Arvindus

Contemplations

'Erwin'

  • Title: Contemplations, 'Erwin'.
  • Author: Arvindus.
  • Publisher: Arvindus.
  • Copyright: Arvindus, 2024, all rights reserved.
  • Index: 202406262.
  • Edition: html, first edition.
  • Original: Contemplaties, 'Erwin', Index: 202406261.

§

The name 'Erwin' is often included in the many name books that are published. Therein the name is related to countless other same sounding names, such as for instance 'Arvin', 'Arwin', 'Earvan', 'Earven', 'Earvin', 'Earvine' 'Earvon', 'Earvyn', 'Erv', 'Ervan', 'Erven', 'Ervene', 'Ervin', 'Ervind', 'Ervine', 'Ervino', 'Ervon', 'Ervyn', 'Ervyne', 'Erwan', 'Erwinek', 'Erwinn', 'Erwyn', 'Erwynn', 'Everwyn', 'Irvin', 'Irvine', 'Irving', 'Irvyn', 'Irvyne', 'Irwin' and 'Irwyn'.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 And the list becomes even longer when the aforementioned names are related to same sounding names with prefixed consonants, leading to names like 'Berwin', 'Derwin', 'Gerwin', 'Herwin', 'Kerwin', 'Merwin' and 'Sherwin' in all their occurring varieties.6, 7

Of all these names there are several which in different publications are considered as original, however 'Erwin' is sometimes also itself considered as original. And dependent upon the assumed origin a meaning assignment then takes place.

The determining of the origin is thereby often dependent upon the place of origin of the publication and the author. For instance in English publications are usually the English name forms considered as original, while in German publications this often goes for the German name forms. In English publications is 'Erwin' for instance considered as a derivation of the name 'Irvine'. This is further not only an English person name, but also the name of a Scottish town and river.8, 9 The Gaelic name regards 'Irbhinn',10 and is considered to be composed of the original Celtic counterparts of the Welsh 'ir', meaning 'green' and 'fresh', and 'afron', meaning 'water'.11 As such 'Erwin' then is sometimes the meaning assigned of 'green, fresh river' or 'green, fresh water'.12, 13 This meaning is by the way also assigned to the English name 'Irving', be it that in that case the source would be not the place Irvine but the elsewhere in Britain located place Irving.14

'Irvin', a considered derivation of 'Irvine' or 'Irving',15 is also considered to mean in Gaelic 'beautiful' and 'handsome'.16, 17 This then could be derived from the first word part, for also the name 'Erv' is assigned that meaning.18 'Erv' as 'beautiful' then could have a Celtic relation with 'irv' as 'fresh', thus is here assumed.

In English publications is 'Erwin' through 'Irwin' also often considered as a derivation of the medieval English name 'Everwyn', which would be composed of the Old-English 'eofor', meaning 'wild boar', and 'wine', meaning friend. 'Erwin' then is from this consideration also assigned the meaning of 'wild boar friend'.19, 20 However 'Everwyn' and its same sounding relatives 'Everwijn' and 'Everwin' occurred also often as a forename and as a family name in the Dutch language area, just like the German 'Eberwin' in the German language area.21, 22 So when 'Erwin' would be a derivation of 'Everwyn' then this is more likely general Germanic than specifically English.

The name part 'wine' (Old-English form) or 'wini' (Old-High-German form)23 in the meaning of 'friend' is more often applicated in the name analyses of 'Erwin'. 'Er' thereby is in different manners interpreted. Above 'er' was already considered as derived of 'ever'. But 'Erwin' is also regularly considered in the meaning of 'sea friend'.24 How then 'er' came to carry the meaning of 'sea' is not clear. Perhaps 'Erwin' in this meaning assignment is considered as a derivative of British names like 'Mervin' and 'Marvin', for these names are also assigned the meaning of 'sea friend'.25, 26 And 'mer' can more clearly be considered as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Germanic, Old-English, Old-Irish and Welsh word forms for sea like 'mori', 'mari', 'mere', 'muir' and 'mor'.27, 28 'Merwin' and 'Marvin' know however also other meaning assignments. 'Mari' for instance could carry the meaning of 'famous', 'steadfast' or even 'marrow', giving 'Erwin', just like 'Merwin' or 'Marvin', then the meaning of 'famous friend', 'steadfast friend' or, for who wants to take it in consideration, 'marrow friend'.29, 30 Further 'Merwin', and thus also 'Erwin', is also considered as being derived from the Welsh 'Myrddin', which indicates a hill at the sea and is also considered as the source of the name 'Merlijn'.31

