Basque Onomastics of the Eighth to Sixteenth Centuries
Appendix 2: Locative Bynames

As with other naming systems, Basque locative bynames include both toponyms (those which refer to a specific place, incorporating the proper name of a village, valley, etc.) and topographical bynames (those which indicate a person’s residence relative to a general landmark, such as a stone, a tree, etc.) While a full discussion of Basque place-names and their derivations is beyond the scope of this paper, I will describe the different locative forms seen in period records.

Toponymic Forms

The most frequently seen toponyms have the word "de" and then a place-name. This style of toponym is, of course, more Latin or Spanish than Basque, and may simply indicate in the records that the individual was from the village in question, rather than that the person went by that locative.

The Basque toponymic form uses the suffix -ko after the place-name. This suffix is most frequently spelled in the medieval records as -co, but occasionally also appears as -coa, -quo, or -go. (A list of collected Basque toponyms with the -ko suffix can be provided, but it is lengthy.)

For modern Spanish, French, and Basque spellings of place-names of Basque origin, see "The Whole Basque Place-Name List" (

Topographical Forms

Basque topographical bynames sometimes refer to a general element of topography, sometimes with the suffixes -ko ("of") or -a ("the"):

Miquele Aldaça1265ARZA

aldatz ("valley") + -a suffix

Martin Herana1282DMCL VII.109

aran ("valley") + -a suffix

Eneco Bazterra1204ARZA

bazter ("corner, edge") + -a suffix

Pero Vazterreco1330ARZA

bazter ("corner, edge") + -ko suffix

Pero Garcia Buçuco1366ARZA

butzu ("well") + -ko suffix

Sancho Lopiz Yturreco1366CPPN VIII.D.b.286

it(h)urri ("fountain") + -ko suffix

Other topographical bynames combine the topographical element with an adjective:

Petro Arazuri1175DMCL VII.109

aran ("valley") + zuri ("white")
Garcia Arçamendi1085DMCL VII.109

artze ("rocky ground") + mendi ("mountain")

Martin Arauidio1152DCML VII.109

(h)arri ("stone") + bide ("path")

Gregorio Argaiz1039DMCL VII.109M

(h)arri ("stone") + gaitz ("bad")

Iennego Mendoça1286DMCL VII.112

mendi ("mountain") + otz ("cold")

Gorrochategui and Michelena identify -aga and -eta as locative suffixes as well:

Don Johan Delarraga1370ARZA

Berasco Çuriaga1290ARZA

Ariç Navarieta12th centuryLMAV 77

Johan Dagorreta1402ARZA

Gorrochategui considers botanical names to be topographical. These medieval Basque bynames are sorted by botanical element below:

agin ("yew")

Sancho Aguina1284ARZA

arantza ("thorn")

Onecha Aranca1200ARZA

ardit ("poplar")

Johan Ardit1425ARZA

art(h)e ("oak")

Pedro Artaço1246DMCL VII.109

baratz(e) ("garden, orchard")

Garcia Barace1200ARZA

Miguel baraçeco1258JLOV

Pero Baraceco1360ARZA

Johan Garcia Erraparaçe1366ARZA

baratzuri ("garlic")

Sancio Baraçuri1106ARZA

Garcia Uaraçuri1330ARZA

Pero Miguel Uaraçuri1366ARZA

Pero Miquel Varacuri1366ARZA

baso ("forest")

Sancio Basoraco1072ARZA

ffurtunius Uassoco1099ARZA

Orti bassauilco1258JLOV

Garcia bassoco13th centuryJLOV

Miquele bassoqo1258JLOV

biku ("fig, fig-tree")

Sancha bicuetaco la coyllaça1258JLOV

Martin Bicuondoco1263ARZA

Sancho Periz Uicuetaquo1350CPPN VIII.B.30

elar ("thyme")

Garcia Elarr1360ARZA

erro ("root")

Orti Erroco1245ARZA

ezki ("poplar, limetree")

Nicolas Dezquioz1401ARZA

Miguel Ezquiarachuria1366ARZA

ezpel ("boxwood")

Pedro Dezpeleta1447ARZA

fruitu ("fruit")

Miguel Fruyto1366ARZA

ot(h)e ("argoma-bush")

Maria Oteyza1330CPPN VIII.A

sagar ("apple")

Orti Sagarra1330ARZA

sagardi ("apple orchard")

Maria Sagardico1366ARZA

sarri ("thicket")

Maria Sarrico13th centuryJLOV

Pero Sarria1330CPPN VIII.A

ulice ("heather")

Obeko Urcegui969DMCL VII.112

untz ("ivy")

Orti Unzuquo1162ARZA

zaldu ("grove")

Azeari Zalduetaco1195JGBN

zalke ("pea")

Semeno Çalquea1236ARZA

zu(h)aitz ("tree")

Pedro Martinez de Zuaza15th centuryJGBN