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15 Names From the Middle Ages Making a Comeback in the 21st Century

15 Names From the Middle Ages Making a Comeback in the 21st Century

15-names-from-the-middle-ages-in-2024

In the Middle Ages (500 AD to 1500 AD), names held great significance and often reflected the culture, history, and social norms of the period. What makes names from this era interesting is their rich historical background and the sense of timelessness they bring. These names have a certain charm and uniqueness that stands out in a modern context.

Names from the Middle Ages have been gaining popularity in recent years. Parents are increasingly looking for distinctive names that carry a sense of tradition and heritage. Medieval names offer a connection to a bygone era and evoke a sense of depth and antiquity. The rise of fantasy literature, movies, and television series set in medieval-inspired worlds has sparked a renewed interest in medieval names.

Here’s a list of 15 names from the Middle Ages that are making a comeback in the 21st century, their meanings, and some influential figures associated with each name:

Aveline

  • Meaning: Aveline means “hazelnut” or “little bird.”
  • Era of Prominence: Aveline was commonly used as a feminine name in the Middle Ages, particularly during the 12th to 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Aveline de Forz, also known as Aveline de Redvers, was a prominent figure during the Middle Ages. She was a powerful noblewoman and the Countess of Devon, known for her shrewd political acumen and unwavering determination. Aveline played a key role in managing her family’s estates, negotiating alliances, and defending their territories, leaving a lasting legacy of strength and resilience.
  • Learn more about Aveline de Forz

Percival

  • Meaning: Percival is derived from the Old French name “Perceval,” which means “pierce the valley.”
  • Era of Prominence: Percival was primarily used as a masculine name in the Middle Ages, particularly during the 12th and 13th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Sir Percival was a legendary Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legends. Known for his quest for the Holy Grail, Percival’s noble character, chivalry, and determination popularized the name. Many parents began naming their sons Percival in hopes that they would embody the virtues and heroism associated with this legendary knight.
  • Learn more about Percival

Guinevere

  • Meaning: Guinevere means “white phantom” or “white wave.”
  • Era of Prominence: Guinevere was predominantly used as a feminine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Queen Guinevere was the wife of King Arthur in Arthurian legends. Known for her beauty, love affair with Sir Lancelot, and her role in the downfall of Camelot, Guinevere’s complex and intriguing story made her name widely known and popular. Many girls were named Guinevere as a nod to the romantic and legendary elements associated with this iconic queen.
  • Learn more about Guinevere

Leopold

  • Meaning: Leopold means “bold people” or “brave people.”
  • Era of Prominence: Leopold was primarily used as a masculine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 11th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Leopold III, also known as Saint Leopold of Austria, was a medieval ruler and a patron saint of Austria. He was renowned for his piety, justice, and dedication to his people. Leopold’s fair and benevolent rule made him a beloved figure, and the name Leopold gained popularity as a symbol of noble leadership and courage.
  • Learn more about Leopold III

Rosalind

  • Meaning: Rosalind is derived from the Germanic elements “hros,” meaning “horse,” and “lind,” meaning “soft” or “tender.”
  • Era of Prominence: Rosalind was primarily used as a feminine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Rosalind Franklin, although not from the medieval period, was a prominent scientist in the 20th century. Her groundbreaking work on X-ray crystallography led to the discovery of the structure of DNA. Despite her untimely death, Rosalind Franklin’s contributions to science and her pioneering spirit revived interest in the name Rosalind, as parents admired her intelligence and determination.
  • Learn more about Roselind Franklin

Cedric

  • Meaning: Cedric is derived from the Old English name “Cerdic,” which possibly means “ruler” or “war leader.”
  • Era of Prominence: Cedric was predominantly used as a masculine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 10th to the 12th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Cedric of Wessex, also known as Cedric the Saxon, was a legendary figure from the Middle Ages. He was a noble Saxon warrior and leader who played a significant role in the resistance against the Norman conquest of England. Cedric’s unwavering loyalty to his people and his valiant efforts to defend Saxon traditions and independence made him a revered figure in English folklore and a symbol of resistance against oppression.
  • Learn more about Cedric of Wessex

Seraphina

  • Meaning: Seraphina means “fiery ones” or “burning ones.”
  • Era of Prominence: Seraphina was primarily used as a feminine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Seraphina Pekkala is a character from Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy. She is a witch queen with the ability to travel between worlds. Seraphina’s wisdom, grace, and powerful presence made her an influential character, and her name gained popularity as parents were drawn to its ethereal and mystical qualities.
  • Learn more about Serafina Pekkala (His Dark Materials)

Gideon

  • Meaning: Gideon means “mighty warrior” or “hewer” (one who cuts or shapes).
  • Era of Prominence: Gideon was primarily used as a masculine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Gideon was a biblical figure known for his bravery and leadership. He led the Israelites to victory against their oppressors, the Midianites, with only a small army. Gideon’s courage and triumph against all odds popularized the name, and it continues to be chosen by parents who admire qualities of strength and resilience.
  • Learn more about Gideon

