which resembles a tarantula.

Carniella is a type of tangle web spider.

Cataxia is a large spider resembling a tarantula.

Catumiri is a type of tarantula. I could also see this name working on a boy or a male tarantula.

Cerocida is a type of spider found only in the tropics of South America.

Cesonia is a type of ground spider.

Cicurina is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Clubiona is a type of leafcurling sac spider.

Colima is a Mexican-only ant spider.

Colopea is a type of spider which produces ecribellate silk.

Dalmasula is a type of goblin spider.

Dasumia is a type of woodlouse-hunting spider.

Dictyna is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Diplura is a type of funnel-web tarantula.

Dysdera is a type of woodlouse hunting spider.

Erigone is a type of fanged, carnivorous spider.

Eriophora is a type of orb-weaving spider. The word means “to carry wool” in Greek.

Eris is a type of jumping spider. This was also the name of the Greek goddess of discord (which is also the meaning of the name).

Evarcha is a type of jumping spider.

Filistata is a type of carnivorous, fanged spider.

Galeosoma is a large spider resembling a tarantula.

Genysa is another large spider resembling a tarantula.

Ghelna is a type of jumping spider.

Gladicosa is a type of wolf spider.

Gossamer is the fine silk spiderlings use when they balloon through the air. This is also a very sheer, light, gauzy fabric.

Hentzia is a type of jumping spider.

Hersilia is a type of long-spinnered bark spider.

Hexura is a type of sheet funnel-web spider.

Kaira is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Larinia is another type of orb-weaving spider.

Lutica is a type of ant spider.

Maevia is a type of jumping spider.

Mangora is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Marpissa is a type of jumping spider.

Metellina is a type of long-jawed orb-weaving spider.

Micaria is a type of ground spider.

Moneta is a type of tangle-web spider.

Nagaina is a type of jumping spider, and a cobra in Rudyard Kipling’s famous story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

Neonella is a type of jumping spider. This is very similar to the old Russian name Neonila.

Nephila is a type of golden silk orb-weaving spider. The name means “fond of spinning” in Greek.

Palfuria is a type of ant spider.

Parameta is a type of long-jawed orb-weaving spider.

Pardosa is a type of wolf spider.

Pelegrina is a type of jumping spider. This is also the name of a famous pearl, with a disputed etymology.

Pirata is a type of wolf spider.

Portia is a type of jumping spider. This name was famously invented by Shakespeare for The Merchant of Venice, based on the Latin name Porcia (pig).

Sarinda is an ant-like jumping spider. This is also a traditional Indian instrument.

Synema is a type of crab spider.

Talavera is a type of jumping spider.

Tangata is a type of six-eyed spider.

Tegenaria is a type of funnel-web spider.

Telema is a type of fanged spider.

Theraphosa is a type of tarantula.

Theridula is a type of cobweb spider.

Thiodina is a type of jumping spider.

Ummidia is a type of trapdoor spider.

Ursa is a type of orb-weaving spider. The name means “bear” in Latin.

Wirada is a small, dark brown spider.

Zaitunia is a type of crevice-weaving spider.

Zilla is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Wolf names

Like the raven, the wolf too is an animal many people have spooky Halloween associations regarding. There are so many lovely wolf names, though almost all of them are male. Many of these names have Old Germanic or Anglo–Saxon roots.

Female:

Adolfa is a German and Dutch name derived from the Old Germanic name Adalwolf, means “noble wolf.” While the male form of this name is obviously one of the most taboo names in the Western world, the feminine form seems slightly more acceptable. This could also be used as a middle name if you want to honor an Adolf/Adolph in your family tree, but are off-put by using it as a forename. Potential nickname are Olfie, Ollie, Dolly, and Addie.

Ylva means “wolf” in the Scandinavian languages. (I honestly don’t understand why the term “she-wolf” is still used in the 21st century! It’s akin to terms like “a lady doctor” and “authoress.”)

Male:

Aatto, or Aatu, is the Finnish form of Adolf, which would doubtless be much more palatable to the vast majority of folks who find Adolf beyond the pale of onomastic redemption. The nickname form is Atte.

Adalwolf, the original form of Adolf, means “noble wolf.” This is a great choice if you really want to name your baby after an Adolf in your family who was born before the name became taboo.

