Tyttla is named as the father of Eni in King Ælfwald’s pedigree and as the father of Rædwald in Bede’s version of the latter’s ancestry (HE II, 15). As all later references to Tyttla appear to be based on these, his history is difficult to perceive.
Like Wuffa, ‘Little Wolf’, the name Tyttla is a diminutive form. Its meaning however, is uncertain. Mats Redin assessed as “unintelligible” (Studies in Uncompounded Personal Names in Old English [Uppsala 1919], p.147). As it stands, it appears to mean ‘Little’ Tytt. Depending on the length of the vowel, Tytt might be ‘tit’ or ‘tut’.
It should be noted that Tyttla appears to be a hypocoristic form for Tyttman, another etymologically perplexing name which is listed in the upper reaches of King Ælfwald’s pedigree.
© Copyright Dr Sam Newton, Blotmonaþ AD 2000