Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 646

Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 646

This report is available at

Some of the Academy's early reports contain errors that we haven't yet corrected. Please use it with caution.

Greetings from the Academy of Saint Gabriel!

You asked for information on the name "Cedric", which you wanted to use for your 14th century English persona. Master Talan has already corresponded with you privately, and we're adding only a little to his information.

<Cedric> probably arose in the 19th century through Sir Walter Scott's mis-reading of <Cerdic> [1]. It was popularized in England in the 19th and 20th centuries through literature and cinema. Although some authors have suggested that it derives from a hypothetical Welsh name <Cedrych> [2, 6], no one has presented evidence that this name existed.

The existence of <Edric> does not support the construction of <Cedric>: The root name <Eadric> was formed from the Old English elements <Ead-> + <-ric>. There is no evidence of <Caed-> or <Ced-> as an Old English name element, so there is no way to construct <Cedric>.

<Cerdic> itself probably derived from another Welsh name, <Ceredig>. There was a West Saxon king <Cerdic> who died in 534 [2, 6, 8].

There are a few similar-sounding names which you might consider as alternatives. Various forms of <Edric> were used in England before 1300 [3, 4]:

Edrich 1275
Edericke 1275
Edric(us) 1086
Edricus 12th/13th C
Edrichus 12th/13th C
Eddricus 12th/13th C
Adricus 12th/13th C
{AE}dricus 12th/13th C

"{AE}" represents the letter 'aesc', written as a connected 'a' and 'e'. The <-us> ending is a scribal usage, which would have been used in written records but not in speech.

If the sound of your name is more important than the setting of your persona, you could use something more similar to <Cedric> if you are willing to move your persona.

If you are interested in a name that starts with an \s\ sound, you could place your persona in the area of modern France in the 900s. The name Continental Germanic <Sidrac> is recorded there in 914 [5]. The deuterotheme <-rac> is rare; replacing it by the very common <-ric> would produce the (unrecorded) <Sidric>. Though unattested, it is plausible.

With this name you'd probably use another Continental Germanic name as a byname for registration. A documentary Latin form would be something like <Sidricus filius Geirardi> 'Sidric son of Gierard'. At about this time or a little later we start seeing the <filius> omitted and the father's name left in the nominative case: <Sidricus Geirardus>, or even <Sidric Geirardus>.

If you want a name starting with a \k\ sound, you could move your persona in the other direction, to Wales, and use the name <Cadog>. This name was in use in Wales over much of our period, including the 14th century [6, 7]. If you use this name, then I suggest that you read the article "A Simple Guide to Constructing 13th Century Welsh Names", available on the web at

It will give you some good advice on how to construct a complete Welsh name.

I hope this letter has been useful. Please write us again if any part of it has been unclear or if you have other questions. I was assisted in researching and writing this letter by Talan Gwynek

For the Academy,

Arval Benicoeur


[1] Withycombe, E.G., The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, 3rd

ed. (Oxford University Press).

[2] Dunkling, Leslie and William Gosling, The New American Dictionary of

First Names (Signet Books, 1983).

[3] Reaney, P. H., & R. M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames (Oxford

University Press, 1995).

[4] Selten, Bo, _The Anglo-Saxon Heritage in Middle English Personal

Names_, Volumes 1 & 2. (Lund, Sweden: Royal Society of Letters at Lund, 1979).

[5] Morlet, Marie-Therese, Les Noms de Personne sur le Territoire de

l'Ancienne Gaule du VIe au XIIe Siecle, three volumes (Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1972).

[6] Gruffudd, Heini. Enwau i'r Cymry/Welsh Personal Names (Talybont: Y

Lolfa, 1984).

[7] Morgan, T.J. and Prys Morgan, _Welsh Surnames_ (CArdiff: University of

Wales Press, 1985).

[8] Churchyard, Henry, "Royal Genealogies" (WWW: privately published).