Agilulf roughly means “blade wolf” in Ancient Germanic. This was the name of a 6th century king of the Lombards, who features in one of my favoritest Decameron stories. Agilulf discovers his wife, Queen Teudelinga, was tricked into sleeping with another man (a groom), but since the queen doesn’t suspect she was tricked, he says nothing.

Agilulf shows a lot of restraint and wisdom in dealing with the situation, and when the guilty party outsmarts him at his own game, Agilulf lets the matter drop with a cryptic warning to his servants. He’s determined to not acquire great shame at the expense of trivial revenge.

Arnulf is an Ancient Germanic name derived from the elements arn (eagle) and wulf (wolf).

Athaulf is an Ancient Germanic name derived from the elements atta (father) and wulf.

Beowulf may mean “bee wolf” in Anglo–Saxon.

Conan is an Irish name of Gaelic origin, which means “little wolf” or “little hound.”

Conor is an Anglicized form of Conchobhar, an Irish name of Gaelic origin, which means “wolf-lover” or “dog-lover.”

Conrí means “wolf king” in Irish Gaelic.

Cuán means “little wolf” or “little hound” in Irish.

Eadwulf is an Anglo–Saxon name derived from the elements ead (fortune, wealth) and wulf (wolf). It fell out of use after the Norman invasion and occupation.

Eardwulf is an Angli–Saxon name derived from the elements eard (land) and wulf.

Faolán means “little wolf” in Irish.

Gerulf is an Ancient Germanic name derived from the elements ger (spear) and wulf.

Gurgen is an Armenian and Georgian name meaning “little wolf.”

Ingolf is a Scandinavian and German name derived from the Old Norse Ingólfr, which is composed of the elements Ing (a Germanic god) and úlfr (wolf).

Ivaylo is a Bulgarian name which may be derived from the Old Bulgar name which meant “wolf.”

Loup is the French form of the Latin name Lupus, which means “wolf.” The Spanish form is Lope.

Lowell is an English name taken from the Norman French nickname louelle, “little wolf.”

Ludolf is a German and Dutch name derived from the Ancient Germanic Hludwolf, “famous wolf.”

Lyall is an English name taken from a Scottish surname, which in turn was derived from the Old Norse Liulfr, and thus ultimately related to the word úlfr (wolf).

Lycurgus is the Latinized form of the Greek Lykourgos, derived from the elements lykos (wolf) and ergon (work, deed).

Lycus is the Latinized form of the Greek Lykos (wolf).

Randolph, or Randolf, is an English name taken from the Ancient Germanic elements rand (rim [of a shield]) and wulf. The Ancient Germanic form is Randulf; the Scottish forms are Ranulf and Randulph; and the Ancient Scandinavian form is Randúlfr.

Rádúlfr roughly means “wolf counsel” in Ancient Scandinavian.

Rudolph means “famous wolf” in Ancient Germanic. (See my previous post, “All About the Name Rudolph!,” for more details.)

Sandalio is the Spanish form of the Latin Sandalius, which in turn comes from the Gothic Sandulf and means “true wolf.”

Ulf is a Scandinavian name derived from the Old Norse Úlfr, “wolf.”

Vakhtang is a Georgian name derived from the Old Persian varka-tanu, “wolf-bodied.”

Valko means “wolf” in Bulgarian.

Varg is a Norwegian name which means “wolf” in Old Norse.

Velvel means “wolf” in Yiddish, and is frequently used as a form of William. If my Samuel ever exists in reality and not just fantasy, his Hebrew name will be Shmuel Velvel.

Vuk means “wolf” in Serbian. A related name is Vukašin.

Wolf is English and German.

Wolfgang means “wolf path” in German.

Wolfram (one of my favoritest male names!) comes from the Germanic elements wulf and hramn (raven).

Wulfnod is an Anglo–Saxon name roughly meaning “daring wolf.”

Wulfric is an Anglo–Saxon name meaning “wolf power.” The Middle English form is Ulric, not to be confused with the German, Scandinavian, Czech, Slovenian, and Slovakian name Ulrich/Ulrik/Oldrich/Urh.

Wulfsige is an Anglo–Saxon name meaning “wolf victory.”

Wulfstan is an Anglo–Saxon name meaning “wolf stone.”

Zev means “wolf” in Hebrew. Other forms are Ze’ev and Zeevie.