Does Diego have a Visigothic origin?

Alturlie

Member
English
It is clear that the Spanish name Diego (sometimes apparently spelled Diago) is NOT a variant of Jacov/Iago. So too it is highly unlikely to be a vernacular form of the Latin(ised) Didacus. [I think it is unlikely to be Arabic, but it could just be Jewish - like Jacov.]

The earliest extant record of Diego is in the mid 900s, so it occurred to me that it may be Visigothic in origin. It is generally believed that surnames such as Diaz derive from Diego - but the similarity of Diego and Iago makes me wonder whether Diego may be a derivative of Diaz rather than the "normally understood" way round.

Can anyone suggest a word (preferably a name) from an old Germanic/Norse language which might be represented as Diaz or Diego and which might reasonably be supposed to be Visigothic? And what might that name mean?
 
  • Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    Starting from your suggestion that Diego derives from Diaz, one possibility is that the latter comes from Gothic Dagis Sun[us], ‘Son of Day’, assuming that the word for ‘day’ was used as a given name in Gothic, as it was in Old Norse.

    Sun rather than sunus is my speculation that Gothic may already have used a short form of the word in this specific context in the same way as the Nordic form was (and is) Dagsson, not Dagssonr.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Thanks for this helpful suggestion.

    There is something of a parallel in the name of St Kentigern's mother Thaney (niece of "King" Arthur). She was of the Gododdin tribe and in my book "Arthur: Legend, Logic & Evidence" I do suggest that this means "New Day" - or, I suppose, "Dawn". But I had not been aware that "Day" could be incorporated into male names also. Conceptually I can see a read across to the famous Scottish name Macbeth ("son of light").

    As an alternative, looking at Bosworth Toller for hints I did find "deág" from "Dugan" - in effect meaning a good or virtuous person - but I do not know how close the relationship between Visigothic and Anglo-Saxon may be.

    Another problem we have is that even in the case of the original Diego, because he was a bishop, we cannot be sure whether this was his given name or a name he adopted eg when he took holy orders.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    It is clear that the Spanish name Diego (sometimes apparently spelled Diago) is NOT a variant of Jacov/Iago. So too it is highly unlikely to be a vernacular form of the Latin(ised) Didacus. [I think it is unlikely to be Arabic, but it could just be Jewish - like Jacov.]

    The earliest extant record of Diego is in the mid 900s, so it occurred to me that it may be Visigothic in origin. It is generally believed that surnames such as Diaz derive from Diego - but the similarity of Diego and Iago makes me wonder whether Diego may be a derivative of Diaz rather than the "normally understood" way round.

    Can anyone suggest a word (preferably a name) from an old Germanic/Norse language which might be represented as Diaz or Diego and which might reasonably be supposed to be Visigothic? And what might that name mean?
    One, if not the main reason why the derivation of Diego from Didacus is considered problematic is the shift from ía to in the sequence Didacus > Didaco > Diaco > Diago > Diego, which remains unexplained. Your alternative theory has the same problem. on top of being more far fetched. I can't see any advantage.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Diego/Didacus: The idea Didacus => Diego, proposed on the Jacobus => James thread, was, so far as I understand it, a misrepresentation of Becker who suggests Diego => (Latinised as) Didacus - ie the opposite way round. However what may appear as simple Latinisation may not be so: many people took a different name when they took the cloth (as indeed Popes do to this day). So to seek an 'evolutionary' onomastic 'explanation' of an apparent linkage may prove to be a fool's errand - in this case born of the coincidence of the initial "Di-" (which may have been chosen for its alliteration and perhaps no more than that). The other problem is that while St Didacus belongs to the 1400s, there was a Diego in the 900s.

    Diego/Diaz:
    It is not my theory..... It is not I who propose a linkage between Diego and Diaz - I am merely examining what appears to be an accepted "well known fact" within the names community - and if Berndf wishes to challenge that then let him set out his case. I have no dog in that particular fight.

    Vowel Shifts: As for the "-ia-" vs "-ie-" variance, while I do not dismiss this out of hand, we need to keep in mind that people in Dundee call a "pie" a "peh" and locally in Spain, inter alia, Caesaraugusta became Zaragoza (note at least two major vowel shifts). And we should not forget Jaime/Jaume over which Berndf seems to adopt a Gallic (or is it Jewish?) insouciance! So methinks this indignation is just a little selective! Here is an off the wall idea (I would not call it a proposition): the shift from Diago => Diego may have been prompted to maintain the distinction by the increasing weight of the widespread use of Iago for Jacov!

