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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Why Matilda [or Maud] is sometimes known as Maud [or Matilda]

 This refers to the confusion often felt by British children learning about the First British Civil War, also known as ‘The Anarchy’ between Stephan and Matilda in the 12th Century.  Matilda is also known as Maud, which was the subject of much hilarity in the tongue-in-cheek history book ‘1066 and all that.’

To understand WHY Matilda is sometimes called Maud necessitates a look into the development from the original name that gave rise to both.  This was Mechtild or Machtild, [Machtildis in the Latinised form]  in use several centuries before The Anarchy, being a Germanic name brought by the Franks when they annexed Gaul and gave it their name – France. 

Machtilde is plainly the forerunner of Matilda, it is not hard to see the small changes, the loss of the gargle in the middle to bring it into a recognisable state.  But why Maud? That requires the acceptance that the French don’t speak like we do, and the mass of the Gaulish people somewhat usurped the Frankish names in the same way that the English usurped the Norman French names and over time changed them.
The Norman French, being Viking in origin, also had a different way of pronouncing things and quite cheerfully imported Mactilde along with all its variants.  One of which had been treated to the French way of speaking from the front of the mouth, losing not only the gargle but the hard ‘t’ in the middle of the word,  and going via Mahild to Maheld, and not liking much to pronounce ‘ld’ either [cf Baldwin which is Bauduin in Old French] came up with the most common form of the name in most of France in the middle ages, Maheut.  Remember the French may put an ‘h’ in, but they do not bother to use it.  And remember too that the English had the habit of stuffing a ‘d’ on the end of words whether it seemed necessary or not. 
So, the version of this the Normans brought was Mahaut , pronounced more or less like a cat mew, Maauw.  Stick the excrescent ‘d’ on and you have Maud, pronounced, as it was then in the continental way of pronouncing au, or as close as I can get, Mowd. In early Norman documents the form 'Mald' also appears,
as the English also have a habit of introducing excrescent ‘l’, or in this case, I suppose, re-introducing it, the gentle reader should not be surprised that one of the pet names for Maud was Mould. 

Norman versions of the name Matilda: Mathilde, Maltilde, Mactilde, Matill, Mautild, Mahalt, Mahaud, Mahild, Mald

By 1499, the English had managed to do this to it: Mat(h)ilde, Maud,Maddy, Tilly,  Mathild, Mactildis, Mechtilda, Mazelina, Mahalt, Mahald, Mahaud, Mald, Molde(en), Mauld, Moude, Motte, Till(ot)

This is going to form part of an appendix on Norman names in the big name book, which is growing all the time.  I WILL get there... tracking down source books is what's holding me back right now.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

A few thoughts on Norman French and its effects on modern English

I have a Norman French dictionary out of the library.  It’s not a brilliant or extensive dictionary, being a 1978 reprint of the 1779 dictionary by Robert Kelham, and it’s faithfully printed with long ‘s’ too, but it is better than nothing.  The more up-to-date version, taking advantage – I presume – of the collating of documents begun in Directoire France costs £75 so that ain’t about to be flying off my wishlist and into the post.  I can only assume that the county library felt the same way, and since I’m the second person ever to have taken this book out, one can see their point.

Anyway, so much for the drivel about me getting out a dictionary to try to translate the professions given in the Paris 1292 census for my name book, other than to note that there are signal differences between the early French in the dictionary and the later French in the census, which stands between it, and modern French.  I thought that was interesting in its own way, because it is a bit like using an Old English dictionary to translate Chaucer… except for the fact that I read Middle English reasonably happily and Old English with a lot of swearing.  I managed to extrapolate quite a lot. 

So, on to the meat of this essay.  I found a few words that fascinated me, and thought I’d share.  We are all familiar with the fact that French has influenced English, but what I wanted to look at are a few words which have changed, sometimes significantly, in French.
One thing I have noticed is a simple change of letter, Acrire in Norman French is now Ecrire, to write; boteau, a boat is now bateau,  and so on.  Sometimes letter order changes too; furmage is cheese in Norman French which is fromage in modern French.  This  all tends to indicate a degree of change in the pronunciation which I find interesting, but mindful that I have weird interests I shall pursue it no further than a brief mention here!

