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Old English names for a boy - thoughts?

(64 Posts)
Lindalove Mon 08-Dec-14 11:59:20

We are trying to find some lovely old, proper old, English and Anglo-Saxon names for our baby boy due in April next year. Its worth saying we live in a part of London which is very literary and practically every child has an interesting name... I think the trick is finding something interesting and classy though. And not too weird, but weird is a subjective thing....

Anyway thoughts welcome on the following:

Caedmon (after the old english poet. Pronounced Cade-mon or Cad-mon, I prefer the former)

Hereward (after Hereward The Wake the famous warrior.... pronounced Herr-er-ward)

Leofric (I doubt this will make it through but I love it, just don't care for 'Leo' as it will I am sure be shortened to)

Machen (pronouced Make-in, not actually Anglo-Saxon, but named after Arthur Machen the author).

squoosh Mon 08-Dec-14 12:21:06

I'm not hugely crazy about any of your names listed, Anglo Saxon spelling can seem quite awkward.

Dunstan, Wulfric or Bede are Anglo Saxon names (I think) and would be easier for most people to pronounce.

squoosh Mon 08-Dec-14 12:21:47

Although Cade would be quite a cool nickname for Caedmon.

OhBuggeringBollocks Mon 08-Dec-14 12:23:04





Tristam (granted more Middle English)

NewEraNewMindset Mon 08-Dec-14 12:23:33

Huge list of Anglo-Saxan names here

Bluestocking Mon 08-Dec-14 12:26:55

I'm dying to know where this very literary part of London is!
How about the Arthurian names?
Gawain, Lancelot, Bruin, Caradoc, Galahad? There are loads more. Or Alfred, Uther, Hengist, Horsa?

Sophronia Mon 08-Dec-14 12:30:10

I think Caedmon is the best of the list. I know someone who has a DS Leoric, but I'm not keen on the 'fric' part of Leofric. Machen means 'to make/do' in German.

Are you looking for suggestions? How about....

Arliss / Arlyss

NewEraNewMindset Mon 08-Dec-14 12:31:58

Rowan is on the list and it's pretty much the only one I like.

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Dec-14 12:33:03

What about something like Edwin?

MrsMcRuff Mon 08-Dec-14 12:34:59

Beowulf grin I dare anyone!

Lyndon, Edmond/Edmund

Lindalove Mon 08-Dec-14 12:37:34

Its Stoke Newington. Home of Daniel Defoe, and Edgar Allen Poe lived here for a bit etc.
I'm not too bothered about pronunciation TBH, but the name needs to have meaning to us (I should have said).

Arthur Machen was Welsh but wrote very London-based fiction, he's a peer of HP Lovecraft. Not too bothered what it means in German, and anyway hope he does make stuff!

Caedmon was actually a friend of The Venerable Bede's - he was the original English poet and wrote songs/poetry.

Haha re Leofric - I prefer to fric but not the Leo! Am interested in some suggestions but prefer London literary or musical influenced names and ideally Ls or Ms with two syllables (Hereward is, granted, three).

Sorry but the Arthurian names are too storybook eg Lancelot.

I do like Wulfstan!

Lindalove Mon 08-Dec-14 12:38:20

Actually our bump is currently called Beowulf.... it started out as a joke but have kind of really got used to it. Not sure I am even that way out...

MrsMcRuff Mon 08-Dec-14 12:45:06

Actually our bump is currently called Beowulf.... it started out as a joke but have kind of really got used to it.

You won't be able to think of him as anything else, now - I think you've found your name! Certainly a second name, anyhow. smile

BlueChampagne Mon 08-Dec-14 13:17:59

We considered Caedmon and Gawain - latter got voted off when DH thought it would be abbreviated to Wayne, which isn't our cup of tea. Not quite sure why Caedmon didn't make the cut - probably not quite brave enough.

How about Godwin? Or again a bit more mediaeval, Conrad?

If you went with a -ric ending, would you pronounce it -rick or -rich?

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Dec-14 13:22:01

Meant to say, Macsen is a welsh name (I seem to remember it in the Mabinogian). Like that better than Machen.

Riverland Mon 08-Dec-14 13:26:16

Bede is a good one.

Caedy, diminutive of Caedmon is a good name.

MrsMcRuff Mon 08-Dec-14 13:28:34

What about Deorwine, (which has evolved into Darwin), and means 'dear friend'?.

florascotia Mon 08-Dec-14 13:37:58

Alfred, Swithin, Wystan, Chad, Godwin, Roger (=Hrothgar), Osbert and Mumsnet's old friends, Wilbur and Wilfred

Edward, of course, and Ethelred

also in use in Anglo-Saxon era though not Anglo-Saxon in origin: Alban, Lear, Siward, Cuthbert, Alcuin, Arnold, Benet, Harold/Harald.

Re literary references, the name 'Machen' makes me think of Denry Machin in Arnold Bennett's 'The Card'. I know he's meant to be a hero but I found him rather annoying. However, I think Bennett very much meant readers to admire him.

Gawain = modern Gavin, so perhaps better to avoid? And it's Celtic.

Other London districts which might be a good source of literary names = Bloomsbury, Hampstead???

Lindalove Mon 08-Dec-14 13:56:32

Lear, Alban and Siward are really nice.

Gawain is a bit too Welsh for a non-Welshie, and yes prefer the old English/ Anglo Saxon vibe. I've got colleagues who named their children Arthur and Edmund so clearly an Anglo Saxon revival is on the way..... ;)

Deorwine is pretty cool as well. There are some lovely old names out there.

I think Caedmon and Machen are my faves.... Machen is slightly made up but Machen was such as great author! Better than calling baby Lovecraft I think...

JakeyBurd Mon 08-Dec-14 13:58:32

Gawain, Arthur, Caradoc and Tristram are all Celtic, not Anglo-Saxon.

I knew a man called Sandick who said hid name was Old English, although I've never been able to find it in any lists. I like it though.

Lindalove Mon 08-Dec-14 14:08:09

GooseyLoosey can't do a 'Mac" name as surname is McSomething.

You're right Arthur etc is Celtic. One of us has Scottish roots so we could go that road but really we're pretty damn English.

Sandick! That's interesting..... any name with 'dick' in it is just asking for trouble though at school surely?

squoosh Mon 08-Dec-14 14:09:50

Yes, please discount all 'dick' names!

Lindalove Mon 08-Dec-14 14:12:18

BlueChampagne I think names like Godric are pronounced 'rick' at the end... which is what puts me off them. I really like Godric but if it was shortened to Rick, again, like Leofric probably ought not to have bothered and just named him Rick or Leo.

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Dec-14 14:14:03

I can see that Mc Mc would not work too well!

Could luck finding something that you all like.

shakemysilliesout Mon 08-Dec-14 14:14:28

Al these names are very stoke newington - I think you should rebel and go for something unexpected, such as Kai or Barry.

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