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original idea of Victor Hugo, that in his Melkarth in Hannibal, Hamilkar; the “Misérables” one of the dramatis per- name of Hannah (which could also be sonce has no name; he has only a nick- translated Grace), we find also in the name, “Claque-sous.” That no-name Punic name of Anna, Dido's sister. characterizes the whole man.
As synonyms, we may consider the bibBut to return to what we said in the lical names of Zabdiel, Zebadiah, Napremises about John and Bridget As thaniel, Jonathan, Mattithiah (Mattawe certainly do not mean to oflend our thiah), Mattaniah, and Nethaniah, and friend John Smith, nor our faithful in the abbreviated forms Nathan and Bridget, we must give an explanation. Mattan—which all mean, Given by John is as good a prefix as Romeo, and God, Gift of God, etc. The same idea, even much better; but it is no name. but in connection with the names of The other day we posted a letter to our heathen gods, is expressed in the Perfriend, “Mr. John Smith, in New York." sian name Mithridates (Given by Mithra He did not receive it. He has too –occurring also in the book of Ezra), many namesakes. John, of course, is a in the Greek names Isidor (Gift of Isis), proper name, but it is too common. It Artemidorus, Diodorus, Theodorus, and is a common proper name.
It is even
Dorothea. used as a common name, as the name of So we find throughout antiquity a a species. In Germany, “Johann” is religious sentiment expressed in most the name they call any servant with, of the proper names. Parallel to the and so, in Holland, “ Jan!” is equal to Hebrew names of Obadiah, Abdeel, " Waiter !” John, Jean, and Hans are, Abdiel (Servant of God), we find a besides, used in rather a contemptible Tyrian king, Abdalonymus (Servant of way.
the Gods), and the Greek name Hermo“ But how so?" our friend John dulos, Servant of Mercury. The Arabian Smith would ask us. Well, it is nearly names are nearer to the Hebrew, both the same thing as with Alexander. The in form and sense. So are the Mobamwide diffusion and circulation of this medan names Abdallah, Abdorrahman, name clates from the name of John the Abdelkader, Abdulmedjid, Abdulaziz, Baptist--as we find the whole name in meaning Servant of God, of the Merthe French Jean-Baptiste, corrupted in ful, of the Mighty, of the Glorious, the German Schambattist, and the latter of the Powerful—which are some of part in the Italian Battista. The ori- the ninety-nine attributive names of ginal name of the Baptist was not John, God. but the Hebrew (and Aramaic) word The Arabians who lived before MoJochanan. As all those words have in hammed had such names as: Servant the original a very large and compre- of the Sun, Servant of Allath (a goddess hensive sense, and as on the other side among the heathen Arabians). It is the constituents of the composed words remarkable that the later Mohammeare connected in rather a loose way, dans, in copying the old poems where Jo-chanan could be rendered Favored- those names occur, sometimes changed by-the-Lord-Graciously donated by the them. Instead of Abdallath (Servant Lord, Given by the Lord, God was of Allath), they would write down the Propitious, God's Mercy. Variations of nearly like-sounding name of Abdalthe same name we find in the biblical lah. One constituent of the names names Hanniel (Channiel), Hananiah, Obadiah, Abdallah, and Abdailath, we or Ananias, Hananeel, and in the abbre find, again, in the Babylonian name viated forms Hanan, Hanun, Hanani, Abed-nego. Nebuchadnezzar had that Hannah (in the N. T. Joanna). The name given to Azariah, for the same same word chanan, but in connection reason that he changed the name of with the Syrian god Hadad, we find in Daniel to that of Belteshazzar. It was the biblical name Henadad; connect- done in order to nationalize-or rather ed with the Phænician gods Baal and to Babylonize--all the four throughout, by giving them Chaldean names, bear- Josephus assert), and seems to be idening the names of the gods Bel and Nego tical with the word Mosis in Thutor Nebo. As the religious idea forms mosis, Amosis, Harmôs, and other an inherent part of so many names, the Egyptian names. change of religion generally accompa
We see that the name of our friend nies the change of names.
John has had nearly the same fate as Most of those compound names could many instruments, spices, plants, fruits, be—and many of them have been— and other good things which were translated. The Germán name of Gott- brought from the Orient into the Occischalk is the same as the above-men- dent, and with them their Oriental tioned names, composed of “God” and names, which they still keep through“ Servant" (the latter sense is obsolete, out the world. John is an imported but is yet employed in the English name. But one might not at the first in“ Marshal ").