Oriel:  ear.  Modern French, Oreille.  I therefore wonder if an oriel window was thus named because it stuck out like an ear, and the spelling remained in English for the window while the word in French changed.  This was the word which first caught my attention, and I went on a quick search to see if there were others.

Alm: soul.  Modern French âme, esprit.   Did this influence alms for the poor, alms houses being initially places whereby a rich man could make the eye of his needle bigger as it were by buying his soul into heaven?

Barat: fraud, deceit.  Modern French, tromperie, fraude.   From which I am certain derived that crime which requires a nation of sailors to invent, barratry, which means, for those people of less larcenous turn of mind than a mystery writer, insurance fraud perpetrated by selling a cargo on the sly and scuttling the ship to claim any insurance on it, perhaps by destroying a leaky old tub declared well-found.  Lloyds of London did not invent insurance, the Lombards did insure cargoes and ships in the middle ages.

Bote: aid, help, advantage.  Modern French, aide, benefice.  I know bote is a purely Medieval word but it was a vital one for the peasantry who might be granted house-bote or fire-bote to gather wood in the lord’s woodland to mend their house or burn on the fire.

Covynes: secret meeting places.  No modern French single word equivalent that I can find.  Presumably this became the root for covens, and was attached purely to witches.  A note in passing though, is that the word ‘covine’ which is an Old French word I just happen to have in my mental lexicon, means a fraud, and which I postulate comes from the same root. 

A note in passing, it is from Norman French that the now OLD spellings of such words as connexion, confexion and complexion arise; these, whilst still correct English in England connexion and confexion at least is now passing for the American spelling connection and confection. Confexion has, indeed, disappeared.   Interestingly our 1779 lawyer translates ‘conexes’ as ‘connections’ although Jane Austen was using the spelling with an x in it. 

Coste: collateral.  Modern French has collatéral  or coût , but we still use ‘cost’ for collateral damage – “the cost in human lives is incalculable” in journalese.

Glebe:  a piece of land, used unchanged in English for the piece of land belonging to the church.

Hobyns: hobbies.  Le hobby as well as le passe-temps is still used in modern French but what amazed me was to see ‘hobby’ used in 1779, as I was under the impression that this was a later word, and that ‘avocation’ was more correct until the mid 19th century.  Further research has revealed that hobby-horse is attested to be used for an avocation in the 1670’s, and supposedly was shortened to ‘hobby’ in 1816.  However, with the use of the word in 1779,  perhaps this pushes the use of the word back further.  Fascinating!  Unless of course my author meant the falcon called a hobby… but my English dictionary gives the Old French derivation of that as ‘hobé’.  I think by 1779 a reference to the small sturdy horse which is also called a hobby would probably be sufficiently obsolete that my dictionary writer would feel obliged to explain it.   An interesting paradox.  My personal feeling is that a lawyer at Lincoln’s Inn, like Mr Kelham, who uses a modish spelling like ‘connection’ is likely to be in touch with the most up-to-date use of words, so perhaps hobbies, meaning avocations, really is the meaning here. 

Humblesse: humility. Modern French humilité; modestie.  The word humble would appear to so derive.  The derivation of ‘to eat humble pie’ is a little less obvious, since this refers to a pie made of the offal of deer, known as ‘umbles’.  Eating umble pie was to be eating far from the most choice cuts.

Another interesting note, Robert Kelham has ‘moultons’ translated as ‘weathers’ by which he must surely mean ‘wethers’.  Moulton is sufficiently close to the modern French word ‘mouton’ for sheep, and a wether is a castrated male sheep kept for the wool.  Un Owaille is given as ‘a sheep’, and with the male article, but it is not hard to see where ewe comes from.

Prigner: to take. Modern French, prendre.  I include this one for the Georgette Heyer fans who love her cant,  and my Felicia and Robin fans to demonstrate the origins of the cant phrase‘a prigger of purses’ a pickpocket.  To prig was to steal…

Verek: wreck. Modern French navire naufragé, épave.  Verek to wreck is not a big leap when v and w were often interchangeable. 

