Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

The Basqueland (Euskadi)

The Basque provinces south of the Pyrenees became part of Castile in 1200 and are now under Spanish rule. There is a strong linguistic and cultural connection with the Basque areas of Southern France. The Basque people remained fairly independent until the C19th but joined the republican side against Franco in the Spanish Civil War (1936-9). The Basque separatist movement, ETA, (Euskadi ta Askatasuna - Basque Nation and Liberty) and the French organization Iparretarrak ('ETA fighters from the North Side') began guerrilla activity in 1968 to try to acquire an united and independent Basque state. It stepped up the campaign during the early 1980s, spreading to the Mediterranen holiday resorts in 1985 and threatening Spain's lucrative tourist industry. There was a unofficial truce but the armed struggle resumed in 1992.

The Basque language, Euskara, is probably one of the oldest in Europe. It is not Indo-European and may be a survival from prehistoric times. Modern Basques use names that are equivalents of the Catholic Spanish and French religious names and forms of Biblical names as well as more traditional Basque names.

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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