A primer on Provençal names

Provençal is a dialect of Occitan, spoken in southern France. Almost all of its speakers are in the Provence region. This dialect in turn has several sub-dialects, one of which, Rodanenc (Rhodanien), branched out into Judeo–Provençal, also called Shuadit, Chouhadite, Chouhadit, Chouadite, Chouadit, and Shuhadit. Sadly, its last known speaker, writer Armand Lunel, passed away in 1977.

Judeo–Provençal went into sharp decline after emancipation was granted in the wake of the French Revolution, just as Yiddish fell into disfavor in countries like Hungary, Germany, France, Austria, and the former Czechoslovakia. When one has legal emancipation and is allowed entry into wider society, the purpose of a separate language or dialect diminishes, as tragic as it is to see any language dying out.

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

Today, there are an estimated 350,000 Provençal speakers.

Alphabet:

Provençal 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:

Adelaïda (Delaïdo, Laïdo)
Agato
Alaïs (Alice)
Alaizina
Aliénor (Eleanor)
Alyonne, Alayonne
Anaïs (Naïs)
Andriano
Astruga (Lucky)
Aulaire (Eulalia)
Azalaïs (Alaïs)

Beatritz
Bellanette
Bergido (Bridget)
Blanquette
Bonafilia (Good daughter)
Bonastruga (Good and lucky; the Judeo–Provençal equivalent of the expression “Mazal tov”)
Bonoa (Good)

Catarino (Ninoun)
Celino (Selene)
Chantaloun (Chantal)
Chera (Cara)
Claro (Clareta, Clareto, Claroun)
Cloutildou (Tildeto, Teldou)

Dayena
Delfino (Fino)
Deulocresca (God increase her)
Dolça

Eisabèu, Lisabèu (Babeleto, Babèu, Eliso, Lisoun) (Elizabeth)
Eloudìo (Lodi, Loudi) (Élodie)
Enrieto (Rieto) (Henrietta)
Estefano, Estèva (Fanfan) (Stephanie)
Esterelle (A fairy who protects pregnant women)
Eulalìo (Lìo, Lali, Lalìo, Laloun)

Flour (Flora)
Genevivo
Glaudio (Claudia)
Goiona
Ioulando (Yolanda)
Isabèu (Babeleto) (Isabelle)
Izelda
Jano (Janetoun) (Jeanne)
Jòusefino (Jóuselet, Fino, Zetou, Zeto)
Laïs (Louisa)

Magari, Magali (Margaret)
Maguelone, Madaleno (Madaloun) (Magdalena)
Maissa (Jaw)
Marianno
Marìo (Maïoun, Marioun)
Mazalta (Good sign)
Melio (Emilia)
Miquela
Mirèio (To admire)

Nadaleto
Natalìo (Lìo, Talìo)
Nino (Ninoun)
Reginette
Reina
Rosalìo (Lìo)
Roso

Sança (Holy, saintly)
Sareta (Sarah)
Soufio (Sophia)
Soulanjo (Solange)

Titouane, Titoana
Vitòri (Victoria)
Zouè (Zoe)

Male:

Abramet
Aloys (Aloysius)
Amiel (Émil)
Andrièu
Astruc (Lucky)
Audouard (Edward)

Bartoumiéu (Bartholomew)
Batit (Titoù) (Baptiste)
Benezet
Berenguié
Bonastruc (Good and lucky; the Judeo–Provençal equivalent of the expression “Mazal tov”)
Bondion (Good day)
Bonisac (Good Isaac)
Bonjudas (Good Judah)
Bonjuif (Good Jew)
Bonsenhor (Good Sir)

Calendau (Christmas)
Carecausa
Charle (Charloun)
Ciprian (Ciprianet)
Cresques (Growing; also a Judeo–Provençal equivalent of Tzemach)
Crétin (Christian)
Cugat

Dàvi
Deulosal (God save him; used as a Judeo–Provençal equivalent of Isaiah)
Emmanuèl
Estève, Estiène (Steven)
Fagim (Judeo–Provençal equivalent of Chaim)
Ferrand (Ferdinand)
Frederi, Federi (Deri)

Gabin
Gabrieù
Giraud (Gerald)
Glaude, Glàudi (Claude)

Jacme (James)
Jaufret (Jeffrey)
Jaziquet (Isaac)
Jòrgi
Joùseù (Zé) (Joseph)
Jucef

Kalonymus (Beautiful name)
Leoneto
Loïc (Louis)
Lu (Luquet) (Luke)
Ludovi (Dovi) (Louis)

Maïus
Manuèl
Mas (Max)
Miquèu (Michael)
Mordecaix
Mossé, Moïses (Moses)

Nadal
Nadau
Oulivié (Oliver)
Pascau
Pèire (Pierroun) (Peter)

Rafèu (Raphael)
Ramir (Famous advice)
Roubin

Saconet (Isaac)
Salamonet, Salomó
Savié, Zavié (Xavier)
Silvan
Simoun

Teoudor
Titoù, Titouan (Titus)
Toumas

Ugues, Ugue (Hugo)
Vincèn
Vitour (Victor)

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