To consider 'Erwin' as a derivative of 'Merwin' is however not more plausible than considering that name as a derivative of 'Berwin' 'Derwin', 'Kerwin' or 'Sherwin', in which case 'Erwin' would adopt meanings like 'powerful son', 'powerful friend', 'harvest friend', 'bear friend', 'loyal friend', 'dear friend', 'talented friend', 'excellent friend', 'water friend', 'marsh friend', 'dark haired friend', 'fleet footed (friend)', 'earl friend', and probably still several more.32, 33, 34, 35, 36

So far 'Erwin' was mainly considered in its Anglosaxon interpretations. The interpretations in the Germanic part of the European mainland are less diverse. In the German language area 'Erwin' is regularly considered as being derived of 'Herwin', whereby 'her' through the Old-High-German 'heri' and the Proto-Germanic 'haria' may refer to an army, giving 'Erwin' the meaning of 'army friend' or perhaps 'war friend'.37, 38, 39, 40

In this line of thought also 'Gerwin' must be mentioned, a Germanic name which is assigned the meaning of 'spear friend', a meaning which then also would be transferrable for 'Erwin' when the latter would be derived from the first.41, 42, 43 (In an Anglosaxon interpretation is, without further justification, also the meaning of 'fair love' assigned).44

Closer to the own phonetics of 'Erwin' is the consideration whereby the former is derived of 'Arwin'. 'Er' and 'ar' thereby are considered to be derived of the Proto-Germanic 'ara' or 'arnu' in their meaning of 'eagle', giving 'Erwin' then the meaning of 'eagle friend'.45

'Er' and 'ar' however are also considered as being derived of the Old-Germanic 'era' and 'ar', which are related to honour and are also the roots of the Dutch 'eer' and the German 'Ehre'. 'Erwin' then would mean 'honourable friend' or 'honour lover'.46, 47

Interesting is that in Sanskrit the root 'ar(h)' carries the related meaning of 'worthy', such as in terms like 'arhat' and 'arya', whereby the first carries the central meaning of 'worthy' and the latter also refers to an honourable someone.48, 49, 50, 51 It is then also not unlikely that 'er' and 'ar' as they occur in 'Erwin' and 'Arwin' have a Proto-Indo-European root, be it perhaps different than in the more regular etymology, onomastics and anthroponymy is presupposed.52

Connecting to that it is also interesting that the second word part in 'Erwin', as also in numerable other Germanic names, also occurs in a Sanskrit name like 'Ashvin'. This name is derived of the Sanskrit word for horse, 'ashva', and is assigned the meaning of 'consisting of horses' (but perhaps the term 'horseness' instead of 'horses' is more suitable here).53, 54, 55 'Vin' thereby is thus interpreted as 'own', and this connects to the earlier mentioned 'wine' and 'wini' as 'friend', for a friend is ones own, and it also connects to the contemporary English word 'win', for what is won also becomes ones own. So according to this line of thought 'Erwin' in its Proto-Indo-European roots could also refer to someone to whom honourability is his own.

Now in Sanskrit also the name 'Arvind' is found56 and given its phonetic resemblance with 'Erwin' it is tempting to relate these two names etymologically. Still, this doesn't seem correct. In its generality 'Arvind' is assigned the meaning of 'lotus'.57, 58 And more specifically 'Arvind' is as being derived of 'Aravinda' interpreted as 'lotuslike.59 Although not completely impossible it seems to be thus only with artificial measures that 'Erwin' can etymologically be related to 'Arvind' as such, for it needs the semantic bridging from 'honourable' to 'lotus'.

That 'Erwin' is not easily related to 'Arvind' does not diminish the above analysis of 'Erwin' as 'honourable (friend)'. For the Sanskrit meanings of 'ar' and 'vin' still acknowledge the Old-Germanic meanings of 'er' and 'win' and still presuppose a joint Proto-Indo-European root.

The above by the way does not mean that 'Erwin' could not have come to being on the British isles under the influence of British place names like 'Irvine' and 'Irving' or that no other sources can be assigned. 'Erwin' may for instance as a loan name once have been adopted to express same sounding names. In the present analysis for instance it would have been easy to assign to 'Erwin' due to its phonetic resemblance with 'Arvind' the meaning of 'lotus(like)'. However the above does show that 'Erwin' in its meaning of 'honourable (friend)' is more original and therewith also more authentic than the other mentioned meanings. 'Erwin' means primarily 'honourable (friend)'.