    Gothic Origin: However it IS my theory that it is worth examining whether "Diego" may have a Visigothic origin and if Berndf has anything constructive to offer in this regard then that might be interesting. And if he wants to propose an entirely separate origin for Diaz then that is fine too. It is ridiculous to write off as "far fetched" the idea that in a land peopled by Visigoths a name may have a Visigothic origin.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    It is not my theory..... It is not I who propose a linkage between Diego and Diaz
    The linkage is indeed a common assumption. But not the way you proposed it, i.e. that Diego should be a derivation from Diaz.
    As for the "-ia-" vs "-ie-" variance
    It is not simply a vs. e it is ía vs. . The by far bigger issue is the shift from two syllables with stress on i, Di.az, to one syllable with a semi-vowel Die.go, which would have to be explained.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Alturlie said:


    It is not my theory..... It is not I who propose a linkage between Diego and Diaz
    The linkage is indeed a common assumption. But not the way you proposed it, i.e. that Diego should be a derivation from Diaz.

    Alturlie said:


    As for the "-ia-" vs "-ie-" variance
    It is not simply a vs. e it is ía vs. . The by far bigger issue is the shift from two syllables with stress on i, Di.az, to one syllable with a semi-vowel Die.go, which would have to be explained.

    The variance of vowel and stress is inherent in the Diego/Diaz linkage whichever way you work it - and I agree that this is worthy of exploration - so in this respect I have added nothing new. However Berndf is entirely correct that I have offered (also) the suggestion that it may add fresh light to stand the problem on its head and consider whether Diaz=> Diego may be a better fit than Diego=> Diaz (inter alia I have pet forms in mind).

    I am taking an increasingly robust attitude to stress when I see the way that, in England particularly, the language is being mangled currently by people who are not native speakers - or, without any classical background, have done all their learning from books. Thus we have people saying "pastORal". "sectORal" and even "adAGE". And then there are "criterias"!!! While I deplore all this it has already crept far too far up the social ladder and looks as if it is unstoppable. So while I would like to be able to be as purist as Berndf - it would make life much easier - I fear that this is - or can be - over the top.

    The scope for simple error to creep in - particularly in a multi-ethnic milieu (Arab. Jew, Visigoth, Basque, Frank...) - should not be discounted.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    You cannot simply argue because this and that stress variation happened in English it is also plausible in Spanish. Especially stress changes in the process of loaning from a different language family as in the English examples you stated are a completely issue than a stress change in the development history within a language. It is quite normal that languages that borrow words adjust their pronunciation to their own language and that includes stress patterns.

    And we are talking here about Spanish and not about English and we are talking about a development within Spanish and not about a change that happened in the process of changing.

    Another thing: Where did you get the information what Diego can be traced back to 900. I cannot find anything. To my knowledge, the form first appeared 200 years later.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Why aren't you convinced by the traditional explanation that it comes from Iacobus?

    Iacobus > Sant Iacob > Sant Yago > Santiago > Sandiago > San Diego

    Iacobus loses the Latin -us, then final -b is rejected in Castilian, the [k] is voiced intervocalically to [g], it combines with Sant forming Santiago then voiced to Sandiago after n. The diphthong iá is uncommon in Spanish, but ié is commonplace in thousands of words from short Latin e, so the name is popularly modified. Then Sandiego is reevaluated and split into San Diego. Diego then becomes a standard name.

    The complicated part is none of these stages ever completely died out. We still have Yago, Santiago, Diago and Diego. Plus we can find the Latinism Jacobo as well.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Another thing: Where did you get the information what Diego can be traced back to 900. I cannot find anything. To my knowledge, the form first appeared 200 years later.

    Diego (bishop of Oviedo) - Wikipedia
    No, I was asking for actual occurrences around 900, not about historical figures born at that time and called Diego today. People referred to as Didacus in medieval records are customarily referred to as Diego today. This Wikipedia link tells us nothing about his name at his lifetime.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Well I think you have put your finger on it precisely! And different people are arguing their corners fiercely!
    I had been making the (lazy) assumption that what you suggest was the case until it all kicked off.

    Not only are all these forms current - but they and more were current 1000 years ago when, I think, there had not been time for the "evolution" proposed (see the thread about Jacobus => James). I think there has been misunderstanding between ethnic groups and I think there are too many variants for comfort. Thus you will see the problem regarding Jacomus (does it really exist? has it ever? how can we tell?). So I think that Iago and Diego are too close to be lineally related - particularly given the time scale. And then there is the Diaz problem. So it is time to stand the problem on its head and think again. And to think about the Visigoths seems like a sensible place to start.