Well, this is a bit of a gallimaufry, but I hope enjoyable for all that. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

None so Blind, Regency Romance, is published!

Lovely but blind Penelope Eltringham’s surprise meeting with the shocking Lord Shawthorpe leads to a misunderstanding that angers both of them.
Despite this poor beginning, Penelope finds herself inexplicably drawn to him.
Under the aegis of her grandmother, heiress Penelope finds her blindness no drawback during her season in London, thanks in great part to the help of the dashing, if maybe dangerous, Lord Shawthorpe.  Guy, Lord Shawthorpe,  must overcome Penelope’s grandmother’s suspicions of his intentions if he hopes to win the hand of the girl who has so surprisingly captivated his heart.

And there's not a trace of Austen in sight, nor any inspiration drawn from Heyer.  This is entirely independent... 
Find it on here or here 

Friday, 10 January 2014

Guest Blog: Astley's Circus, by Mike Rendell

My regulars know I'm a great fan of Mike Rendell, who first brought to us his 'Diary of a Georgian Gentleman' using the two trunks of ephemera left by his 4xGreat Grandfather, Richard Hall; and that ephemera has sent Mike researching in other directions.  I have to confess I rather bullied him into publishing the booklet about Richard's exquisite paper cut-outs; which he followed up with one on Bristol Blue glass.  
Richard Hall also kept a selection of handbills and programmes for entertainments, including Astley's Amphitheatre.  Anyone who has read Georgette Heyer will have some passing knowledge of the Equestrian feats of this famous amusement; but has anyone given a thought to how it began?  In Mike's new book 'Astley's Circus - the story of an English hussar' he explores its origins, its highs and lows [mostly highs] as the origin of Circus as we know it today.  A must-have book for any serious student of, or writer in the period, the only comprehensive work on the subject available.  You can get it at or

enough of me maudering on, over to Mike.

It is funny how a chance opportunity can lead you off at a tangent. If you had suggested to me six months ago that I might write a book about the origins of the circus in the Eighteenth Century – a subject about which I knew absolutely nothing – I would have assumed you were a trifle unbalanced. Yet I got caught up in a challenge to deliver a paper to academics at Bath Spa University on Georgian Entertainment and chose as my topic the life of Philip Astley, the man credited as being “the Father of the modern circus.” Before I knew it I was totally absorbed in his story, and ended up publishing a book about him. The bi-centenary of the anniversary of his death is on October 20th this year and I thought I would mark the occasion!
It is not as if I have ever been particularly fascinated by the circus – here is one person who never dreamed of running away to try my hand on the high wire, or juggling. But having heard about Astley, and after delving into some of the material about him, his life and achievements quickly became an obsession. He was one of the greatest showmen of his Age - indeed of any Age. His name is now almost forgotten – but why?
Forget Barnum, forget Bailey - a hundred years earlier than these giants of the triple-top Philip Astley laid down the basics of the modern circus.  Most circus stars were (and still are) born into a particular branch of the entertainment world - there are generations of the same family who juggle, or walk the tightrope, or whatever. But Astley had no theatrical or street-entertainment background - his father was a cabinet maker from Newcastle under Lyme. Yet he became a giant of popular entertainment. How? Because of horsemanship.

:   ©Trustees of the British Museum

Astley was the horse whisperer of his Age - and a brilliant showman. He brought out a book about how to train and look after horses. He also realized that if you belted up and down a rectangular pitch the audience could not easily follow the action. So he fixed on a circle – he called it a ring – and found that with a diameter of 42 feet the horse could gallop at full speed without changing its gait, and with the added advantage that centrifugal force would then help keep the rider standing upright. All of the action took place right in front of the audience, all the time. It is still the standard size of circus ring in use today.
When Astley married, his wife joined him in his acts, appearing on horseback with a muff. Not your normal everyday muff, but one made up of a swarm of bees encircling her wrists! Everything had the WOW! factor. Astley diversified from horse riding skills to introduce equestrian clowning; he did juggling and magic tricks involving an early form of a mind-reading act; he brought a spectacle involving fireworks, an orchestra, juggling, acrobatics, rope walking,  and so on and gave the public what they wanted - skills and thrills a-plenty. He created the role of ringmaster, standing in the centre of a circus ring, controlling the horses and performers, with his bellowing voice and "statuesque" physique (he was over six feet tall, and had a girth like a tree trunk).
It turns out that my 4x Great Grandfather went to see one of the earliest Astley performances, in the early 1770’s. At that stage Astley was stressing that it was a riding school – he taught equestrian skills in the morning and ‘put on a bit of a show’ in the afternoon. My ancestor kept the handbill from when he went to see the show – and that day he paid out four shillings to cover the cost of admission to the Gallery, for himself and his wife, and forked out another three-pence on macaroons! How do I know? Because the family still have the handbill, and all the accounts and diary entries from the period.

