In a previous question of mine (The Name Amadeus) a fine fellow (code name: "sumelic") conjectured that the name Amadeus comes from the phrase "Ama Deum" ("Love God") with the suffix -us added to render it into a masculine name.

Firstly, is that correct? Is everyone agreeing with said conjecture? "Ama Deum" is a well known Latin phrase, but does everyone agree it is the logical etymological origin of the name Amadeus?

Secondly, "Time Deum" is Latin for "Fear God". Could I truncate Deum to "de" and then add the -ux suffix to create the masculine name "Timedeus"?

Coining my own name in Latin - Is it even allowed ?

[For the record, I'm well aware of the wonderful name Timothy, from the Greek Τιμόθεος (Timόtheos) meaning "honouring God", "in God's honour", or "honoured by God", and that is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the Latin timē/timeō, not the Greek τῑμή(tīmḗ)/τῑμᾰ́ω(tīmáō). Fearing, not honoring. Rome, not Athens]

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Of course, I can't provide any more support for my answer to the linked question in this post (if I knew more, I would just say it there!). And I am not a Latin expert. That said, I feel more confident about my conjecture because of the explanation in fdb's answer:

Amadeus is a verb+noun compound (type: φερέοικος). The first component is an imperative, so Amadeus means "love God!"

Also, I would hope that if there were any substantial inaccuracies in what I said there, one of the more knowledgeable members of this site would point them out.

To address the question about "Timedeus", I think it has been used by others in the past—it's too late for you to coin it!—and I don't see any obvious grounds for considering it less appropriate than "Amadeus".


A side note: I was thinking a little bit about the stress of names ending in "deus" in the past few days. It seems typical in English and Italian to put the stress on the penultimate syllable, as in the noun "deus". Technically, using this stress placement for "Amadeus" and "Timedeus" is irregular in Latin, since it goes against the rule of stressing the antepenult when the penult is light, but there are other exceptions to this rule that apparently were well-established (see Are there exceptions to the Latin stress rules?). I suppose the typical pronunciation of "Amadeus" that we can hear in modern languages is an exception because of its structure as a compound, and possibly because the Latin stress rule in its classical form was not really a productive part of the spoken language after vowel length distinctions had been lost. It probably makes sense to use the same stress pattern for both names.

  • Thank you so much. That's exactly what I searched for and couldn't find: a past example of the name in ancient Latin books, hence my mistaken assumption I was inventing a new name. It did actually strike me as odd that someone hadn't coined the name already, since it seems quite an obvious name to coin, but as you have shown they already have. Thank you so much. Good day and green tick to you, kind fellow !
    – Johan88
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 2:38

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