    Because my root interest is in "James" I am not satisfied by the assertion of those who say that the "c" was merely "lost" - and this throws everything up in the air.

    And we can see that people are arguing from a basis of relative ignorance when even Berndf had been unaware of the Diego in the 900s (of course I too had been unaware until two weeks or so ago).
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    "No, I was asking for actual occurrences around 900, not about historical figures born at that time and called Diego today. People referred to as Didacus in medieval records are customarily referred to as Diego today. This Wikipedia link tells us nothing about his name at his lifetime."

    There is nothing here to suggest he was (or, indeed, they were) called Didacus at the time - or anything else but Diego.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I am not satisfied by the assertion of those who say that the "c" was merely "lost" - and this throws everything up in the air.
    "Lost c" is such a common phenomenon in all Romance languages that this if the smallest of all issues. But we are discussing Diego here. For your theory to be plausible you would really have to find significantly earlier occurrences of Diego than those we know today.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    In reply to Pedro y la Torre: Well the claim is on the Wikipedia page and it is referenced. I have no reason to believe that the author of the Wikipedia entry played fast and loose with his/her source in the way you imply. I am comfortable relying on this source until it is demonstrated otherwise.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    There is nothing here to suggest he was (or, indeed, they were) called Didacus at the time - or anything else but Diego.
    The opposite is the issue: there is nothing to suggest he was called Diego at the time. The onus of proof is here on your side. I have only to point out that the name by which he is known today tells us nothing.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Palomeque Torres, Antonio. 1948. "Episcopologio de la Sede de Oviedo durante el siglo X," Hispania sacra, 1(2):269–298, see pp. 288–91 Is not a text to which I am ever likely to gain access. I started this thread with a question and not with a prearranged answer/assertion. The extent to which people are now on very high horses instead of engaging suggests to me that I have touched a nerve and am heading in a good direction. At this stage I do not have to prove anything. And then there is the matter of Diaz...... What I see is two people genuinely engaging in the issue and two more desperate for the issue to go away...
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Alturlie, you started off by saying that the reference in Wikipedia makes it quite clear that the individual in question was known as Diego in the 10th century, now you say that you are not likely to ever gain access to it so in reality, you've no idea what he was called.

    If you want to make a claim, you need to provide evidence to back it up. No-one is trying to "make the issue go away", as you put it.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    The diphthong iá is uncommon in Spanish, but ié is commonplace in thousands of words from short Latin e, so the name is popularly modified.

    Not only that, but the fact that there was a long stage of hesitation between diphthongs ia/ie and ua/ue/uo is quite well known. The final vowel being -o and not -a could also be reason enough to influence the closing of the diphthong.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    In answer to Pedro de la Torre: If you had read this thread then you would have seen that I am making no claim. In the first instance I am asking a question and in the second instance I am quoting someone knowledgeable about a book. The fact that you start my claiming that I am making a claim makes me question your motive in intervening. It is possible that the author has deliberately misrepresented his source, but I think it is for you to pursue that allegation. The tone of the article gives me enough confidence.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    In answer to Berndf: the author of this page makes this claim. I am content to accept this unless and until it is shown otherwise. Perhaps the text calls him Diego but to his friends he was Bernard - or David or whatever you like. But I suspect not.

    You have NO evidence that Diego of Oviedo had any other name in his lifetime - indeed you did not even know of his (and his contemporaries') existence until I pointed this out to you. So it ill behoves you now to assume that Diego was not his name. Irrespective of the truth of the matter you have no basis for that assumption. And if he did have another name (Diego could be a name he took on ordination, depending on what it means) you have no idea what it might have been.
     
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    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    In comment on Merquiades' helpful approach: I do think it is ridiculous that Latin Jacobus should end up as Latin Didacus. Of course being ridiculous does not by itself make it untrue, but I do think it tilts the balance of probabilities - making the exploration of alternatives worthwhile - and the purported link to Diaz offers us the best chance of turning up something interesting.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    In reply to Berndf "And we are talking here about Spanish and not about English and we are talking about a development within Spanish and not about a change that happened in the process of changing."

