<=  What's in a Name  


Pincerna  --> Pincemaelge / Pincemaille

"Ubi Nummus est Pincerna"   -> Pincerna maille -> Alars Pincemaille (1295) Mons, Hain, B

The "Pincerna" a function  at a Medieval Noble Court

maille <-->malie, maelge -> Hugo Pincemaelge (1281), Gand, OVl, B

pincerna = pintsera -> MariŽn Pinchemaille (1342), Hainault, B

Pincemaelge <-> Pincemaille

The name Pincemaelge/Pincemaille was found from 1281/1295 on in the Counties of Flanders and Hainault in Belgium. We saw switching from Pincemaelge <-> Pincemaille even in the same family. So we were looking then in this early days for a proto-name. Remember also that "ae" or "ai" in this days was pronounced as "aa" what brings thes two variants also closer.


The servants at the noble court ->

role in middle-age popular theatre

The formation of one particular group of patronymes in this period take our attention : the domestics at the noble courts, who took with time also administrative functions in the management of the possessions of their lord.

  • Ca 1300 finished an evolution where the last part of the name of such a function was at that time corrupted and adapted to the common language: Many similar changings are known for ex. camerarius -> E: Chamberlain, N:kamerling (kamerheer), F: chambrier, Latin (church) : Camerlingo.

  • and used in the middle-age popular theatre, they became archetypes in the litterature.


Pincerna -> Pincemaelge / Pincemaille.

Pincerna: from cupbearer -> avaricious in litterature

  • In our case we are looking to the function of "Pincerna", sometimes mispelled as Pincema, pronounced as pintserna and a latin version of a greek word, what means cupbearer [Nl: (wijn)schenker, Fr: ťchanson]. We emphasize the conversion to the common language as follows: Pincerna - > (Pincema) -> Pintsemailge / Pinchemaille  -> Pincemaelge and Pincemaille. We find yet in 1430 in the orphanage registers of Courtrai the patronym  standardised as Pintsemailge (c pronounced as ts).

  • The cupbearer was not the most important function at the court, but he was also in control of  the valuable wine cellar, and in this function known as avaricious and as the confidant of his lord. We find Pincerna and Pincemaille  with the same meaning "avaricious" in the litterature

The conclusion is that Pincerna can be considered as a valuable ground for the meaning of the patronym Pincemaelge / Pincemaille


Follows some exemples in mediaval texts were we find the use of the name "Pincerna

  • one from 1091 (The  Alexiad of Anna Comnema book  VIII) in its original context. 

  • as second name of William (Pincerna) "Strong Hand" D'AUBIGNY 1100-1176, what leads to butler in England.

  • Then in the 13th century yet as an expression "Ubi nummus est pincerna" in a song  "In taberna quando sumus" part 14 from the "Carmina Burana Lyrics" - It gives us a connotation between money (Latin: nummus, Fr: petit monnaie = maille) and pincerna what we find also in pince - maille.

  • After 1300 we find yet few exemples of the use of pincerna p.e in a text from 1522.(Texts of Lituanian History)

Plots against the Emperor

Ref:The  Alexiad of Anna Comnema book  VIII.War with the Scyths (1091) : Victory at Levunium (29 April 1091)-


I THE Emperor was now informed that the Scythians had detached a division and sent it against Choerobacchi, and that their approach was imminent .........

.........Consequently he revealed his secret to a few; these were George, the son of Decanus, Eustathius Camytzes and the cupbearer Michael, generally called 'Pincerna' by the imperial household. These were all warriors and among the Emperor's close intimates, one of them, Michael, went to the Emperor and acquainted him with the whole matter; but the latter could not believe it and refused to listen

William (Pincerna) "Strong Hand" D'AUBIGNY 1100-1176.  

Reimert Family History

William (Pincerna) "Strong Hand" D'AUBIGNY was born in 1100.  

  • He resided in 1139 in Arundel Castle, Sussex, England. He died on 12 Oct 1176 in Waverley, Surrey, England. He was buried on 19 Oct 1176 in Wymondham, Norfolk, England.  He held the royal title of Earl of Arundel. Parents: William D'AUBIGNY and Maud BIGOD.

  • His Grandfather Roger D'AUBIGNY served in the military in 1066 in Hastings, Sussex, England. Battle of Hastings He was living in 1084. He was born in Normandy, France

  • William (Picerna) Strong Hand D'Aubigny was married to Adeliza in 1138 in England. Her first marriage was in 1121 with the King of England, Henry I Beauclerc (1068-1135)

Adeliza was born in 1103 in Brabant, Netherlands. She died on 23 Apr 1151 in Affligham (Affligem Abbey), Flanders, Belgium. She was buried in Reading, Berkshire, England. Parents: GodÓey I "the Bearded" Duke of Louvain and Brabant, Duke of Lower Lorraine and Clemence.

Children were: William D'AUBIGNY , Alice D'AUBIGNY.

In England Pincerna was translated to Boteler what gived us butler. Boteler came from the latin word Boticularius what has the same meaning as Pincerna

In Taberna Quando Sumus

part of a song from  "Carmina Burana"

poems contained in an early 13th-century German manuscript (found in 1803) from the Benedictine abbey of Benediktbeuern, south of Munich in the Bavarian region

In taberna quando sumus When we are in the tavern,
non curamus quid sit humus, we do not think how we will go to dust,
sed ad ludum properamus, but we hurry to gamble,
cui semper insudamus. which always makes us sweat.
Quid agatur in taberna What happens in the tavern,
ubi nummus est pincerna, where money is host,
hoc est opus ut queratur, you may well ask,
si quid loquar, audiatur. and hear what I say.
Quidam ludunt, quidam bibunt, Some gamble, some drink,
quidam indiscrete vivunt. some behave loosely.
Sed in ludo qui morantur, But of those who gamble,
ex his quidam denudantur some are stripped bare,
quidam ibi vestiuntur, some win their clothes here,
quidam saccis induuntur. some are dressed in sacks.
Ibi nullus timet mortem Here no-one fears death,
sed pro Baccho mittunt sortem: but they throw the dice in the name of Bacchus.

Sigismundus Dei gratia rex Poloniae et magnus dux Lituaniae, Russiae, Prussiae, Samogitiaeque dominus et heres etc (1522)

Vt autem vnusquisque intelligat...

In nomine Domini amen. Ad perpetuam rei memoriam. Cum rebus tempora vetustatem afferant....

Proinde nos Sigismundus Dei gratia rex Poloniae et magnus dux Lituaniae, Russiae, Prussiae, Samogitiaeque dominus et heres etc. Notum facimus vniuersis praesentibus ........  

...........Actum Vilnae in conuentione generali, sabbato in die s. Nicolai, anno Domini millesimo quingentesimo vigesimo secundo, regni vero nostri anno sedecimo. Praesentibus ibidem reuerendissimis in Christo patribus, dominis: Ioanne Vilnensi, Paulo Luceoriensi, Nicolao Mednicensi et Ioanne Kijoviensi episcopis, necnon magnificis et generosis Alberto Martini Gasztold Vilnensi palatino et magni ducatus nostri cancellario, .......

........... Georgio Hlnicz curiae marsalco et Brestensi. Cownensi, Lidensique capitaneo. lanussio Koscziewiec. palatino Podliaszensi et Ioanne Radziwil pincema nostro, et aliis quam plurimis ad praemissa testibus fidedignis, sincere nobis dilectis. Sigismundus rex sst.


(Любавский М.К. Очерк истории литовско-русского государства до Люблинской унии включительно (изд.2-ое), Москва, 1915, с.341-342)