Anglo-Saxon Names

 Anglo-Saxon names are normally made up of two elements, each of which is a stand-alone word, either two houns or a noun and an adjective. Thus Ælf (Elf) + Ræd (advice) gives Alfred.
 
Anglo-Saxon families - certainly the high-status ones - tended to follow an alliterative naming strategy. This can be a real pain for historians and an even worse one for novelists, trying to keep track of closely related people with very similar names, all starting with the same letter or even the same element.

My hero, Wulfgar, has a name which mean Wolf-Spear, and is often known by the shortened (or hypocoristic, to be technical) form 'Wuffa'. To modern ears, I suspect this sounds cute, or endearing, and possibly less than wholly masculine, but not to the Anglo-Saxons: Wuffa was a stand-alone name, ascribed to the possibly legendary-if-not-mythical founder king of the East Anglian dynasty, the Wuffingas. Wulfgar is also the name of King Hrothgar's wise herald in Beowulf.