User comments for Urtė

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Urtė cannot be a diminutive, because if it were one, it would have contained one of the numerous Lithuanian feminine diminutive suffixes, such as -utė, -ėlė and -ytė. For more information about Lithuanian diminutives, please see:

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_diminutives_by_language#Lithuanian (in English)
- http://www.su.lt/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3885:hf-fl-sn-2007-12&catid=459&Itemid=1264&lang=en (in English; scroll down to "The tendencies of addressing children in the family" written by Giedrė Čepaitienė)

With that said, I did some research on the name and found out the following:

1. The name Urtė originated in Lithuania Minor (also known as Prussian Lithuania): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuania_Minor (in English).

2. Most Lithuanian sources list Urtė as being a short form of Dorotėja. This is certainly plausible, due to the existence of the names Ortė (which is a variant form of Urtė) and Urtėja (which you could consider to be a fuller form of Urtė). If indeed true, then I imagine that the scenario must have been as follows: at some point in Lithuania Minor, Dorotėja became corrupted or shortened to Urtėja, which itself eventually became shortened to Urtė.

3. One Lithuanian source states that the meaning and origin of Urtė is uncertain, after which it proceeds to list several possibilities for the etymology of the name. One of those possibilities is that Urtė is a short form of Dorotėja. The other possibilities are (in no particular order):

- according to a German source that was mentioned by the Lithuanian source in question, the name is of Baltic origin and has the literal meaning of "with a sword" (probably in reference to a warrior). The modern Lithuanian word for sword is "kalavijas" however, with "kardas" being the Lithuanian word for a sabre. These two words don't resemble Urtė very much.

- the name is a variant of Urdė, which is the Lithuanian form of Urðr, the name of one of the three Norns from Old Norse mythology. Her name means "fate, destiny" in Old Norse. Also see: https://lt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urd%C4%97 (in Lithuanian).

- the name is derived from old Lithuanian 'urtas' meaning "great desire" as well as "stubborness".

- the name comes from the Basque form of the biblical given name Ruth, but the source declines to mention what the Basque form of Ruth exactly is. I went to look it up and the Basque form of Ruth turns out to be Rut. I am not clear on how Urtė could come from Rut, or even on why (and how) a Basque name would find an audience in Lithuania, a country that is about 1839 miles away from Basque Country.

So far the possibilities that were mentioned by that source.

I suppose that when you combine all of the available sources, you could say that the possibility where Urtė ultimately comes from Dorotėja is the strongest one.

With that said, here is a list of the sources that I used:

- https://www.tevu-darzelis.lt/vaiku-vardai/Urte/ (in Lithuanian; mentions that the name is of uncertain meaning and origin and then lists a few possibilities)
- http://www.vardai.org/vardo-reiksme/Urte/ (in Lithuanian; mentions that Urtė is a short form of Dorotėja)
- http://day.lt/vardai/Urte (in Lithuanian; mentions that Urtė is a short form of Dorotėja)
- http://vardai.vlkk.lt/vardas/Urte (in Lithuanian; mentions that Urtė originated in Lithuania Minor (a.k.a. Prussian Lithuania) and that it is the short form of a name of foreign origin, which looks to be Dorotėja).
Lucille  4/29/2017

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