Ancestor Richard Hall’s handbill for “Astley’s  British Riding School”
Astley’s business empire was frequently hit by fire, but each time his premises burned to the ground, he re-built them. Curiously he always re-built in wood, never stone, despite the obvious risks of using candles - literally thousands of them - with sawdust on the floor, wooden seats, and with a wooden roof and walls.
He trained and inspired a legion of skilled entertainers and impresarios, who spread the circus throughout Europe, to America, Asia and Australia. Forget the sad parade of wild animals being dragged from town to town - they were not HIS circus. Wild animals didn’t really come into the circus story until the mid-1800’s. His circus was based on equestrian skills - although admittedly he also used a monkey called General Jackoo who performed acrobatic tricks, and a "Scientific Pig" able to count cards and do mind-reading tricks!
He enjoyed royal patronage both in England and in France, where Philip and his son were particular favourites of Marie Antoinette.
He led a remarkable life, but died of what was diagnosed as "gout in the stomach" in 1814 in Paris, aged 72. He was succeeded by his son John, another brilliant horseman, but the son only outlived the  father by seven years before liver failure killed him. He died in the same house - and indeed the same room, in the same bed - as his father, and both were buried in the same cemetery

And so it is that for the past few months I have been trawling through some of the amazing on-line newspaper records from the Georgian era identifying advertisements and news reports about Astley. The material available about him is vast - he certainly knew how to blow his own trumpet! And because I am a sucker for pictures I have included loads of images in the book. Many of the museums were kind enough to allow me to use their images without charging a copyright fee, albeit on condition that it is not released as an e-book. Amazon agreed to publish it in full colour, but I am aware that this rather pushes the price up so I am also offering it for sale in black-and-white. It is called "Philip Astley - the English Hussar” (because that was his original stage name).
Meanwhile: I salute the old boy - he was a rough diamond if ever there was one. A man with virtually no formal education, he was a Georgian entrepreneur who should be up there with all the other greats of the Age, from Matthew Boulton to Josiah Wedgwood to Thomas Chippendale - and yet his success is nowadays totally overlooked. Two centuries after his death, it is time he was recognized for his contribution to what was a brand-new form of public entertainment – the circus!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Medieval nicknames, pet names and use names

Pet forms of names and their development

To the modern mind, diminutives of someone’s name either involve a short form or a suffix like –ette for a girl.  However the history of diminutives is long and complex, and though shortening of a name was used, the form chosen was not always obvious to the modern eye.  Also, diminutive endings were used for boys and girls both, and might be applied to short forms. 
The diminutive suffices were –el, -ot [sometimes but not always –ota for females] and –in.  The addition of –kin, which we still recognise as a diminutive today, was also sometimes used; for example Lovekin.
The medieval mind did not necessarily feel that the addition of one diminutive suffix was sufficient.  Take the name Lance; it takes a double diminutive to make it Lancelot, not the sort of figure we would think of as one who is essentially Lance-dear-sweetie.  Then there are those names which are shortened and a diminutive applied; the name Isabel became Ibb, which then became Ibbot.  Or Ibelot with a double diminutive.  The reason for the large number of diminutives was probably because most peasants were pretty unimaginative and [with the high rate of child mortality] used the same name over and over again, and in the unlikely event of them all surviving needed some way to differentiate between several Johns and Isobels.