May this conclusion then make 'Erwin' rewin its honourablility.

Notes
  1. G. van Berkel & M. Deelstra-Boerhof & S. Horjus, Het nieuwste voornamenboek, Unieboek / Spectrum, Houten, 2010, p. 40.
  2. Lori Cooper, 75,000+ Baby Names for the 21st Century, Thomas C. Lothian Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 2003, p. 449, 483.
  3. Lechner's Vornamenbuch, Über 8.000 Namen von A-Z, Lechner Verlag, p. 78, 133.
  4. Patrick Hanks, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York, 2006, p. 130-131.
  5. Diane Stafford, 60,001+ Best Baby Names, Sourcebooks Inc., Naperville, 2008, p. 157.
  6. Ibidem, p. 104, 142, 209, 234, 278.
  7. Lechner's Vornamenbuch, Über 8.000 Namen von A-Z, p. 104, 133.
  8. Nota 4.
  9. John Foster, Cambridge County Geographics, Ayrshire, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1910, p. 21-22.
  10. Malcolm MacLennan, A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, Gaelic-English, English-Gaelic, Acair and Mercat Press, Stornoway, 1992, p. 201.
  11. Nota 4.
  12. 75,000+ Baby Names for the 21st Century, 483.
  13. Holly Ivins, 10,000 Baby Names, Crimson Publishing, Richmond, 2010, p. 86.
  14. Nota 4.
  15. Ibidem.
  16. Alfred J. Kolatch, Today's Best Baby Names, A Compendium of Contemporary Names Especially Selected for New Parents, Perigee Books, The Putnam Publishing Group, New York, 1986, p. 61.
  17. Nota 4.
  18. Ibidem.
  19. Nota 1, 2, 4.
  20. 10,000 Baby Names, p. 66, 86.
  21. Lechner's Vornamenbuch, Über 8.000 Namen von A-Z, p. 66.
  22. Ines Schill, 4000 Vornamen, aus aller Welt, Bassermann, 1998, p. 64.
  23. Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0), Oxford University Press, 2009, wine, n2.
  24. Nota 2.
  25. 60,001+ Best Baby Names, p. 234.
  26. 10,000 Baby Names, p. 109.
  27. P.A.F. van Veen †, Nicoline van der Sijs, Etymologisch Woordenboek: de herkomst van onze woorden, Van Dale Uitgevers, Utrecht / Antwerpen, 1997, p. 549.
  28. Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands, Ke-R, dr. Marlies Philippa / et alii (redacteuren), Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2007, p. 324.
  29. Lechner's Vornamenbuch, Über 8.000 Namen von A-Z, p. 205.
  30. A Dictionary of First Names, p. 432.
  31. J. van der Schaar, Prisma Voornamen, Het Spectrum B.V., Utrecht, 2004, p. 281.
  32. Emily Larson, The Baby Names Almanac, 2018, Sourcebooks, Inc., Naperville, 2018, p. 260.
  33. 75,000+ Baby Names for the 21st Century, p. 403, 437, 483, 507, 588.
  34. Today's Best Baby Names, p. 29, 41, 68, 98.
  35. Teresa Norman, Names Through the Ages, Berkley Books, New York, 1999, p. 395, 503.
  36. 60,001+ Best Baby Names, p. 104, 278.
  37. Nota 3.
  38. 4000 Vornamen, aus aller Welt, p. 114.
  39. Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands, F-Ka, dr. Marlies Philippa / et alii (redacteuren), Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2007, p. 398, 399.
  40. The Baby Names Almanac, 2018, p. 290.
  41. Prisma Voornamen, p. 168.
  42. Lechner's Vornamenbuch, Über 8.000 Namen von A-Z, p. 104.
  43. 4000 Vornamen, aus aller Welt, p. 97.
  44. 75,000+ Baby Names for the 21st Century, p. 463.
  45. Prisma Voornamen, p. 137.
  46. A Dictionary of First Names, p. 316.
  47. Reinold Kapff, Deutsche Vornamen, mit den vor ihnen abstammenden Geschlechtsnamen, sprachlich erläutert, Reinold Kapff Verlag, Nürtingen am Neckar, 1889, p. 31.
  48. Monier Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, With Special Reference to Greek, Latin, Gothic, German, Anglo-Saxon, and Other Cognate Indo-European Languages, The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1862, p. 85, 129.
  49. Arthur A. MacDonell, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Being a Practical Handbook with Transliteration, Accentuation, and Etymological Analysis Throughout, Longmans, Green, and Co., London / New York, 1893, p. 28.
  50. Edward A. Irons, Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Facts on File, New York, 2008, p. 21.
  51. Robert S. Ellwood & Gregory D. Alles, The Encyclopedia of World Religions, Facts on File, New York, 2007, p. 32.
