Posted in Names

A primer on Gascon names

Happy Orthodox Christmas to those who celebrate!

Gascon is a dialect of Occitan, and primarily spoken in Gascony and Béarn in southwestern France, and Catalonia’s Aran Valley. The Gascon spoken in Catalonia has recently diverged quite a bit from the Gascon spoken in France, due to the influences from Spanish and Catalan. This dialect within a dialect is called Aranese.

Prior to Roman occupation, the Gascon people’s language was a Basque dialect; indeed, the very name of the language comes from the same Latin root as Basque took its name from, vasco/vasconem. In addition to the linguistic influence from Basque (much more so than in other Occitan dialects), this etymology seems pretty strong proof the Gascon people at one point considered themselves and their language to be Basque.

Gascon, including the Aranese dialect, currently counts about 250,000 speakers. Like Occitan and the other dialects, it was an attempted victim of la vergonha (the shame), various policies of the French government to make non-Francophones reject and feel ashamed of their language.

The connection to my writing is the same as Occitan, seeing as most of Part V and the end of Part IV of The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees is set in Béziers and Montpellier, a region where both Occitan and Gascon are spoken.

Alphabet:

Gascon 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.

Sample names:

Female:

Acibella (now archaic)
Adalaís, Asalaïs (Alice)
Aimelina
Alamana
Alamanda (now archaic)
Alaria
Amada (Amadeta)
Amandina
Amaneva
Anderequina (Little lady) (now archaic)
Aralha (Ralia) (Eulalia)
Arnauda

Béatris
Belina
Bertrana
Blanqua
Brayda (now archaic)
Brunissen (now archaic)

Cathelina
Célina
Christïe, Cristia (Christina)
Claramontine
Clariana
Clarie
Coloma (Dove)

Dolza
Domengina (Mengina)
Domenja
Duransa

Ermessinde
Esclarmonda
Estefania, Estevena

Fortina
Franquine
Galharda
Garsenda
Guirauda

Isabe, Isabèu (Isabelle)
Joane
Laurencine
Liloia (Daisy)

Mabilia
Maïne (Marina)
Margalide, Margaride
Marguesa
Mataline
Matha
Mathive (feminine form of Matthew)
Miquèla (Michaela)
Miramonda

Pascalina, Pasquine
Pélegria
Peyrona
Phélipa

Quitèira
Ramonda
Ricarde
Rixen (now archaic)
Roselinde

Sancie
Saubade
Séguine
Seurine
Sibila
Sicarde

Thalesa
Titouane (contemporary only)
Veziade (now archaic)

Male:

Aicart (Brave/hardy edge)
Alaman (now archaic)
Amaniu
Ambròsi
Amic (Friend)
Andrieu, Andriu
Aner
Arramon (Raymond)
Arroman (Romain/Roman)
Auger
Azémar

Bénedeyt (Benedict)
Béraut
Bertholomiu (Berthomiu)
Bertran
Bézian
Bidau (Vidal)
Bonifaci
Brasc (now archaic)
Brun (Bruno)

Caprasi
Centol
Christoli
Colom (Dove)

Domenge (Domec, Domenjon, Menion) (Dominic)
Duran
Espan
Esquivat
Esteven
Euquem (now archaic)

Fauquet
Floriment
Fort (Fortunate)
Fortaner
Foucaut

Gassan
Genès
Geròni (Jerome)
Girons
Gotey (now archaic)
Grégori
Guilhem, Guillen (William)
Guiraut (Gerald)

Henric
Herran (Ferdinand)
Huc (Hugo)
Jacmes (Jakob)
Jaufré (Jeffrey)
Jòrdi (George)
Karle
Lop (Wolf)
Loys (Louis)

Macari
Marçau
Mathiu
Maurin
Menaut
Miqueu (Michael)

Oliber (now archaic), Olivey
Orens
Osmin
Pascau (Pascal)
Pèir (Peter)
Phélip
Pros (Valiant, brave)

Reynaut (Reginald)
Ricaut
Rotlan (Roland)

Saubat (Salvator)
Savaric
Sefrian
Séguin
Sémen (Simon) (obviously not a name I’d recommend in an Anglophone country!)
Seurin (Sévérin)
Sicart

Tetbaut
Titouan (contemporary only)
Yaguen (Jakob, James)
Yon
Ysarn

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.

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