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Gender Masculine

Meaning & History

Literally means "owl mirror", derived from Icelandic ugla "owl" combined with spegill "mirror, looking glass".

This given name is a direct Icelandic translation of Ulenspegel, which is the surname of Dyl Ulenspegel (known in contemporary German as Till Eulenspiegel), a trickster figure from Middle Low German folklore. His surname is a figurative one, in that it not only refers to his ability to trick people, but also to the stupidity of the people that allowed themselves to be tricked by him. You see, in the time and place where the stories of Ulenspegel first surfaced (namely, 14th-century Germany), the owl was a symbol of stupidity, rather than of wisdom (as it is nowadays). In combination with the Middle Low German word spegel "mirror", it is clear that Dyl's surname references to the fact that (by tricking them) he shows people to themselves, to what they really are: as stupid as an owl.
Added 4/17/2016 by cutenose
Edited 4/17/2016 by Lucille and cutenose