Mermadak is my handle.
My on-line alias from back in the BBS days when I went by Dak for short.
Originally deriving the name from a character on the Airwalk shoes that was a pterodactyl.
I began using the name during junior high school when I first needed a handle. I also used Dak Dude as an alias in those circles.
As I got older I found that to be a bit too childish but wanted to hang onto the roots of the handle and so I began looking. In high school I was fond of poetry and wrote music to go with some of the poetry I enjoyed. In my research for a new name my love of poetry stumbled upon a poem that mentioned the name. While I don’t recall the original source, as the first time I did the research it was many years ago, in searching again I came across this:
“<Mermadak> is an anomalous spelling of the name of a northern English knight mentioned in a late 14th century Scots poem  . Another manuscript of the same poem spells the name <Marmeduk>  . In English sources from your period, the same name is spelled <Marmaduc> 1217 & 1273, <Marmaducus> 1201-7, <Marmeduc> 1276, <Marmeduk> 1286, <Marmadoke> 1379 [4, 5, 6]. We have not found any examples of Scots using this name. In England, we've seen it used only in Yorkshire, where it was fairly common . It is not impossible that it was also used in the Scottish Lowlands, but we can't recommend it as the best re-creation.”
(3)”ACADEMY OF SAINT GABRIEL REPORT 2051” (Josh Mittleman, 6 Jul 2000, accessed 25 May 2012) [URL: http://www.s-gabriel.org/2051]
My original source referred to something similar though. I remember it stating that Sir Mermadak was a Scottish knight and the source date was referenced from around 1276.
The poem referred to in this one I found in a reprint by a Miss Mary Segar in the Dublin Review from July of 1916:
“And waytid, quhill he saw the King
In the mornyng cum forth airly
Till him that is he went in by.
Schir Mermadak : Betwug he hecht
He rakit till the Kyng all richt
And halsit him apon his kne.
" Welcame, schir Mermadak," said he,
" Till what man art thou presoner ? "
" To nane," says he, " hot till you her
I yield me at your will to be."
" And I resaifF the, schir," saide he ;
Then gert he trete him curtasly.
He duelt lang in his cumpany.
And syne in Yngland him sent he
Arayit weill, but ransoune fre.”
(1)Symon Freser of Lovat, "13th & 14th Century Scottish Names" (WWW: J. Mittleman, 1996, accessed 25 May 2012) [URL: http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/symonFreser/scottish14/].
Which eventually will lead you after a bit of digging to:
While I have interpreted from the Old Scottish for my own sake I feel it loses its poetic essence and I believe to any English speaker it should be easy to get the gist of the poem without dwelling on the nuances of the dialect. My original reference to the poem took me only to this piece. The above reference, however, after a bit of digging past the broken links on that page allowed me to find this:
“[The burial of Gloucester; the surrender of Sir Marmaduke Tweng and of Stirling Castle]
505 Quhen the feld as I tauld you ar 501
Was dispulyeit and left all bar
The king and all his cumpany
Blyth and joyfull glaid and mery
Off the grace that thaim fallin was
510 Towart thar innys thar wayis tays 506
To rest thaim, for thai wery war.
Bot for the erle Gilbert of Clar
That slane wes in the bataill-place
The king sumdele anoyit was
515 For till him wele ner sib wes he, 511
Than till a kirk he gert him be
Brocht and walkyt all that nycht.
But on the morn quhen day wes lycht
The king rais as his willis was.
520 Than ane Inglis knycht throu cas 516
Hapnyt that he yeid waverand
Swa that na man laid on him hand,
In a busk he hyd hys armyng
And waytyt quhill he saw the king
525 In the morne cum furth arly 521
Till him than is he went in hy,
Schyr Marmeduk the Tweingue he hycht.
He raykyt till the king all rycht
And halyst him apon his kne.
530 'Welcum, Schyr Marmeduk,' said he, 526
To quhat man art thou presoner?'
'To nane,' he said, 'bot to you her
I yeld me at your will to be.'
'And I ressave the, schyr,' said he.
535 Than gert he tret him curtasly, 531
He dwelt lang in his cumpany,
And syne till Ingland him send he
Arayit weile but ransoun fre
And geff him gret gyftis tharto.
540 A worthi man that sua wald do 536
Mycht mak him gretly for to prise.
Quhen Marmeduk apon this wis
Was yoldyn, as Ik to you say,
Than come Schyr Philip the Mowbra
545 And to the king yauld the castell, 541
His cunnand has he haldyn well,
And with him tretyt sua the king
That he belevyt of his dwelling
And held him lely his fay
550 Quhill the last end off his lyf-day. 546” (2)
(2) Barbour, John, “The Brus”, ed. Emeritus Professor A A M Duncan (c.1375, accessed 25 May 2012), book 13. [URL: http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/STELLA/STARN/poetry/BRUS/contents.htm]
All of the links on this page are updated from my source and are current as of 25 May 2012. I have also downloaded copies of “The Brus” and the “Dublin Review” that takes the piece from “The Brus”.
- J, Mittleman. "Symon Freser of Lovat, "13th & 14th Century Scottish Names"". Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Barbour, John. "The Brus". Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Mittleman, Josh. "ACADEMY OF SAINT GABRIEL REPORT 2051". Retrieved 25 May 2012.