Isolde

  • Meaning: Isolde means “beautiful” or “fair lady.”
  • Era of Prominence: Isolde was predominantly used as a feminine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Isolde of Ireland, also known as Iseult, is a tragic figure from medieval Arthurian legends. She is renowned for her passionate love affair with Sir Tristan, which led to a series of unfortunate events. Isolde’s tale of forbidden love and heartbreak captured the imagination of many, making her name popular as a symbol of love, beauty, and tragic romance.
  • Learn more about Isolde (Iseult)

Evander

  • Meaning: Evander is derived from the Greek name “Euandros,” meaning “good man” or “good warrior.”
  • Era of Prominence: Evander was primarily used as a masculine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 11th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Evander was a legendary figure in Greek mythology and a founder of the ancient city of Pallantium. He was known for his wisdom, leadership, and contributions to the arts and sciences. Evander’s esteemed reputation and positive qualities made the name appealing to parents seeking a name associated with intelligence and virtuous qualities.
  • Learn more about Evander of Pallantium

Lavinia

  • Meaning: Lavinia’s exact meaning is uncertain, but it is believed to have Etruscan origins and may relate to the Latin word “lavis,” meaning “purity” or “woman of Rome.”
  • Era of Prominence: Lavinia was predominantly used as a feminine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 11th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Lavinia is a character in Virgil’s epic poem, the “Aeneid.” She is the daughter of King Latinus and becomes the wife of the Trojan hero Aeneas. Lavinia’s character symbolizes loyalty, strength, and determination, and her name gained popularity as a choice that reflects grace, beauty, and classical roots.
  • Learn more about Lavinia

Cyprian

  • Meaning: Cyprian means “from Cyprus” or “of the island of Cyprus.”
  • Era of Prominence: Cyprian was primarily used as a masculine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Saint Cyprian was an influential Christian bishop and martyr in the 3rd century. He was known for his eloquence and writings on theology and morality. Cyprian’s strong faith and dedication to his beliefs made his name widely recognized and esteemed, and it continued to be chosen as a name associated with religious devotion.
  • Learn more about St. Cyprian

Amara

  • Meaning: Amara means “eternal” or “unfading.”
  • Era of Prominence: Amara was primarily used as a feminine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 11th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Amara La Negra, born as Dana Danelys De Los Santos, is a renowned Afro-Latina singer, actress, and television personality. Rising to fame through her appearances on reality TV shows, Amara La Negra became an influential figure in advocating for Afro-Latino representation in the entertainment industry. Her talent, charisma, and commitment to embracing her cultural identity have played a significant role in popularizing the name Amara and inspiring parents to choose it for their children as a symbol of strength, diversity, and artistic expression.
  • Learn more about Amara La Negra

Eamon

  • Meaning: Eamon is derived from the Irish name “Éamonn,” which means “guardian” or “protector.”
  • Era of Prominence: Eamon was primarily used as a masculine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 12th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Eamon de Valera was an influential political figure in Ireland during the 20th century. As one of the key leaders in the Irish struggle for independence, Eamon de Valera’s strong leadership and dedication to his country revived interest in the name Eamon, symbolizing resilience, patriotism, and strength.
  • Learn more about Eamon De Valera

Rowena

  • Meaning: Rowena’s exact meaning is uncertain, but it is believed to have Germanic origins and may mean “fame” or “joyful.”
  • Era of Prominence: Rowena was predominantly used as a feminine name in the Middle Ages, particularly from the 11th to the 14th centuries.
  • Influential figure: Rowena Ravenclaw is a character from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. She was one of the founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, known for her intelligence and wisdom. Rowena’s role in the magical world and her association with knowledge and learning brought attention to the name Rowena, making it popular among fans of the series who appreciated its magical and scholarly connotations.
  • Learn more about Rowena Ravenclaw (Harry Potter)

Explore and Find the Ideal Name for Your Little One

These names have this cool vintage vibe that sets them apart in today’s world. Just remember to consider things like how easy it is to pronounce, if it matches your cultural background, and whether it might remind people of fictional characters or historical figures.

If you’re intrigued by the Middle Ages and want to dive deeper into that fascinating time, “The History of the Medieval World – From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade” is a book worth checking out. It takes you on a captivating journey, unveiling the culture, events, and remarkable people that defined that era. It’s an enjoyable read that might spark your imagination and help you discover the perfect name that captures the spirit of the medieval world for your little one.

Bonus: Fun for the Whole Family

For an immersive experience that brings the Middle Ages to life, don’t sleep on the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. It’s family friendly, with epic jousting, an authentic medieval feast, and a mind-blowing show that’ll have you rooting like you’re at a college ball game. Your kids will never forget this trip!

Posted by Alex Casey in Fatherhood, 0 comments