Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Osric

If Osric (OZ-rik) looks at all familiar, you've probably read Shakespeare's Hamlet, in which Osric is a courtier. Osric is also a prince in the fantasy series The Chronicles of Amber, a king in the 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian, and there is actor Osric Chau.

From history we have a handful of namesakes. Osric of Deira was a king in the kingdom of Deira in the mid-600's, Northern England, but he did not leave much of a legacy. Osric of Northumbria ruled from 718 until 729, and he may be a descendant of Osric of Deira. Osric of Sussex probably ruled at the same time as Osric of Northumbria, but in Sussex alongside another ruler. Osric of the Hwicce was an Anglo-Saxon ruler in the kingdom of Hwicce and might've ruled jointly with his brother. His mother came from Northumbria, so there is a possible relation to the first two Osric's. This last king left a bit more of a legacy, founding two monasteries - Bath Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral. The legendary chronicler Bede wrote about all of these men.

Osric is an Anglo-Saxon name with Germanic elements (it is dithematic and ultimately Proto-Germanic), composed of os, meaning "a god," and ric, meaning "powerful." In other words, "divine ruler." Other ric- ending names have begun to take off or are already popular, such as Alaric (which became noticed in The Vampire Diaries), Maverick (which was #139 in 2016), Dominic/Dominick/Domenic, and eternally-popular Patrick and Eric (Erick was #237 in 2016). Osric really isn't that different, and there are names higher in popularity that are harder to spell or pronounce or just don't make any sense. Osric was given to a mere 5 boys in 2016.

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