The Norman insistence on record keeping also led to the use of Latin endings, mostly giving rise to new female names.  Although Julian, generally pronounced Gillian, was happy not to take any account of being Juliana for several centuries, Sybil moved towards being Sibilla quite quickly. Old names were Latinised, and Hildgyth became Hilda. Fanciful names from Latin sources sprang up, like Diamanda and Argentina and Presciosa, all short-lived. 
And of course a girl christened Maria by the priest might go through her entire life having no idea of this, being Meriet, or Pol, Mally, Marcella or one of a number of pet names for Mary translated by the village priest solemnly as Maria.  It is the custom of many Hispanic families to christen every girl Maria and use a second name by which to call her; but it was entirely possible for every girl in a medieval English family to be officially named Maria and to be known each one by an individual name.
I have done this with a family in one of my Renaissance mystery stories…..

I would say that the main reason for the rise of some pet names is probably vocal laziness.  People have a tendency always to want to shorten names, for their own convenience.  I would postulate that the form of the shortening of names may be driven by baby tongues trying to say their own name and falling over themselves; consider Queen Elizabeth II’s use of the name ‘Lilabet’ for herself when she was small, dealing with the uncomfortable hard sound of ‘z’ by making it ‘l’ and losing –th for –t at the end.  Equally ‘r’ is a difficult sound to say [and the Norman French found it particularly so] and becomes more conveniently ‘l’.  Hence, Sarah, or Sarra as it was usually transcribed became ‘Sally’.  Mary became ‘Mally’ and then ‘Molly’.   I have no idea why ‘m’ sometimes became ‘p’  to give us ‘Poll’ and ‘Pegg’ from Molly and Megg [Mary and Margaret].   However, if speaking in a rather nasal way, ‘m’ tends to a ‘b’ or ‘p’ -like sound so maybe it arose from a preponderance of head colds in poorly heated houses.
I postulate that Margaret merely lost its ‘r’  to become Mag etc, since ‘Malgaret’ would be hard to say.

The Normans also had some difficulty distinguishing ‘W’ from ‘G’ which led to some names being written down as they were said as one or the other or both – Walter, Galter and Gwalter are all the same name.  This often persisted in pet forms.   That the medieval mind also found it quite logical to start a pet form with an entirely different letter is less easy to understand, hence Robert became Hobb or Dobb as much as Rob.  There was probably an obscure reason. However, as ‘Robin Goodfellow’ was a synonym for a supernatural sprite of faerykind  this has led to additions to the language like ‘hobgoblin’.  Dobb fell out of use when it became common enough that ‘Dobbin’ was a horse in the same way that Tibb for Tybalt fell out of use when it became over-used for ‘Tibbles’ the cat.

There is a tendency to add excrescent H- to the beginning of names and excrescent –t or –d to the end.  The first is a matter of aspirants and may be demonstrated in the usually exaggerated Cockney accents delivered by writers where comic and low characters drop their ‘h’ and add an excrescent ‘h’ to words beginning in a vowel.  This is a matter of contention too between English English and American English as no self-respecting American would pronounce the ‘h’ on ‘herbs’ and no self-respecting English person would consider dropping it.  The second may carry on from the confusion of d, ð or þ, where an aspirated –th sound disappears, but this does not explain all cases.  I postulate that it is in the way people spoke.  In East Anglia, in the dialect written, incidentally, by Chaucer as his native tongue, there is a tendency to add excrescent –d to words.  I got in trouble at school myself for innocently writing about my dressing-gownd.  East Anglia was in the Medieval period the most populous part of the country.  It seems reasonable to suppose that its dialect carries some fossilised speech of the past.
That A and E are interchangeable as opening vowels can be seen immediately to spring from the Saxon dipthong æ, and needs no further explanation. Au to O is merely a matter of translating the original Latin name which would have involved a syllable derived from Aurum, gold, into what it sounded like.  And it must be remembered that the form of the name I give first would have been the most common form at the time, not necessarily the name from which it developed.  Mathilda and Maud [pronounced ‘Mow’d, like a kitten mew] came from Mechtildis, a Frankish name, which form disappeared.  However some original forms gave rise to pet forms of their own before they disappeared; Eleni, the original Greek from which the name Helen became the more normal form, gave variants like Ellen after the addition of excrescent H- became set as the main name. 

