Early Portuguese Names

by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith, julias@alumni.pitt.edu)
July 2001

The names below come from a few of the earliest documents written in Portuguese, which date to around 1200. The transcriptions were found in Early Romance Texts: An Anthology (Rodney Sampson, ed., Cambridge University Press, 1980). A few names are still Latinized (Gonsaluus, Menendus), but most are clearly vernacular forms. While the sample is too small to make statistical generalizations, some general trends can be noted. A wide variety of names are found, suggesting that no particular name was excessively popular. The vast majority of bynames are patronymics, identifying the person's father, e.g. Sanchiz "child of Sancho".

Portuguese uses several diacritical marks, most of which should be reproduced properly below: c-cedilla as in Ramiriš, o-tilde as in G§cauo, a-tilde as in the middle of FerrnŃndiš. The standard fonts don't include i-tilde so it is represented as i~ in the name Marti~ below. C-cedilla is pronounced like English s. The tilde indicates a nasal vowel, as in Modern French quand, vin, and bon.

Feminine Names

Elvira Sanchiz 1192
Elvira G§caluiš c.1200
Orraca 1214

Masculine Names

Rodrigo Sanchiz 1192
Vaasco Sanchiz 1192
Meen Sanchiz 1192
Vaasco Suariz 1192
Vermuu Ordoniz 1192
Meen Fanrripas 1192
Gonsaluu Vermuiz 1192
Gil Diaz 1192
Martio 1192
Martim Periz 1192
Stepham Suariz
   also Stephanus
Iohannes Menendi 1192
Menendus Sanchez 1193
Sancho Diaz 1193
Gonsaluus Diaz 1193
Gonsaluus Petri 1193
Laurencius FernŃdiš c.1200
G§cauo Ramiriš c.1200
Lourenco FerrnŃndiš c.1200
Marti~ G§caluiš c.1200
Afonso 1214
Sancho 1214

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