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Thread: Please Help: Alvar Hanso Etymology

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    Please Help: Alvar Hanso Etymology

    Hello everyone

    Alvar Hanso is a Danish character from the show Lost.
    I am trying to find the meaning of his name.
    This is as far as I have gone, so I would appreciate any help you can give me.

    Would a modern Danish family christen their child with the Scandinavian name or with the other names (English or Spanish-Portuguese)?

    It comes from the IE root *ghans-

    Latin: Ansar
    sanskrit: Hamsa
    GreeK: Χην
    Spanish: Ganso
    Old Irish: Geiss
    Old English: Gos
    English: Gander, Goose.


    I've found that 3 different languages and 4 different words could have produced the same form.

    1.- A Scandinavian name meaning "Watchman of the Rock" or "Guardian of the Stone".

    HALVAR (Swedish form of...)
    HALVARD Gender: Masculine Usage: Norwegian
    From the Old Norse name Hallvaršr, which meant "rock guardian" from hallr "rock" combined with varšr "guardian, defender".

    Found in Old Danish as Halwarth, in Old Swedish as Halvardh, and in OW.Norse as Hallvaršr. For the first element Hall- see above. For the second element -varšr see above. Very common in Norway, though less so in Iceland. Frequent in the Halland area of Sweden. Runic examples include the nominative form hal(u)aržr and the accusative form aluarž. Anglo-Scandinavian forms of the name may include the place-name Alwariding and the personal names Hįlwęrš, Aluuard, although these may be derived from the Old English names Alweard, Ęlfweard, Ęšelweard, etc.

    The second element -varšr may also occur as -vöršr, -oršr and -uršr in positions of secondary stress and is derived from *waršuR, Old Icelandic vöršr, varšr, "guard, watchman." Probably Danish, see the Danish runic inscription Aluarž. Not recorded in West Scandinavia. May be found in the Anglo-Scandinavian place-names Aluuarestorp, Alwardtorp (1235), Alwariding (1200's), Alwardethuait (1200's).

    I have tracked the history of this word from Old Norse to Modern Danish. I am inclined to think that a Danish man would use the Danish word, but it's possible that his parents were of English or Spanish-Portuguese descent and used one of the other "Alvar".

    2.- An English name meaning "Elf Army", "The White Army". I haven't found the link between the Anglosaxon word and the Modern English word. I am sure that any decent Middle English dictionary can provide that information.

    Derived from the Anglo-saxon Ęlfhere: ęlf (elf) and here (army).
    It means "elf army" or "white army".

    ęlf comes from the IE. *albhos (white)

    Elves where "white spirits of nature".

    3.- An English name meaning "Elf Warden" or "The White Guardian". Comes from the Anglosaxon word "Ęlfweard".

    ęlf comes from the IE. *albhos (white)
    weard, guardian, defender.

    4.- A Spanish-Portuguese name meaning "Guardian of All".

    Alvar / Įlvaro
    Spanish and Portuguese name.
    Derived from the gothic Alewarth.
    Ale-, "all" and -warth, guardian. It means "Guard of All".

    Semantically this is quite similar to the Greek 'Αλέξανδρος (Guardian of Humanity). Same here, I have not found the link between the Gothik word and the Modern Spanish-Portuguese word. I know that "Alvar" was used in Castillian in the X and XI century because in the "Poem of Mķo Cid" one character is called Minaya Alvar Fįńez.


    Maybe I should have posted this in the General Thread for Northern Germanics and not in the Danish subforum?
    I think I would have more chances to get help it it were there. Please mods consider moving it there if it's ok.
    Last edited by lacenaire; Wednesday, April 5th, 2006 at 06:20 PM.

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