Some of the pet names have since become names in their own right, some – notably those of the most common names – have stayed as pet names, some have an existence of both. And some, such as Gilota, a pet name of Egidia, became absorbed into Gillian, once a pet name of Julian[a] and subsequently so common that a girl was a jill, and was likely to jilt her man. 

Here find tables showing the variant forms and pet names of the names that attracted most, which is as good a way as any to see which were popular at least for long enough to acquire a sufficiency of pet forms.

Pet names and variants of female names across the Medieval period
Agatha, Agace, Agate, Agett
Emme Em(ma), Emmet, Emmot(a), Emelot(a), Amelot(a), Imme, Emblem Emeline, Emelina, Ameline, Amelyn, Minna, Minota,Imma,Edelina,Emlyn Emerentiana, Emerence
Margaret/Marjorie Magge, Magot(a), Marguerite, Madge, Margery, Margat, Merg(r)et, Meriet, Mogg(e) Pogg, Pegge, Mogot, Magat, Grete, Greta
Ann(e) Annot, Annett, Anney, An(n)ora
Eve/Avelina Eva, Evot(a), Evet(te), Evelot, Evelune, Evelin(g), Ivet(ta), Iva, Ava, Avelina, Aveling
Mary Molle, Malle, Malot(a) Mariot(a), Mary-Ann, Malyn, Malina, Marian, Marykin, Meryet, Maryatt, Mol(et), Marina, Marcella, Maura, Miriam, Poll, Polkin
Ailith, Ailed(a), Alet, Aleda, Alith, Adelid, Ailet, Aliet
Everild(a), Avery,  Averyl, Aveline,Avelina, Averilet(a), Avel, Avenels
Avis Avice, Avina, Avicia, Avizia, Aveza,Havoise
Floriane Flora, Flur, Fleur, Floria, Florencia, Florentia, Florence
Melicent Melisende, Melisendra,Melusina, Milcentia, Millicent, Melisentia, Milisendis
Alice/Alison, Alys, Alise, Alicia, Alisen,Alysone,Alisounne,Helisent, Elison (scots) Elisind, Helysoune, Adeline, Adelina, Adeleide, Adeliz, Alesia, Aelizia, Alot(a), Elisota
Isabel Isabella, Ysabella, Bel(e) Isabeau, Ilsabeth, Ibb(et) (Ishbel, Isla: scots) Libbe(t), Bella, Bel(ot), Belet, Belissendis, Ibbot(a) Ebbot, Ebota, Ebete, Bete, Bibb(i), Tibb(y), Bibile, Ibelot
Mat(h)ilde/Maud,Maddy, Tilly*  Mathild, Mactildis, Mechtilda, Mazelina, Mahalt, Mahald, Mahaud, Mald*, Molde(en)*, Mauld, Moude, Motte, Till(ot)
Oriel, Oriholt, Oriolda, Aurildis Orieldis,Aurelia
Amabel Amable, Mabel Mabilia,Mabilla,Amabilia, Amia, Amabilis,Anilla,Amabilla,Anabella, Amalota,Ameline, Amisia, Mab(b), Mopp(e),Moppet,Mabot(a), Amiel..Amand Amanda[from 1212]   Amy/Amice/Amata
Idony Idonia, Idonea, Ideny, Idone, Yden(e), Idunn, Iduna
Petronille Petronella, Perone(l)le, Peryna, Parnell(e), Pernel Pennel, Purnella
Iseult Iselda, Iseldis, Ysoude, Isolda, Isouda, Isota*, Isata, Iseut, Ysole, Isset, Isalt
RichildaRikilda,Richeldis, Richenda, Ric(h)olda, Rictrudis
Barbara Barbarel(la), Barbet(a), Babb(el) Barbel, Babbet, Babot(a) Babeth, Barbary, BarbetteBarb(y)
Ismay  Ismenia, Ismaine, Idemay, Ysemay, Ysmeine, Ismayn, Ismaigne, Hismena, Minna, Emonie, Immine
Rose Rosa, Rosalba, Rosamund, Rosalie, Rosan(na)
Beatrice Beatta, Bete, Beton, Bett(e), Bettris(s) Betryse, Betune, Beitiris (scots) Beatrix
Jane Joanna, Johanna, Jehanne, Jean(ne) (Fr, Scots), Joan, Janet, Janeth, Jenyth, Jehane
Sanchia Scientia, Sancha, Sence, Sanche, Sanctia, Science, Sencey
Bridget Bride, Bedelia, Beret, Berget
Jocelyn, Joyce, Josse, Joy, Jocea, Jocosa, Juicea
Sara Sarre, Sare(t), Sarret, Sarrot, Sarra [Sally was later]
Catherine Katharine, Catelin(e), Kate, Kitty Katte, Katin, Catin, Kytte, Catlin, Cat(te), Katerel, Catun, Catell, Catelet
Jacquetta Jaketta, Jakemina, Jaqueline, Jemme, Jemma, Gemma, Jimme, Jacoba, Jacelin
Sidony Sedehanna, Sedania, Sedaina
Cecily Cecely, Cecile, Caecilia, Celia, Sisilla, Siscillia, Sisely, Sisly*, Sicely, Sissel(ot), Siss(ot), Cissot(a)
Julian(e) Juliana, Julitta, Julia, Juliet[late], Jill, Jilian, Jelion, Giliane, Giliana, Gillet, Gilia, Gilota, Gell, Gellion, Geleia, Gellie, Gillota, Jell, Jull, Juetta, Jouet, Jewet, Juhota
Tiffan(y)*Theophania Teffan, Teffaia, Tephania, Theffanie, Tiphina
Clare Claire, Clarel, Clarot, Claret, Claris, Clarice/Claricia, Clarisse, Claritia, Clarissa
Viola Violante, Violete, Violetta,Violaine, Yolande
Denise,Denet, Dionysia,/Denysia
Laura, Lora, Lauretta, Laureola, Laurencia, Loret(t)a, Lauret.

