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Multilingual Dictionaries of Given Names
May 2, 2014
6:08 pm
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
May 2, 2014

Hello Onomasts:

I am looking for a dictionary that shows the various forms of first names (principally European ones) with etymologies. The only one I know of is Carlo Egger's _Nomina virorum et mulierum_, which covers about 1000 names in Italian, German, French, Spanish, and English. Does any of you know of any resources that deal with this topic either in print or on line (in monolithc list form, not by single entries returned from a database via a textbox. The only other resource I own is the _Oxford Names Companion_ (mainly English given names and surnames.

Thanks in advance for any help,


May 12, 2014
12:29 pm
Glasgow, Scotland
Forum Posts: 57
Member Since:
May 6, 2012

Hmm, good question! The main dictionary I use is the Oxford Dictionary of First Names (by Patrick Hanks, Kate Hardcastle, and Flavia Hodges), which also focuses mainly on English first names. It does however have several appendices which cover a selection of names from several languages (French, German, Irish, Italian, Russian, Scandinavian, Scottish, Spanish, and Welsh names, as well as some Chinese, Indian and Arabic names). I haven't used the Oxford Names Companion, so I'm not sure how the two compare; two of the authors were involved in both books so there may be quite a lot of overlapping material. However, as it's first names you're interested in, I would think that the Dictionary of First Names might be the more useful resource of the two.

With regard to resources which provide etymologies of European names without an Anglo-focus, I don't know much at all, so hopefully someone else has some ideas! I'll put out a call on Twitter and see if anyone responds.

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