Posted in Names

A primer on Occitan names

The Occitan language is spoken in southern France, Monaco, Spain’s Val d’Aran, and Italy’s Occitan Valleys and Guardia Piemontese. It’s linguistically closest to Catalan; indeed, Catalan was considered an Occitan dialect till the late 19th century. Occitan’s dialects include Provençal, which is spoken in the Provence district, and Gascon, spoken in Gascony.

The connection to my writing comes from Part V and some of the end of Part IV of my WIP The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees. The primary settings are a strawberry farm in Béziers, run by Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs Israélites de France (a Jewish scouting group), and the University of Montpellier, both located within the Occitan region.

In spite of intense efforts to wipe out the language (such as punishing schoolchildren who spoke Occitan), the language has survived and is slowly becoming more widespread.

Alphabet:

Occitan uses the Roman alphabet, though K, W, and Y are typically only found in loanwords and foreign names. Like French, it also features the cédille (Ç), accent grave on A, E, and O, accent aigu on all vowels, and an umlaut on I and U.

Surnames:

Many Occitan surnames look similar to French surnames, though they may have a more vintage twist. Sample surnames include Fabre, Fauré, Cabrol, Cazalet, Bordes, Astruc, Gasquet, Laborde, Couderc, Doumergue, Raspall, Sardou, Vidal, Pujol, and Lafargue.

Sample names:

Male:

Aimat (Aimé)
Amadeu
Ambròsi
Andrieu
Artús

Bartolomieu (Bartomieu)
Bautesar (Balthazar)
Benaset (Benoit)
Bertran, Bertranòt

Cristòfol (Cristòl)
Donat
Estève (Steven)
Fabrici
Ferrand (Ferdinand)
Florenç
Francés

Geniès
Guilhem (William)
Jacme (James)
Jiròni (Jerome)
Joan
Josèp
Laurenç
Loís

Marchion
Matheu
Meric
Miqueu (Medieval form of Michael)

Patrici
Pau (Paul)
Pèire (Peter)
Plini

Quintil
Rafèu (Raphael)
Ramir
Romèu, Romieu
Romieg

Sarnin
Tederic (Terric)
Tibèri
Titouan (contemporary only, not historical)

Vincenç
Ysarn

Female:

Aimada (Aimée)
Aletsandra (Alexandra)
Aliça
Aliénor (Eleanor)
Anaïs, Anna
Antonieta
Armèla
Audeta (Odette)

Bernadeta
Bousigat
Catarina
Guiana
Isabèl
Izelda
Jenofa (Genevieve)

Liorada
Loïsa
Magali, Magdalena
Margarida (Magalona)
Maria
Mirèio (Mireille)

Pantxika (Francesca)
Penelòpa
Quitèira
Roselinde
Sibilia
Sicarde
Titouane (contemporary only)

Author:

I started reading at three (my first book was Grimm's Fairy Tales, the uncensored adult version), started writing at four, started writing book-length things at eleven, and have been a writer ever since. I predominantly write historical fiction family sagas/series. I primarily write about young people, since I was a young person myself when I became a serious writer and didn't know how to write about adults as main characters. I only write in a contemporary setting if the books naturally go into the modern era over the course of the decades-long stories being told over many books. I've always been drawn to books, films, music, fashions, et al, from bygone eras, and have never really been too much into modern things. If something or someone has appeal for all time, it'll still be there to be discovered after the initial to-do has died down. For example, my second-favorite writer enjoyed a huge burst of popularity in the Sixties and Seventies, but he wrote his books from 1904-43, and his books still resonate today, even after he's no longer such a fad. Quality lasts for all time.

3 thoughts on “A primer on Occitan names

    1. I’ve got a whole bunch of posts in this series planned for the coming year. Planned topics include Swahili, Italian, Hawaiian, Greek, Armenian, Kazakh, and Indonesian. I think I’ll save Chinese and Japanese for last, simply because those names have so many possible meanings instead of just one each!

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