136 Medieval Nicknames

Martha Martins
Feb 16, 2024 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 23, 2022
Edited by Rutvij Joshi
Fact-checked by Mohammed Balquam
Medieval style castle - Nicknames
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.6 Min



Why Medieval Nicknames?

Historians regard the medieval or middle ages approximately as the period between the fifth and the late 15th centuries. The medieval age is filled with unforgettable historical components, names inclusive. One of the ways to see the present in a good light is to remember the past and how far things have evolved. And one good way to achieve this is by checking through the names between the fifth and the 15th centuries. Writing a fictional story about this age is also easy when you know the names and nicknames of the people you are writing about. The English language sounded and was spelled entirely differently in the medieval period. Throughout history, people have used nicknames as a way to identify uniqueness. Some medieval nicknames are bizarre and have interesting stories behind them, but modern nicknames are short and often used for convenience.

Funny Medieval Nicknames

1. Alwin Aitard or Fire Hard 

2. Burmudo The Gouty - The King of Léon from 984-999 suffered from a severe case of gout to the point that he couldn't ride his horse and had to be carried everywhere by his courtiers.

3. Chawete or Owl (Anglo-Saxon origin) - The actual usage of this nickname needs to be clarified. It could reflect an occupation involving the animal or suggest a physical or behavioral similarity.

4. Crispin (Latin origin)-Means 'curly-headed', a perfect nickname for anyone with curly hair.

5. Edmaer Anhande or One-Handed

6. Garcia The Trembler -The King of Pamplona, Garcia Sanchez II, got the nickname because he used to tremble like a leaf from head to toe before every battle or fight.

7. Gomes (Portuguese and Old Galician origin) -Means 'man'.

8. Hamlin (German origin) - Means 'little home lover'.

9. Orvyn (Anglo-Saxon origin) - Means 'brave or spear friend'.

10. Osbern Giffard Chubbycheeks (Anglo-Saxon origin)

11. Ralf Sciteliure Diarrhea Liver (Anglo-Saxon origin) - The name could be a description of a rather unfortunate health event in the life of Ralf.

12. Thorstein Ill-Luck (Norse origin)

13. William Hurant The Shaggy-Haired One (Anglo-Saxon origin) -  A descriptive nickname that alludes to a man who badly needs a haircut.

14. Wladyslaw Spindleshanks - He was a 12th-century Polish ruler known for unusually lengthy and thin legs.

Bizarre Medieval Nicknames

15. Aluric 'Fulebiert' Foul Bear (English origin) -Perhaps the name reflects poor hygiene.

16. Archibald Douglass The Tyneman -The fourth Earl of Douglas, a warrior from Scotland, was dubbed Loser because of his unfortunate failures in battle and death.

17. Drogo (Old German origin) - Means 'to bear or carry'.

18. Dustin (Norse origin) - Means 'Thor stone', it eventually became an English gender-neutral name.

19. Feodor The Bellringer - one of Ivan The Terrible's sons who most likely earned his nickname for his deep religious faith.

20. Frederick The Bitten - The Margrave of Meissen received the nickname after his mother bit him on the cheeks right before she left him behind. 

21. Ivaylo The Cabbage - Also nicknamed Ivaylo the Swineherd and Radish, he was a swineherd who became the Emperor of Bulgaria after leading a peasant revolt against Constantine I of Bulgaria. 

22. King Bark - Christopher III of Sweden received the name because the times were so hard during his reign that peasants had to mix willow bark with their food not to starve.

23. Neville (Norman and French origin)-A nickname generally for boys, meaning 'from the new farmland.'

24. Niall Of The Nine Hostages - The legendary high king of Ireland who earned this nickname as he was a warlord who kept hostages.

25. Olaf The 'Witch-Breaker' (Norse origin)

26. Osric (English and German origin)- means 'divine ruler' and is generally given to boys.

27. Quentin (Latin origin) - A nickname generally for boys in France that means 'the fifth'.

28. Randolf (Norse origin) -A nickname generally given to boys in England, which stands for 'wolf shield.'

29. Thorir Leather-Neck (Norse origin)

30. Ulf The Quarrelsome -Aname of an argumentative person, brother of the High King of Ireland, Brain Boru.

31. Walking-Hrólfr (Norse origin) - A royal count who earned this nickname as he was too large for any horses to carry him, so he walked everywhere.

32. William Malbeeng 'Bad Bench' (French origin) - A name for a carpenter with lousy craftsmanship.

33. Þórir Leather Neck (Norse origin) -Presumably a mocking nickname after the person tried to fashion armor with cheaper cowhide.

