Information about Iberian naming practices, and particularly Portuguese naming practice, is relatively difficult to find in English. This article makes available information about Portuguese names in the early fifteenth century.
Fernam Lopez (modern Fernão) is one of the better known of the Portuguese chroniclers. During the first quarter of the fifteenth century, he wrote three great chronicles, covering the reigns of three kings:
These chronicles provide a glimpse into Portuguese naming practice vastly different from modern Portuguese, in some ways far more similar to Spanish. The names of 191 Portuguese men were identified in these chronicles. The names of over 200 men from Castille, Aragon, England, and other places were excluded from the sample. The large number of foreign names reflects the emphasis of the chronicle on public events, specifically the wars between Pedro of Castille and John of Gaunt, the English prince who pressed a claim to the Castillian throne on behalf of his wife, a Spanish princess. Likewise, names that do not refer to real people alive at the time (saints, fictional characters) have been excluded from the data.
The actual names from the text can be found at on a separate page.
|1.||Joham, Johan, Johane, Johanne||40||(21%)|
|3.||Martim, Martym, Martinho, Martimho||16||(8%)|
|5.||Fernam, Fernanado, Feram||13||(7%)|
|6.||Affonso, Afonsso, Affonso, Afonso||11||(6%)|
|Lourenço, Louremço, Loureço||11||(6%)|
|9.||Rrui, Rui, Ruy||9||(5%)|
One mention each: Antam, Bernaldom, Denis, Estançinho, Estevam, Lançarote.
The 35 Portuguese women had the following names (in alphabetical order):
|Briatiz, Beatriz, Betriz||5|
All of these names are well attested in the Spanish kingdoms. A few alternate spellings for these names can be documented by looking at the names of foreign women.
The frequency of different types of bynames is as follows:
|Single Element Byname:||83||(43%)|
|Patronymic ending in ez||40|
|Locative with de||10|
|Two Element Byname:||80||(42%)|
|Patronymic ending in ez + locative||42|
|Uninflected patronymic + locative||16|
The following table includes names and their patronymic forms. Names in brackets  are not found in the texts, though all are documented in Portugal. Among the bracketed named, ones marked with a star * are from the late twelfth century; the unstarred names are from the sixteenth century.
In Portuguese, de comes in a variety of forms. It is often elided with the word following it. When it elides with an article (like the, it agrees with the name that follows it in gender and number. Feminine placenames are more likely to be marked than masculine placenames. Therefore, we find the following forms:
|de (can be used with anything)||34|
|d' (before vowel)||17|
|do (before a masculine word)||6|
|da (before a feminine word)||11|
|dos (before a masculine plural)||0|
|das (before a feminine plural)||3|
|Single Element Byname:||12|
|Patronymic ending in ez||3|
|Locative with de||4|
|Two Element Byname:||5|
|Patronymic ending in ez + locative||3|
|Uninflected patronymic + locative||0|
Women's bynames are somewhat more simple than men's names (only 14% of women but 42% of men have two element bynames). However, all of the same types of names are found.
Fernão Lopes. Chronique du Roi D. Pedro I / Crónica do Rei D. Pedro I (transcribed Giuliano Macchi, translation to French and notes Jaqueline Steunou). Éditiones du Centre national de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, 1985.
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