Basque Feminine Names

by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (Sara L. Friedemann)

© 1999 Sara L. Friedemann; all rights reserved
last updated 27Dec99


The following is a list of Basque feminine given names and bynames found in various medieval sources. Not all of the names are of Basque linguistic origin--in fact, many of the names were popular throughout all Iberian cultures--but they were all used by Basque women. Each name is listed as a header, followed by the dates it was recorded. I have used MC to indicate names that were found in undated medieval cartularies.

A number of the names were found more than one time in the sources. For names where this is the case, I have included in brackets the number of times it was found in place of dates. These names were found in the 10th-13th centuries.

Given Names

Aldoncia [3]This is originally of Germanic origin.
Anderazo[2]This is of Basque origin, containing andere "lady, woman of the house."
Belascuza MC This is a feminine derivative of Belasco.
Belasquita [3] This is of Basque origin, a feminine derivative of Belasco, with a Spanish diminutive suffix, -ita. Bela means "crow."
Çinara 1366 In this case, the Ç is pronounced \ts\.
Constanza [2]
Domeca MC This is probably from the Latin feminine Domitia; if it is, then the c is pronounced \ts\.
Domicussa 1206 This is probably a derivative of Domeca or perhaps of Dominica. It has the same suffix as Belascuza, above.
Elvira 13-14th c. This was a popular Hispano-Gothic name.
Emazteona MC This literally means "good wife," but it was also used as a Basque given name.
Iuxta 1350 This appears to be a form of Justa
Jurdana 1350 This is from the feminine form of the Hebrew name Jordan.
Justa 1350 This is probably from the Latin Justus, Justa
Leguntia [4] This is probably from the Germanic Leodegundia.
María [4]
Mencia [2] The origin of this is uncertain; it could come from the Gallo-Latin name Mincius, which may be contracted from Minicius or Minucius, or a variant of Minthius
Oneca MC This is an early version of Iñiga, a feminine of Inigo.
Ortissa ca.1230 This is possibly from Ortiz.
1173 [4]
This is from the Latin Sanctia; the masculine counterpart of this name was very popular in Basque country, where it appears as Santxo and Anso.
Toda [17] This is probably a variant of Tota, which was the name of a couple of early queens in various Spanish kingdoms.
Urraca [7] This is from the Spanish hurraca "magpie," which is from the Latin furax "thievish."
Yenega 1350 This is a feminine of Inigo. See Oneca above.
Ziannna [2] The triple 'n' in this name is probably a typo.


Two women in these sources were listed with bynames. In both cases, the byname is descriptive, and follows the given name.

beguy urdina MC This means "blue-eyes."
Suberria 13-14th c. This means "new-hearth."


Carrasco Pérez, Juan La Poblacio'n de Navarra en el Siglo XIV (Pamplona, Spain: Ediciones Universidad de Navarra, S.A, 1973).

Gorrochategui, Joaquin, "Basque Names" in Walter de Gruyter, Name Studies, 1995.

Reaney, P. H., & R. M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames (London: Routledge, 1991; Oxford University Press, 1995).

Zumalacárregui, Angeles Líbano and José A. Líbano, "La Anthroponimia en Alava, Guipuzcoa y Vizcaya en los siglos X al XIII", pp.259-281 in Antroponimia y Sociedad: Sistemas de identificación hispano-cristianos en los siglos IX a XIII (Valladolid, Spain: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela and Universidad de Valladolid, 1995).