Edith Eaditha, Idith, Ediz, Alduse, Aldusa, Edusa
Eleanor, Ellen(or), Elaine, Elinor, Elyanor, El(l)a, Ala, Elot(a), Eliana, Helen(a), Alienor(a), Ellett, Elena, Heleyne, Eleni [no Nell yet]
Lettice/Laetitia Lece, Lecia, Lecie, Lecelina, Letselina, Lecel, Leceln,Lescelye,Lesellyn, Lett(e)
Elizabeth,, Ellice, Beth(a), Bess(e), Elizabella,Bethel, Lylie, Lilian. [No Betty yet]
Love,Lovie,Lovota, Loveta, Lovejoy Lovekin,Leffeda, Liuete, Loveday

Pet names and variants of male names across the Medieval period
Adam Adnet, Adenot, Adkin, Ade, Add
Henry, Hal, Harry, Herry, Hanne, Hen(kin), Hanekin, Halkin,Hawkin
Paul, Poul,Pole, Pauley ,Paulin, Powlis

Aloysius, Lowis, Lewis, Lewin, Louis
Hilary, Ilarius, Illore, Eularius, Eylarius, Ellery, Hille
Peter, Pierce, Piers, Pers,Pell Perkin,Pirret,Perrin,Perr(el),Pierun Perron,Peterkin,Petri (scots)

Amyas, Amyot, Amand, Amadis (French)
Hugh,Hugo,Huiet,Hughelot,Ugo ,Hugelin,Huelin,Hulin,Hudde Huglin,Hudkin,Hukin,Howe*Hewe Huget,,Hudelin,HuhelHuwet Huchon (Fr)
Philip, Phelp, Philp, Felip, Filkin, Philpot, Phipp, Potkin, Potin

Ancel,Ansel(l),Anselm,Ancelot, Anscelin, Hanselin,Anselin
Ralph, Rafe, Rafael, Raff, Radulf, Raul, Raulin, Raulot

James, Jago,Jacob(i),Jacce, Jack(lin), Jagge, Jakot, Jackett, Jackamin,Jex,Jem(me), Gimelot, Jimme, Jaycock, Jakock, Jankin, Jaques, Cob(et), Jakemin
Reginald,Reynold, Reynaud, Reginaud