    That is exactly what we are NOT talking about. Clearly you did not read my introduction calmly, you were looking to pick holes. The point is that this is a melting pot of many languages. To focus on Spanish is tunnel vision.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    In answer to Pedro de la Torre: If you had read this thread then you would have seen that I am making no claim. In the first instance I am asking a question and in the second instance I am quoting someone knowledgeable about a book. The fact that you start my claiming that I am making a claim makes me question your motive in intervening. It is possible that the author has deliberately misrepresented his source, but I think it is for you to pursue that allegation. The tone of the article gives me enough confidence.
    You said:

    Well the claim is on the Wikipedia page and it is referenced.
    It isn't. The Wikipedia page makes no claim about the name of the Bishop at the time and you have just said yourself that you have no access to the referenced work. Indeed, Wikipedia claims:

    The identification of a given "Bishop Diego" in the contemporary documentation is therefore difficult and often uncertain. This is only compounded by the numerous errors of dating and outright falsifications (especially by Bishop Pelagius in the twelfth century) of charters

    Throwing about claims willy-nilly without hard evidence then demanding that people disprove your claims is very poor form.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    To focus on Spanish is tunnel vision.
    You asked a question about a Spanish name so of course we have to talk about Spanish.

    You have NO evidence that Diego of Oviedo had any other name in his lifetime
    That is not how science works. You made a claim and it your job to make sure there is evidence to support it. If I have evidence or not to the contrary is immaterial. I have only pointed out the fact that the reference to Wikipedia constitutes in no way evidence and I have explained why.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    The identification of a given "Bishop Diego" in the contemporary documentation is therefore difficult and often uncertain. This is only compounded by the numerous errors of dating and outright falsifications (especially by Bishop Pelagius in the twelfth century) of charters
    OK.... now you are beginning to be helpful rather than merely carping. Following this link through to Diego Gelmírez - Wikipedia we find:
    Diego Gelmírez or Xelmírez (Latin Didacus Gelmirici) (ca 1069 – ca 1140).

    First of all this demonstrates that Didacus was a name freely used in the Catholic Church 300 years before Diego of Acala - and relatively shortly after Diego of Oviedo. So we have some questions:
    1. Was "Diego" regularly Latinised as Didacus or
    2. Was "Diego" a regular "pet"/vernacular form of Didacus and hence nothing to do with Jacobus?
    3. If Diego WAS a pet form of Didacus then presumably we have no idea what his real given name was.
    4. Errr.... are there other potentially alternative explanations?
    Either way this is powerfully in support of the idea that Diego and Iago have nothing to do with each other.

    It is all very well dissing Pelagius, but I think this does not affect the name Diego in relation to
    "The early years of Diego's episcopate are made murky by the presence of bishops named Diego in Ourense and Valpuesta at the same time." So we are still back to the 900s for Diego - or at least Didacus. I am assuming that Pelagius' writ did not run that far.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    You asked a question about a Spanish name so of course we have to talk about Spanish.

    Wrong. I asked about a name which is now Spanish and which was current in what is now Spain at a time when there is good reason to suppose that the name might NOT have been "Spanish". Surely even you would accept that "Spain" did not exist at the time in question.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Wrong. I asked about a name which is now Spanish and which was current in what is now Spain at a time when there is good reason to suppose that the name might NOT have been "Spanish". Surely even you would accept that "Spain" did not exist at the time in question.
    No. It is about a Spanish name. All the developments we are discussing are post-Gothic. All the developments have taken place within Spanish and within its predecessor languages. If we want to promote the theory of a Gothic origin we need to establish the earliest form in Spanish before we can speculate where this earliest form came from.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    For several hundreds of years "James" was Latinised in official documents in England and Scotland as "Jacobus".
    If "Diego" was an evolutionary descendant of "Jacobus" then I think Diegos would be referred to as Jacobus in Latin.
    This tells me that "Diego" comes from somewhere else altogether.
    I am dubious that a father would give a newborn son the name "Didacus".

    I can imagine a name which would Latinise as Didacus and which would vernacularise as Diego. Such a name is unlikely to be from a Romance language - and we are back to Hebrew, Arabic and Gothic. In Scotland there is the surname Diack. According to Black ("Surnames of Scotland" p 207) "tradition amiong bearers of the name is that the family came from Denmark" - but there is no indication as to meaning.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    If we want to promote the theory of a Gothic origin we need to establish the earliest form in Spanish before we can speculate where this earliest form came from.
    Well I think we can speculate at any stage - and that was what I was inviting when I initiated this thread. However I held no view as to how likely such speculation was to be productive - but I am now strengthened by the Diack connection.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    It is the other way around.
    Yes, by 900 we have Diago and Diego already being used as given names. Patronymic surnames were also being formed from these names: Diaguez and Dieguez which were contracted to Diaz and Diez as intervocalic [g] is unstable in Spanish.

