What’s in a name?

I loooove the name Ceinwen. I truly do. It’s pronounced “Kane-when” and it’s Welsh. So… it sounds pretty, and it’s Welsh. Two points. Plus it starts with the “K” sound and I’m quite fond of that. Third point there. But I have a problem.

See, Chris (The Man of The House) and I are kinda sorta investigating the fascinating world(e) of the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA. One of the fun parts of this is that you give yourself a persona and a name that is true to the period in which your persona exists. Did I say fun part? For me it is becoming a Quest that haunts my waking hours.

TMoTH decided: Hey, I like Ireland and Irish history. I’ve been to Ireland. I’ll be Irish. Here’s a page with period Irish names. This one works for me. Done.

Me, I had to find and fall in love with Ceinwen. Ceinwen was a 6th century Welsh anchoress. But, my persona is 10th century Irish with Viking influence and a touch of North African ancestry. How in the world does such a girl end up with a Welsh name? Even if it were to happen, according to this site, the Welsh-named girl would choose a local (Irish) equivalent name, instead of keeping her own. Kharold says that no one will care and I should just use it and not register it. Kharold is a bad historian. I try to explain that the whole reason to do this is to try to be as authentic as possible. She reasons that I’m going to use any excuse possible to make Persian headwear and Venitian lace anyway, so why not borrow my name too? I try to explain that borrowing craft techniques is all very well, but when you live in a culture you speak that culture’s language and use its idiom. She called me obstinate and told me to just use it, so I could join groups and communicate with others using the name. The more she argues her “just do it” philosophy, the more I want to scream that “just do it” is the slogan of a company named for a Greek character, not 10th century Irish, and would she get with the program!

So now Kharold is weepy and sulky. I’m a bad alter-ego.

Anyway, I’m trying to find a documented use of a 10th century Irish name that sounds somewhat like Ceinwen now. Any help, let me know.

BTW, I want to take a picture of the heddles now that they are on the loom, but of course the area in which the loom sits is dark as pitch right now. I made the heddles by crocheting white mercerized yarn and they seem to be doing well, though they haven’t yet been threaded and taken into action. Hopefully tomorrow I can begin threading the heddles (right now I’m still dressing the reed) and take a picture.


One thought on “What’s in a name?

  1. Why don’t you just be 10th century Welsh with Viking influences (named for the 6th century anchoress) who married an Irishman and stubbornly keeps her own name? I see you as more Welsh anyway. Besides it makes sense; the Welsh are, well, the Welsh. Let’s just say they move to the beat of their own drummer. 🙂

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