Meaning & History
The meaning of the first element of this name is uncertain, as there are several possibilities for its etymology. First, it is important to know that the element is either vai-, vaid- or vait-. In the case of the first one, that means that the element is either derived from the old Lithuanian verb vajoti meaning "to chase, to pursue" or from the old Lithuanian noun vajys meaning "messenger, courier". But if the element is actually vaid-, then it is derived from the old Lithuanian verb vaidyti meaning "to visit, to appear", which is related to the modern Lithuanian verb vaidentis meaning "to haunt" as well as "to appear, to see". Also compare modern Lithuanian vaiduoklis meaning "ghost, apparition" and vaidytis meaning "to quarrel, to wrangle". And finally, if the first element is vait-, then it is derived from the old Lithuanian verb vaitenti meaning "to discuss" as well as "to decide, to judge" and "to solve, to resolve".With that said, the second element of this name is derived from Baltic tauta meaning "people, nation" (see Vytautas).Lastly, it should be noted that there is at least one Lithuanian source that lists this name as being a variant of Vaištautas.