Cool Medieval Nicknames

34. Aelfric Praet 'Ingenious' (Anglo-Saxon origin) - The nickname was probably given in praise.

35. Agnes or Annis (Greek origin) - means 'pure' or 'holy.'

36. Ailric Brenebrec 'Burn Breeches' (Anglo-Saxon origin)

37. Archibald (German origin) - means 'genuine' and is a masculine given name.

38. Astrid (old Norse origin) -A generally female given name meaning 'god and beautiful'.

39. Bard (Gaelic origin)- means 'minstrel or poet'.

40. Brunhilda (German, Scandinavian, and Norse origin)- means 'armed for battle'.

41. Frida (Norse origin) -A cool nickname that means 'beautiful or beloved'.

42. Finni 'Dream-Interpreter' (Norse origin)

43. Gerold (German origin)-means 'spear ruler'.

44. Inga (Scandinavian and German origin) - A generally female nickname that the Vikings used. It derives from the Germanic Goddess Inge.

45. Lothar (German origin) - means 'famous warrior'.

46. Peregrine (Latin origin) - means 'traveler' and was given to someone who liked to travel.

47. Sigtrygg 'Fast Sailing' (Norse origin) - A Viking name for a skilled sailor.

48. Thord 'Left-Handed' (Norse origin) -A generally masculine given nickname.

49. Thorunn Blue-Cheek (Norse origin) - A generally female given name.

50. Thurstan Cati 'Merry One' (Norse origin) -A nickname that seems to praise the positive attributes of an individual.

51. Wolf (German, Dutch, English, and Danish origin) -Itis a given surname and nickname for boys. 

52. Zemislav (Old Slavonic origin) - A nickname generally for boys, meaning 'family glory'.

Unique Medieval Nicknames

53. Aelfgar Se Gyldena The Golden 

54. Adelaide (German origin) - A generally feminine given nickname that means 'noble kind'.

55. Annora (Latin origin) - A nickname for girls generally, which means 'honor'.

56. Astrid 'Wisdom-Slope' (Norse origin)

57. Drew (Greek origin) -means 'brave or courageous'.*

58. Emil/ Emilia (Latin origin) -means 'to strive' or 'excel'.

59. Gregoria (Greek origin) - A name generally for girls, which means 'watchful.'

60. HenryThe Fowler -Henry I of Germany was dubbed The Fowler because he set up nets for birds when the messengers arrived to inform him that he had ascended the throne.

61. Hereward The Wake - 11th-century Saxon leader, perhaps the epithet 'the wake' meaning 'the watchful'.

62. Hildebald (Ancient Germanic origin) - A name generally for a boy, meaning 'brave battle'.

63. Ivar The Boneless -AViking leader had the nickname 'Boneless' because of a genetic disease that gave him brittle joints, or he lost his legs in some battles.

64. Jack 'Amend-all' Cade - Possibly a rebel leader who restored order between central and local governments, made him earn the nickname.

65. Thurid Sound-Filler (Norse origin)

66. Kazamir (Slavic origin) - means 'destroyer of peace', and Kazimierz was a traditional name for Polish Kings.

67. Maud (German origin) - means 'powerful battler'.

68. Morcant (English origin) - means 'bright sea' and is generally a boy's name.

69. Odelgarde (German origin) - means 'one's ancestral land'.

70. Oriel (Latin origin) - A nickname for girls generally, meaning 'golden.'

71. Petronille 'Pernel' (Latin origin) - is the variant of the Latin diminutive Petronia, meaning 'rock'.

72. Pope Innocent VIII The Honest - He was nicknamed 'the honest' because he was the first Pope to reveal his secrets of life.

73. Sabina (Latin origin) - A generally feminine name that means 'woman of the Sabine tribe'.

74. Ulf The Squint-Eyed (Norse origin)

75. Ursula (Latin origin) - generally feminine name for 'little she-bear'.

76. Wymond (Anglo-Saxon origin) - A name for boys generally, meaning 'man of war'.

Common Medieval Nicknames For Girls

77. Avice (French origin) - means 'warlike'.

78. Beatriz/Beatrix (Latin origin) - means 'brings happiness'.

79. Catherine/Kate (Greek origin) - means 'pure'.

80. Colette (French origin) - means 'people of victory'.

81. Edith/Editha (Old English origin) - means 'riches or blessed'.

82. Eira (Welsh origin) - means 'snow'.

83. Eve/Avelina (Latin origin) - means 'bird or strength'.

84. Erika (Norse origin) -means 'sole ruler or eternal ruler'.

85. Eydis (Norse origin) - means 'goddess of the island'.

86. Florine/ Flora (Latin origin) - means 'flowering' or 'flourishing'.

87. Genevieve (Germanic or Celtic origin) - means 'woman of the race'.

88. Gisela (German origin) - means 'pledge' and a feminine given name generally.

89. Isabeau (French origin) -means 'pledged to God' and is generally a girl's name.

90. Mirabel (Latin origin) - means 'wonderful or of wondrous beauty' and used to be a gender-neutral nickname in the Middle Ages.