The name Adeodatus, stant think that the Hebrew Jochanan, which first occurs in the Confessions of the Arabian Honcin, the Spanish Juan, St. Augustine, has—the same as the the Italian Giovanni, the Hungarian French Dieu-donné, the Slavonic Boh- János, the Russian Joan, are all near dan or Bogdan, and the Italian Deo relatives to John. dat—the same meaning as Nathaniel. But-as we did to John—we must The German Gottfried (whence French make the amende honorable to Bridget. Godefroi, Geoffroi), the Slavonic Bogu- Bridget-or rather Brighit, as the name mil (Bohumil), and some more, might be originally sounds—is as nice a name as considered as the translation of Shelu- Juliet, and even more poetical and miel (God's Peace), the head of the more beautiful. But John and Brighit tribe of Simeon, and the aboriginal an- are as distant from each other as the cestor of Peter Schlemihl. This name east from the west, and even much more. occurs only once, but the main part of Brighit is of Celtic origin. Brighid was it, “Peace”-although the Latin Salus the name of a goddess, the goddess of would be a better translation
wisdom and poetry, a kind of female in the name of Solomon, Absalom, Apollo. They say that the root of this Sulamith, and in the Arabic Zuleima. and other words is bri, which means In the same way is Benedictus—a word strength, and is the same as that found of later origin, not occurring in classic in the surnames O'Brien, Bryan, Bryant, Latin-the translation of the biblical Chateaubriand, etc. “ They say”-for, Baruch (Blessed), and Voltaire makes a indeed, what distinguishes the Celtic great blunder by saying (in his Diction- names from the others is their extreme naire Philosophique) that Spinoza's first obscurity. In hearing all those wild name was Baruch and not Benedictus. and strange-sounding names, the real Especially among the Jews we find, meaning of which is so often a punctum from ancient times, persons with two litis, one might fancy himself in the names, of different languages, but both enchanted forest of Merlin, and that all of nearly the same signification,
the old heroes, changed into birds, But as the original name always loses were singing unintelligibly their former some of its prestige by the translation, names. Only the voice of Merlin rewhich is generally more or less clumsy, mains-says the old legend. We hear and as people were not always able to the voice, but we don't understand it. translate the names, most of them were We think of that parrot, which, as A. left in their primitive form, but altered von Humboldt tells us, was the only surmore or less by passing from one tongue viving being of a once mighty tribe into another. It is perhaps only the
It is perhaps only the and language, whose remains were the name of Moscs which in its changed few words which the bird uttered, but form resembles more its original than which no one could understand. Un. the Hebrew word. The name of Moses happy fate! There was a time when is of Egyptian origin (as also Philo and the Songs of Ossian were knowe
the old song,
throughout Europe; in Germany they who will certainly awake some day-were, besides, known through the me- is not throughout mythical. Did we dium of Göthe's " Werther." As
every not see the giant Finn rise from his one read this book, every one knew gigantic tomb Cilltin, and around him something about Ossian. But this the equally gigantic and valiant Feens, fata morgana is of Celtic origin. It otherwise called Fenians? It sounds was an illusion, and Macpherson was- like a strange prophecy when it says in for the most part—the author. An occurrence like that is injurious to a “ Alas! though Patrick from Rome saith, whole literature, whose worst enemy is
That the Fenians surely live not, the once-awakened suspicion.
I deem not that his speech is true,
And my delight is not in the meaning of his There is no lack of explanation for
Pealms." the Celtic names and nouns. There is
Brigitta is one of the few Celtic names only too much of it. One would derive which are to be found in other Eurofrom the Celtic the names of all rivers pean countries, especially in Germany, and mountains in the world. Another, where it occurs in various forms. One despairing to find the root of a French of those recalls the name of Bertha, and or German word, says it is of Celtic with this name we are on Teutonic origin. Another tries, in an old-fash- ground, which is at the same time less ioned way, to combine the remains of obscure than that of the Celts. The Celtic mythology with biblical names female names--and in what follows we --rather hard work. There is room are to speak only about female names— for the wildest hypotheses. It is as if of the Teutonic nations and the names the old heroes, in order to punish the of the various goddesses are intimately disturber of their peaceful rest, ap- connected and illustrate each other. peared to him as so many Ignes Fatui, Berta, Berchta, the Bright (it is froni vexing him in turn.
