modern names and their archaic root words.

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Jhonevans, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Jhonevans New Member

    English - Australia
    i've been trying to find a modern male name with an archaic root word (Latin, Greek). I'd like the root word to mean something along the lines of:


    Similar to Tristan's entomology.

    Something just doom and gloom. I want the name for a very sad male character. Yet I'm having trouble finding a method of finding these words. Do you have any name suggestions, or alternatively, a means of finding root words easily in names without having to search them individually.

    Thank you.
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Etymology = the study of words

    Entomology = the study of insects

    In the past, most people knew enough Greek and Latin to avoid names with negative connotations in those languages. But maybe we will think of something.
  3. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    You most probably won't find anything because ancient names were either positive characteristics. names designing things from nature or meant to bring luck.
    Which mother or father would name his progeny "fragile", "weak", "dying" or "doomed"? Little chance of that...
    You'll probably have to look at a book where ancient (either Greek or Latin or both combined) names are listed together with their meaning (hard to come by, but there certainly are some), or just search a Latin or Greek dictionary for words with the meanings you nead (better if you consult somebody knowing the language) and, if you need such a name for a certain purpose (like writing a story) you'll have to make one up.
    Desdemona from "Othello" means "ill-fated" or "infortunate" in Old Greek...
    Something worth thinking about is also looking at the names of Greek and Roman (even Etruscan) gods.
  4. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    I think you may strike gold with Mallory from French * "malheure" (unhappy, unlucky) which one could probably trace back to Latin "mala hora"
    Malvolio (invented by Shakespeare) meaning "ill will"
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  5. rbrunner Senior Member

    German - Switzerland
    On my own given names website I offer a feature to list all the words of a given language related in any way to names in the database. The direct links to the lists for Old Greek and Latin words:

    (There might be occasional inaccuracies in those lists, my knowledge about Greek ist next to nonexistent...)

    Looking at the lists, you can see clearly what another poster already mentioned: Words with positive meanings are pretty dominant.
  6. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hi Jhovenans

    If it's for a fictional character, how about (in Greek, I'm not good in Latin):

    «Σομνός» somnós in the modern Cretan regiolect means weak. If you combine «σομνός» with «θρυπτός» thryptós (the latter is Αncient Greek and means fragile), then you have «Σομνόθρυπτος» Somnóthryptos/Somnothryptus (latinized form), which could be used as the name of a weak and fragile person.
    Or, «Αδυνάσιος» Adynásios/Adynasius (latinized version), privative prefix «α» + «δύνασις» (dýnasis is the poetic form -Sophocles uses it alot- of dýnamis, which is power, might, in Αncient Greek).
    Νοw, for the dying one, well all I can think of is, «Θνατός» Thnatós/Thnatus (latinized), the Aeolic form of the Attic «Θνητός» Thnetós, which is the mortal (creature). Also, «Νεκριμαῖος» Necrimaeus (the dead man), «Θνητάδιος» Thnetadius (again the dead man), «Κενέβρειος» Cenebrius (carrion)...
  7. sotos Senior Member

    Good ideas, Apmoy. Here are some more: Skotion (from skotos=dark, but the Scots may not like it), Iskios (shadow), Skiachthon (from shadow+underworld), Teleutios (of the end), Meiosthenes (of less strength).
  8. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    I 'll give you names based on Tagalog but with sound of Greek. 1.) Fragile= babasagin= Vazayis 2.) Weak= mahina= Maxina(x=h) or Maxionos 3.) Dying= Yayaoh and the name could be " Gaosis" 4.) Doomed= Magwawakas and the possible name ; Mai Vakaz
  9. origumi Senior Member

    If you wanted another classical language - Hebrew - the book of Ruth has several such names. For example Mahlon and Chilion
    ("doomed to be sick" and "doomed to die").

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