91. Olive (English origin) -Itis a generally feminine given name that means 'olive tree'.

92. Petra (Greek origin) - means 'stone'.

93. Regina (Latin origin) -means 'queenly'.

94. Sigrid (Norse origin) - means 'fair victory'.

95. Thomasina (Aramaic origin) - means ‘twin.’

96. Winifred (German and English origin) - means 'peace.'

97. Zelda/Griselda (Yiddish name) -  means 'dark battle'.

Common Medieval Nicknames For Boys

98. Alaric (German origin) - means 'noble ruler'.

99. Aloysius (Germanic origin) - means 'famous warrior'.

100. Arne (Norse origin) - means 'eagle'.

101. Avery (English and French origin) - means 'ruler of elves'.

102. Bjorn (English, German, and Scandinavian origins) - means 'bold as a bear'.

103. Cassian (Latin origin) - means 'son of Cassius' or 'curly-headed'.

104. Elric (English origin) - This is generally a boy's name for 'wise ruler.'

105. Grimwald (German origin) -means 'mask' and 'power'.

106. Hawke (English origin) - means 'falcon, bird of prey'.

107. Jacob (multiple origins) - means 'supplanter'.

108. Jeremiah (Hebrew origin) - means 'exalted of God'.

109. Kenric (Anglo-Saxon origin) - means 'fearless leader'.

110. Leif (Norse origin) - means 'descendant'.

111. Leoric ( Latin origin) - means 'He is like a lion'.

112. Njal (Scandinavian origin) - means 'champion'.

113. Pascal (Latin origin) - means 'relating to Easter'.

114. Piers (English origin) - means 'rock, stone'.

115. Ricard (French origin) - means ' strong, powerful ruler'.

116. Torsten (Scandinavian origin) - means 'Thor's stone'.

117. Robert (Germanic origin) - means 'bright flame'.

Medieval Nicknames - Royalty

118. Albert With The Pigtail -Albert III of Austria was named for his habit of wearing his hair in pigtails.

119. Carlos The Bewitched -Carlos II of Spain was given the nickname because of his different medical issues.

120. Charles The Silly -King Charles II of France was given this nickname as he slowly degenerated into insanity. He was earlier known as Charles The Well-Loved.

121. Charles The Simple - Charles III, the King of West Francia, was nicknamed for his honesty and guilelessness, not for being simple-minded.

122. Constantine V, The Kopronymous -King of the Byzantine Empire in the eighth century, was named 'dung named' by his enemies.

123. Frederick The Irontooth - Fredrich II of Brandenburg came to be called Irontooth when he became too uncontrollable for the nobles who dared to attempt coercion.

124. Haakon The Crazy -A Norwegian earl with a wild and fierce fighting technique.

125. James Firey Face - King James II of Scotland was dubbed Firey Face because of the red birthmark on his face.

126. King Harald the Fine Haired - According to history, the King of Norway changed his nickname from Harald the Tangled Haired to Harald the Fine Haired after fulfilling his oath. 

127. Louis The Universal Spider - The French King, Louis XI, was a paranoid man who created conspiracies all over the country and plotted to overthrow the King. 

128. Ludwig The Leaper - The German leader got this name for his bold escape from prison.

129. Olaf 'Little Snack' - The King of the Isles got the nickname because of his small stature.

130. Philip The Fair - Philip IV of France was handsome, which gave him his nickname.

131. Philip The Fortunate -The French King, Philip VI, was given the nickname 'Fortunate' because he became the King only due to numerous unfortunate deaths.

132. Ragnarr Hairypants -The Chief of Vikings got his name for wearing protective cowhide pants.

133. Rhys The Hoarse - A 13th-century Welsh Prince who got the nickname because of his voice.

134. Richard The Lionheart - He earned thenickname 'Lionheart' because of his leadership and bravery. 

135. Sancho The Caped - King Sancho II of Portugal earned his nickname as a child when he often wore capes.

136. Vsevolod The Big Nest - The Russian ruler got his name because of his large family.

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Sources

en.wikipedia.orgwww.medievalists.netawkward.comwww.medievalists.netwww.anoxfordhistorian.comwww.mentalfloss.comsarahs-history-place.blogspot.comwww.name-doctor.comwww.anoxfordhistorian.comworthstart.comwww.britannica.comen.wikipedia.orggudrunlauret.comen.wikipedia.orgwww.interesly.comen.wikipedia.orgopendomesday.org

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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