the same root as the English “ bright") The Celtic names have, besides, more is a mythological being, whose name, than any other, been softened and besides, is retained in the name of a adapted to different tongues. Cordelia city, Berchtesgaden, and in that of a day -like her father's name, Lear—is of and of a certain cake.* The two-lastCeltic origin, but their names were Llyr mentioned have been blended with Chrisand Creirdyddlyd. We love Cordelia, tian festivals and ceremonies, as has but we love still more Creirdyddlyd; been done with Easter and many other and out of love for Creirdyddlyd one days and customs. As we find the should feel inclined to love the whole heathen gods undergoing many metaCeltic race, at least the fair portion of morphoses and changing names and it. It is exactly the wild, mysterious qualities with each other, so is Berta or sound which gives a charm to all those Berabta another form of the goddess names. And lovely and beautiful they Freya; and again she appears in later are. This could be proved by the story times as Hulda, and in different fairyof Kilhwoh, son of Kilydd, prince of forms. The idea connected with this Kelyddon, who hearing one day pro- name is of a benignant and peaceful nounced the name of Olwen, daughter character, as we find the same expressed of Yspaddaden Penkawr, fell in love in the old female names of Fridihilde, with her—although he had never seen Friderada, Fredegunde. The old Gerher-and went out, in order first to man Frid conveys at the same time the find her, and then to marry her, if pos- notion of protection; so is Fridhofsible.
now church-yard-the ancient word for Les Dieux s'en vont! The old names asylum. But the prevailing idea is that are gone. But who knows? The Ger- of peace, as may be seen from the man legend of Kaiser Barbarossa (which beautiful Anglo-Saxon denomination of occurs in a similar way in Irish tales), -who sleeps under the Kyffhäuser, but * A relic of a heathen sacrificial rito.
women, “Fridowebban,” i. e., peace- field, kissed those who were slain in weaving. But it is a peculiarity of the battle, and brought them to Walhalla. Teutonic female names that the greater The remembrance of that we have in part of them resound like the names the names where Run and Wal occur, of the men—with war and strife and as Gudrun, Runbilt, Walantrad. The battle. If we rally around us those name Regina bas nothing to do with names, which for the most part are dis- the Latin word; it signifies the advispersed in old and forgotten books, we ing--as also Regintrat. The names of are transplanted--as by the magical Irmina, Irmengard, recall the German mantle of Faust-into quite another god of war. world and long-gone times. We are In connection with the above we in one of the vast oak forests; we hear . notice another peculiarity. We find the voice of Wuotan and Thor rustling throughout all nations names of anithrough the leaves and thundering mals given to men. As nearly every through the storm. We see those gigan- animal of the higher order represents tic men, always at war with men as some predominating quality, calling a well as with the bear, the boar, and the man by the name of one of them exwolf, whose skins--as so many spolia presses an opinion concerning him. opima-cover their mighty shoulders. Especially the proud birds and beasts Some of the names point even to a still of prey had, since immemorial times, the higher antiquity. And the female ' honor of serving as names, epithets, and names bear the same stamp. We find glorifying emblems. Only the name of the names Haduwic (later Hedwig), a our faithful dog--we suppose in consecompound of two synonyms for war; quence
of its extreme submissivenessthe victory we find in Sigilint, the is used to express the deepest humilityBurning or Shining (Anglo-Sax. Beor- as in the case of the Ceylonese, who, nan, whence “ brown "); armor we find being asked by the king how many in Brunhilde, the boldness (Old Ger- children he had, answered: “Your man, balt) in Baldhilde, the army (heri, majesty's dog has three young ones Anglo-Sax. here, still existing in Herald) or to insult a person. Homer gives us in Herilint; the word expressing might a picture of the goddesses quarrelling and dominion, “rich, reich” (Anglo-Sax. and giving each other the epitheton ric, Eng. rich, the meaning of wealthy ornans of Dog. But it is refreshing to is secondary), which we find in so many see that men are not always ungrateful, names, is again in the female pame of and that the dog too has his friends. Richlint, Richilt.