    In the Middle Ages the "cultivated" Spanish population, especially the monks, believed that the languages in the Iberian peninsula were little more than Latin gone haywire. They went about latinizing everything they could without really knowing Latin. Diego, Diago and Díez, Díaz were relatininized as Didacus and Didaci. It's also good for the Diegos that it mean "instructed". Putting in a d, reconstructing g with c, adding a -us is a real easy thing to do. It's the most salient feature when you compare the two languages. All documents back then were written in medieval Latin, and the names were always transliterated one way or another. Rodrigo or Ruy Díaz (El Cid) was written down in documents as Roderici Didaci.

    Obviously, I agree the secrets to this name are found in Spanish, old Castilian, and Iberian vulgar Latin.
    If you can understand Spanish, the origins of the last name Díaz is described in this wonderful video.
     
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    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    How do we know that? I am open to the idea. I have just not found any evidence so far.
    I am basing that only on the video I linked here. The narrator shows texts from that era. In the video on minute 2:26 he says "En los escritos parroquiales de los siglos diez y once se toma la costumbre de latinizar los nombres vulgares y en consecuencia el nombre Diago comienza a escribirse Didacus del griego didachos que significa instruido".
     
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    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Whether Didacus was or not a later Latinisation, the form must have existed, otherwise Catalan Dídac and Italian Didaco would not exist.

    I can imagine a name which would Latinise as Didacus and which would vernacularise as Diego. Such a name is unlikely to be from a Romance language - and we are back to Hebrew, Arabic and Gothic.

    Interesting how you left Basque completely aside, given that it's the only exclusively Iberian, the only which has interacted with Castilian since the beginning, and that the genitive prefix -ko might even hint at it.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I am basing that only on the video I linked here. The narrator shows texts from that era. In the video on minute 2:26 he says "En los escritos parroquiales de los siglos diez y once se toma la costumbre de latinizar los nombres vulgares y en consecuencia el nombre Diago comienza a escribirse Didacus del griego didachos que significa instruido".
    Maybe my Spanish too poor but I understand the same as I have found elsewhere, namely that the forms Diego and Diaz first occur at the time of El Cid, i.e. 200 years later.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Maybe my Spanish too poor but I understand the same as I have found elsewhere, namely that the forms Diego and Diaz first occur at the time of El Cid, i.e. 200 years later.
    No, he says the 10th and 11th century. He explains that Díaz comes from Dieguez (son of Diego) and shows it in 898 in the monastery San Pedro de Montes in León. After that he jumps to talk about El Cid in 1074.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Ah OK. The idea is that Diago existed around 900. It is just the (minor) variant Diego that is 200 years younger. Right?

    What astonished me a bit was that they still start of with the theory that Diago/Diego is from Yago < Iacobus. I thought this has long been debunked.
     
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    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Interesting how you left Basque completely aside, given that it's the only exclusively Iberian, the only which has interacted with Castilian since the beginning, and that the genitive prefix -ko might even hint at it.
    Quite right.... my oversight. By all means this too should be in the mix. But no.... not actually interesting.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    They went about latinizing everything they could without really knowing Latin. Diego, Diago and Díez, Díaz were relatininized as Didacus and Didaci. It's also good for the Diegos that it mean "instructed".
    Thanks to Merquiades for this. Now there seems to be a bit of traction.
    There seems to be little debate about the suggestion that "Didacus" has to do with "learning" and "doctrine" - so broadly meaning either "a learned man" or "an earnest student" etc. Not a particularly good name to give a baby boy at birth even if this is the desire of the father - but highly suitable whether as a name or, perhaps more likely, a term of respect (like, but not meaning the same as "venerable").

    Now here is the tasty bit: Old English Dictionary: Find Old English Words | Old-Engli.sh shows "Diegol" meaning
    1. adj secret, hidden, private, dark, obscure, unknown, deep, profound, abstruse; [1. adj secret; of that which might be seen, hidden from sight; 2. of thought, action, concealed from the knowledge or notice of others; on díeglum in secret; 3. hard to get knowledge of; (1) of a fact or circumstance; (2) of things to be understood, abstruse, occult; ] 2. n (díegles/-) concealment, darkness, obscurity, secrecy, mystery, secret; a secret place, hidden place, the grave
    So perhaps "Diego" really signifies an initiate into secret knowledge - with the "obvious" resonance with Didacus. On this basis I am prepared to accept that Diego and Didacus are intelligently connected.

