Vol. 62 No. 3 (2014)
Research Article

Emotions in the Household: Emotion Words and Metaphors in Domesday Book Personal Names

Published 2014-09-01


  • family names,
  • Roma/Gypsies,
  • Spain,
  • ethnicity,
  • enlightenment,
  • corpus linguistics
  • ...More



This paper presents an analysis of the set of emotion-related personal names recorded in the Domesday Book. Through the fine-grained analysis of the themes used in these names, this paper proposes a semantic description of late Old English personal names, which have been classified into the following seven name sub-categories: happiness, joy, love, tenderness, pride, anger, and fear. This analysis shows that emotion-related vocabulary was a favorite personal name element in post-Conquest England. Furthermore, it proposes some of the general tendencies behind name-giving practices, especially in relation to (i) gender distribution of emotion themes and concepts and (ii) frequent lexical combinations of emotion-related themes. Finally, the paper offers an interpretation of the metaphorization processes that motivated the development of some of these combinations of words and their usage as personal names in Anglo-Saxon England.


  1. Clark, Cecily. 1992. “Onomastics.” The Cambridge History of the English Language 1: The Beginnings to 1066. Ed. Richard M. Hogg. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 409–450.
  2. Clark, Philip. 1987. “Notes on (Early) Old English Personal Names.” Newscastle University Arthurian Society. <http://www.millennia.f2s.com/reenactment%20-%20research%20-%20early%20oe%20names.pdf> [accessed November 20 2013].
  3. Colman, Fran. 1996. “Names Will Never Hurt Me.” Studies in English Language and Literature. “Doubt Wisely”: Papers in Honour of E. G. Stanley. Ed. Toswell Jane and Tyler Elizabeth. London: Routledge, 13–28.
  4. Darby, Henry C. 1979.Domesday England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Díaz-Vera, Javier E. 1996. “From Domesday Book to Lay Subsidy Rolls. Place-Names as Informants of Linguistic Change.”Studia Anglica Posnasiensia 30: 37–43.
  6. Díaz-Vera, Javier E. 2011.“Reconstructing the Old English Cultural Model for Fear.” Atlantis 33(1): 85–103.
  7. Dobrić, Nicola. 2010. “Theory of Names and Cognitive Linguistics — The Case of the Metaphor.” Filozifija i drustvo 21(1): 31–41.
  8. Dodgson, J. McNeal. 1985. “Some Domesday Personal-Names, Mainly Post-Conquest.”Nomina 9: 41–51.
  9. von Feilitzen, Olof. 1937. The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells.
  10. Fell, Christine. 1984. Women in Anglo-Saxon England.London: British Museum.
  11. Fisiak, Jacek. 1984. “English Dialects in the Fifteenth Century: Some Observations Concerning the Shift of Two Isoglosses.” Folia Linguistica Historica 4: 75–98.
  12. Fisiak, Jacek. 1985. “The Voicing of Initial Fricatives in Middle English.” Focus on England and Wales. Ed. Viereck Wolfgang. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 5–28.
  13. Fisiak, Jacek. 1990. “Domesday Book and Late Old English Dialects.” Papers from the 8th International Con­ference on Historical Linguistics. Ed. Andersen Hennig and Koerner Konrad. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 107–128.
  14. Forde, Helen. 1986. Domesday Preserved. London: HMSO.
  15. Geeraerts, Dirk, and Caroline Gevaert. 2008. “Hearts and (Angry) Minds in Old English.” Culture, Body, and Language: Conceptualizations of Internal Body Organs across Cultures and Languages. Ed. Sharifian Farzad, Dirven René, and Yu Ning. Berlin: Mouton, 319–347.
  16. Goddard, Cliff. 1998. Semantic Analysis. A Practical Introduction.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  17. Hallam, Elizabeth. 1986.Domesday Book through Nine Centuries. London: Thames & Hudson.
  18. Hough, Carole. 2002. “Women in English Place-Names.” Essays in Memory of Christine E. Fell, with her Unpublished Writings. Ed. Hough Carole and Lowe Kathryn A.. Donington: Shaun Tyas, 41–106.
  19. Jewell, Helen. 1996. Women in Medieval England.New York: Manchester University Press.
  20. Kitson, Peter R. 2002. “How Anglo-Saxon Personal Names Work.”Nomina 25: 91–131.
  21. Kövecses, Zoltan. 2000. Metaphor and Emotion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  22. Okasha, Elizabeth. 2011. Women’s Names in Old English. London: Ashgate.
  23. Redin, Mats. 1919. Studies in Uncompounded Personal Names in Old English. Berlings: Uppsala.
  24. Sacharin, Vera, Katja Schlegel, and Klaus Scherer. 2012. “Geneva Emotion Wheel Rating Study.” Geneva, Switzerland: University of Geneva, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences.
  25. Sawyer, P. H. 1955. “The Place-Names of the Domesday Manuscripts.” Bulletin J. Rylands Library 38: 483–506.
  26. Stefanowitsch, Anatol. 2006. “Words and their Metaphors: A Corpus-Based Approach.” Corpus-based Approaches to Metaphor and Metonymy. Ed. Stefanowitsch Anatol and Gries Stephan Th.. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 63–105.
  27. Stenton, Frank M. 1924. “Personal-Names in Place Names.” Introduction to the Survey of English Place-Names. Ed. Mawer Allen and Stenton Frank M.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 165–189.
  28. Wood, Michael. 1999.Domesday A Search for the Roots of England. London: BBC Books.
  29. Woolf, Henry Bosley. 1939. The Old Germanic Principles of Name-Giving.Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins Press.