In the northern languages occurs the It is a mysterious awe which hallows female name Hyndla (female hound). the Teutonic women and their names. Among the Persians the dog stood in The wives of the warriors not only ac- high veneration. Herodotus tells us companied them into the battle, encour- that the name of Cyrus' foster-mother aging the fighting and greeting the meant “dog,” and Xenophon mentions victorious, but the women understood another Persian lady with this name. the mystery of the Runes, and, as Julius Especially among the Celtic nations one Cæsar tells us, they were consulted as finds expressed in tales and poemsto whether a battle was to be fought or sometimes very touchingly - a great not; they were the wizards, the “ wise- love for the animals; and so we find acres" in the old honorary sense of the not only single dogs with their proper word. Tacitus tells us that the German names, but nearly the same word as women-like the virgin Veleda-were Cyno, by which word Herodotus renconsidered as messengers of the gods, ders the Persian name. We find the and sometimes even as goddesses them- meaning "dog," in the names comselves. And so we find the women posed with Con, as Conghal and several deified as Walkyres, who, sent out by others. Also Can della Scala, Lord of Wuotan (Odin), hovered over the battle- Verona, is interpreted by Dante as Dog, but, as it seems, only in an allegoric feminine name, as in Swanhvit (Swan way.
white). The comparison with a swan Even the donkey has his friends. A —the bird of Venus—is so natural, that cery learned man, the renowned Gess- it is not surprising to find its name also ner, has written a little essay :( Corolla- as epithet. Edith, surnamed the Swanrium de Antiqua Honestate Asinorum) in necked (cognomento Swanes-hals, says the order to do honor to donkeys. He tells Latin Chronicle), who found the corpse us that the Kalif Merwan II. had the of King Harold on the battle-field, is epithet, “ the Donkey of Mesopotamia.” known to every one who has read Now, in the East the donkey is not a Thierry's “History of the Norman Con donkey, but rather a lively and beauti- quest," or Heine's beautiful poem, “ The ful animal. It is therefore no wonder Battle-field of Hastings." that, in the Bible, we meet with Hamor Another beautiful name is that of (ass) as a man's name, and Issachar is Nanna-also the name of the wife of the compared to an ass. Hamor is a Hivite; lovely god Baldur-which is said to and the other biblical names taken from signify Blossom. This name, like the animals also belong to Gentile nations, mythological name of Else and many as Nachasch (snake); Zeeb (wolf), Oreb other names, was afterwards blended (raven), Arioch (great lion, or resem- with a Christian name of Semitic origin, bling the lion), Arisai (about the same). that of Anna. The only indigenous name of this sort The same signification, but more disseems to be that of Othniel, which, like tinct, we find in the Greek name Anthe Arabian and Persian epithets Asa- thusa, the Blossoming. And this sugdullah and Schiri-Ghoda, signifies God's gests to us another peculiarity of femilion,
nine names in general. Those languages The same custom has prevailed since which have different genders for the among many nations. Among the Ger- different nouns, give generally to the mans we find especially the wolf and feminines a softer termination, ending the raven in many names, as those ani- them with a vowel. In the same way mals were considered as holy. Two we find that the feminine proper names wolves, Freki and Geri, are Odin's are not only mild and gentle, but condogs, and two ravens, Huginn and veying with them the idea of someMuninn (Thinking and Remembering), thing pleasant and agreeable. As Hamare on his shoulders, telling him every let's mother says, “Sweets to the sweet," thing they see and hear — and their so the names of flowers, jewels, and lovenames are of good foreboding.
ly things are given to the “ female inWild animals are also to be found fants.” In the Code of the Hindoos, in the names of women. We find the the law-book of Menu, very detailed wolf in Wulfhilda (wolf-strife), the rules are laid down, to be observed in raven in Berht-rama (bright raven), the the choice of names to be given, or even bear in Ellenbirin (strong bear), the of those of women to be married, on the boar in Ebba, which is the female form ground that he who marries a person of Ebbo, the abbreviation of Eberhard marries her name with her. It is said, (composed of Eber, boar, and hard, for instance, “ The names of women hardy). The serpent, which we see should be soft, auspicious, ending in winding through the whole of antiquity long vowels, captivating the fancy. as a symbolic animal, is to be found in Let him (the Brahmin) choose a girl female names--and only in female who has an agreeable name, who walks names--composed with “ Lint," as Sig- gracefully like a phenicopter, or like a lint, Reginlint. The swan, whose name young elephant.” But even among ---Cycnus—appears among Greeks and those nations where there is no law of Romans as a masculine proper name- that sort, we find the custom general of is in the Teutonic mythology connected giving to girls names of nice things. with female beings, and consequently a As those names are, for the most part,