    However if this is the correct understanding of "diego" it too is not really an appropriate name for a father to give a baby boy (unless anyone has any examples, which would be great) - which leaves wide open the matter of what these early "Diego"s may have been called at birth.
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Yes, by 900 we have Diago and Diego already being used as given names. Patronymic surnames were also being formed from these names: Diaguez and Dieguez which were contracted to Diaz and Diez as intervocalic [g] is unstable in Spanish.
    Thanks again Merquiades. Under these circumstances I do not regard the pursuit of any possible "Diack" connection as relevant.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Ah OK. The idea is that Diago existed around 900. It is just the (minor) variant Diego that is 200 years younger. Right?

    What astonished me a bit was that they still start of with the theory that Diago/Diego is from Yago < Iacobus. I thought this has long been debunked.
    The purpose of the video was to show the origins of the surname Díaz, so Diego was touched on as it is the origin of Díez.
    Though he says Tiago, Diago and Diego were all around in the tenth century, the examples he shows are with Diago. It makes sense to me that Diego could be a somewhat younger version, but then becomes the most popular.

    Debunked? Why should it be debunked? I'm pretty convinced by this theory and see how it could happen during the "Dark Ages". Yago comes obviously from Iacobus. The old word for Saint was Sant, so Sant Yago/ Santiago is logical. Then once the word for saint, Sant, loses the "t", people see it as San Tiago/ San Diago......Diego. (see my first post). Saint James is usually translated both Santiago and San Diego, São Tiago in Portuguese.
    Monks going about relatinizing see Diago/Diego and wonder where the hell that came from. So they do the obvious Di D a C us and are content because it means something virtuous in Latin < Greek. Then, they go about inventing a new name, Jacobo, which is translated as Jacob rather than James.
     
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    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    This Spanish Wikipedia page seems really complete to me: Jacobo. It's a pity that the corresponding Wikipedia page in English does not give the same detailed information. Maybe if you can't read Spanish you could have the browser translate to English?
     
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    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Thank you Circunflejo and Merquiades. It had not occurred to me that the texts of the Wikipedia pages in different languages would vary in the way you point out. Fortunately I do have some Spanish (I studied it many years ago and visited Zaragoza on an exchange holiday) - albeit very rusty now (the last time I used it in earnest was in Geneva at the UN HQ in 1975).

    I find the Celtic suggestion interesting - and this has evaded the Welsh online and hard copy dictionaries and I cannot find any resonance in Scots Gaelic either - however I think that there is a primacy for a didacus/diego link and this does not work with the meaning offered.

    As for the Jacobo page I will not rehearse here why I do not believe "Jacomus" and it certainly cannot be proved (for which see the relevant thread on this site). [However I do like the mention of "Jacobel" which I have never seen before and which makes so much more sense than "the supplanter" or any connection with a heel etc.] The influence of the Jewish community in the area has been ignored for too long.

    So my working hypothesis is now with Anglo-Saxon "Diegol" (see above) with an assumed Germanic ancestral form which found its way to Iberia with the Visigoths. As a parallel one of the goddesses of Ireland is called "Fotla" (there are minor variant spellings). In essence this means "wisdom/learning" - whence the Scottish placename Atholl (from Ath Fotla) means "the ford of the learned man" (see my paper here).
     

    Alturlie

    Member
    English
    Thank you Lamarimba. I regard your contribution as apposite. I a baffled by the idea that examining why language evolves is considered "Off-topic". On the contrary it is the attempt to see such changes devoid of any context which leads to the blind alleys we have seen.
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    It is not simply a vs. e it is ía vs. . The by far bigger issue is the shift from two syllables with stress on i, Di.az, to one syllable with a semi-vowel Die.go, which would have to be explained.
    This thread is too full of arguing from conclusions for me to have any desire of reading it, but this one I can easily explain. To quote Steriade 1988 in relation to precisely the same thing happening to Latin MVLIEREM /mu'li.e.rẽ > mu'ljɛːrɛ̃/, FILIOLVM /fiː'li.olũ > fiː'ljɔːlũ/: "stress shifts within a binary foot from the desyllabified foot head onto the remaining foot syllable." The fact that Asturian Aragonese to this day has both variable vowel quality and variable stress in these dipthongs (Ĕ > /iə, ia, ie/, Ŏ > /uə ue ua uo/) has been widely interpreted as a stage that Castilian also went through. In short, Diago~Diego had the same vowel as ciego, of variable stress and quality.
     
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