Anketil,Antel,Anker,Antin,Aske Asketil,Askil,Annakin(Yo), Asti

Arnold, Arnaud, Arnot, Arnel
Richard,Rick,,Rich(ie) Digge,Ricot,Richelot,Rickard, Dicel, Dic(con), Dicet, Dicelin, Diggen, Hick(ot, Hicun, Hickot

Auberon, Aubrey, Oberon, Avery, Avo, Aves, Auvery, Aubert, Albray, Albert
John, Jack, Jankin, Jenkin, Jan(cock), Hank (Flem) Henk(e) (fl) Henkin (fl) Hann,Jonet,Jehan, Janin, Janne, Jenin, Hancock (fl)

Robert, Rob(in), Robelard, Dobb(in), Hobb(in), Hobelot, Hobelin, Hopkin, Nobb, Nabb, Nabelot, Bobbet

Bartholomew,Bart,Ba(t)te Barty(Scots),Batty,Batkin,Bette Bartelot, Bertelot, Bertelmew
Joscelin/Goscelin,  Josse, Joyce Josset, Gotselin, Gotsone, Jukel, Judoc, Joy, Joshin, Joce, Goss, Got(te), Goslin.Joel Juhel, Jool, Jol, Johol, Joelin, Joylin, jollein
Randolph Randall, Randle, Randulf, Rand(y), Hann, Rann, Ranulf, Rankin, Randekin, Ranel, Rendall

Christopher,Stoffer, Kit*(te), Kester, Kitelin, Christal (Scots
Roger, Hogg* Rodge, Hodge, Dodge, Dogge, Doggin, Hodgekin.

Denis, Dionysus, Den(et), Denzil, Denisel
Lawrence/Laurence, Larry, Lorenz,Larkin, Lorkin, Laret, Lawrie, Lowrie, Low,Laur
Silas/Silvester, Silvanus, Selwyn, Selvayn, Savin, Salvin, Selwin

Egidius, Aegidius, Giles,Gille, Gillard, Gilo, Gisel
Leonard,Leo,Lyel,Leon,Leunot, Leonides, Lionel, Leoline
Simon,Sim(o)nel,Sim(kin), Simond, Simonet, Simcock

Elias, Ellis Elcock, Helle, Eliot,Elwaud(Scots) Elwat, Eluat Eluolt Elkin, Helyas, Hellis, Elyet, Allat, Alard Adalard, Elicoc, Hellcock, Elie
Luke,Lucius, Lucian,Ludovic, Luck Lucas, Luket
Theodore,Theodoric, Terry, Todrick, Torrey, Tyrri, Tedric, Therry, Thierry (Fr) Deryk (flem) Torald, Tory

Matthew, Mayhew, Makin, Masse, Math(e), Mathy, Matkin, Maton

Geoffrey,Jeppe,Geff,Gepp,Jeeves, Jeff, Jefcock, Jeffkin, Jeffrey
Michael Mihel, Michel Miot, Mighell, Miche, Miell, Miles, Milo
Thomas,Tom(lin) Tomkin, Tomcock, Tam(lin), Tommis

Gerald,  Gerard, Girard, Garard, Garrald, Garrood, Jarrold, Jarrot, Jerald, Greoud, Jared
Nicholas, Colin, Colcock, Cole, Coll, Colkin, Colet, Nicol, Nicolin, Nicks, Nix
Theobald,TibaltTibbald,Tebbet, Tebb(el) Tybaud Tepp, Talbot

Gilbert,Gibb,Gibelin,Gibelot, Gip
Odo, Odelin, Eudo,Otho,Odinel, Othello
Vivian,Vidian,.Fithian, Fidd,Fidkin,Fiddian, Vidgen

Hamo,Hamlet,Hamlin,Hammet, Hamnet,Hamon(d),Haim(o),Hame Hamon,Aymes,Hamekin,,Hawkin
Orlando/Roland, Rollet, Rollin Rowland, Rowlatt, Rollant,Ruel, Rollanz, Rauland
William,Wilmot,Guylote,Will(y), Willet,Wilot,Wilcock,Gilot, Gilmyn