  52. Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands, A-E, dr. Marlies Philippa / et alii (redacteuren), Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2007, p. 661.
  53. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, p. 102.
  54. Vaman Shivram Apte, The Student's English-Sanskrit Dictionary, Mrs. Radhabai Atmaram Sagoon, Bombay, 1893, p. 192.
  55. David Frawley, Wisdom of the Ancient Seers, Mantras of the Rig Veda, Passage Press, Salt Late City, 1992, p. 200.
  56. A Dictionary of First Names, p. 329.
  57. Ibidem.
  58. Vimla Patil, Baby Names, Over 400 Beautiful Indian Names for Your Child, Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2002, p. 5.
  59. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, p. 81.
Bibliography
  • Vaman Shivram Apte, The Student's English-Sanskrit Dictionary, Mrs. Radhabai Atmaram Sagoon, Bombay, 1893.
  • G. van Berkel & M. Deelstra-Boerhof & S. Horjus, Het nieuwste voornamenboek, Unieboek / Spectrum, Houten, 2010.
  • Lori Cooper, 75,000+ Baby Names for the 21st Century, Thomas C. Lothian Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 2003.
  • Robert S. Ellwood & Gregory D. Alles, The Encyclopedia of World Religions, Facts on File, New York, 2007.
  • John Foster, Cambridge County Geographics, Ayrshire, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1910.
  • David Frawley, Wisdom of the Ancient Seers, Mantras of the Rig Veda, Passage Press, Salt Late City, 1992.
  • Patrick Hanks, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York, 2006.
  • Edward A. Irons, Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Facts on File, New York, 2008.
  • Holly Ivins, 10,000 Baby Names, Crimson Publishing, Richmond, 2010.
  • Reinold Kapff, Deutsche Vornamen, mit den vor ihnen abstammenden Geschlechtsnamen, sprachlich erläutert, Reinold Kapff Verlag, Nürtingen am Neckar, 1889.
  • Alfred J. Kolatch, Today's Best Baby Names, A Compendium of Contemporary Names Especially Selected for New Parents, Perigee Books, The Putnam Publishing Group, New York, 1986.
  • Emily Larson, The Baby Names Almanac, 2018, Sourcebooks, Inc., Naperville, 2018.
  • Arthur A. MacDonell, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Being a Practical Handbook with Transliteration, Accentuation, and Etymological Analysis Throughout, Longmans, Green, and Co., London / New York, 1893.
  • Malcolm MacLennan, A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, Gaelic-English, English-Gaelic, Acair and Mercat Press, Stornoway, 1992.
  • Teresa Norman, Names Through the Ages, Berkley Books, New York, 1999.
  • Vimla Patil, Baby Names, Over 400 Beautiful Indian Names for Your Child, Rupa & Co., New Delhi, 2002.
  • J. van der Schaar, Prisma Voornamen, Het Spectrum B.V., Utrecht, 2004.
  • Ines Schill, 4000 Vornamen, aus aller Welt, Bassermann, 1998.
  • Diane Stafford, 60,001+ Best Baby Names, Sourcebooks Inc., Naperville, 2008.
  • P.A.F. van Veen †, Nicoline van der Sijs, Etymologisch Woordenboek: de herkomst van onze woorden, Van Dale Uitgevers, Utrecht / Antwerpen, 1997.
  • Monier Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Etymologically and Philologically Arranged, With Special Reference to Greek, Latin, Gothic, German, Anglo-Saxon, and Other Cognate Indo-European Languages, The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1862.
  • Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands, A-E, dr. Marlies Philippa / et alii (redacteuren), Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2007.
  • Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands, F-Ka, dr. Marlies Philippa / et alii (redacteuren), Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2007.
  • Etymologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands, Ke-R, dr. Marlies Philippa / et alii (redacteuren), Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam.
  • Lechner's Vornamenbuch, Über 8.000 Namen von A-Z, Lechner Verlag.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0), Oxford University Press, 2009.