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  • 1.
    Ryman, Lennart
    Institute for Language and Folklore, Department of Onomastics, Uppsala. Institutet för språk och folkminnen.
    Kristna personnamnselement?1996In: Från götarna till Noreens kor: hyllningsskrift till Lennart Elmevik på 60-årsdagen 2 februari 1996 / [ed] Eva Brylla, Svante Strandberg och Mats Wahlberg, Uppsala: Ortnamnsarkivet i Uppsala , 1996Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Summary

    Christian personal name elements?

    By Lennart Ryman

    The personal name elements Böt- and Likn-, -likn have been interpreted as 'penitence' and `mercy' respectively. It has been claimed that they were introduced by Christians, in order to form names appropriate to the new religion. According to this theory, Bot- was introduced in seventh-century England, whence it spread to Scandinavia and the High German area; likn, on the other hand, seems to have been exclusively Gotlandic and Swedish. The main argument for the theory is that the elements in question are not found in pre-Christian sources. The existence of the element Krist- shows that Christian elements could be incorporated in the old system of dithematic names. There is, however, some evidence that the existence of Bot- in continental Germanic sources precedes the introduction of Christianity, and it seems likely that both Bot- and likn are of pre-Christian origin on Gotland. The original meaning of the elements can in my opinion, judging by the Scandinavian evidence, probably be roughly rendered as lelp, improvement' , a meaning to which there are numerous parallels among Scandinavian personal name elements. However, it is quite possible that the elements later came to be associated, to a greater or lesser extent, with the Christian concepts referred to.

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