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reklama 22006-08-17 07:26:38
>> Bulgaria >> Bulgarian name
Names are just like human beings - they, too, come into being, live and die. Some thousand years ago common in Bulgaria were names like Voitekh, Mostich, Rasate, Irnik, but today these can be found in the history books alone. Unlike us people, however, names can also be revived. The names of old-time Bulgarian rulers such as Asparoukh, Kroum, Assen, Kaloyan, Boril, Ivailo, had long centuries been buried in oblivion. Still, they were brought back to life in the 19th century owing to history classes.
According to a 1979 survey carried out in Sofia, new-born girls were most often named Mariana, Desislava, Margarita, Roumiana, Valentina, Antoaneta, Ivanka, Rositza, Violeta. The boy's names most preferred were Ivan, Gheorghi, Dimitâr, Nikola, Roumen, Petâr, Valentin, Vladimir, Alexandâr, Krasimir. Obviously, the earlier "ranking" had undergone substantial changes.
Besides historical variations in the choice of names, they are also subject to regional and local preferences. For example, in the Bourgas and Rousse regions, where the names of over 1 million people of all ages were examined, the most popular girl's given names for the same year, 1979, were found to be Maria, Ivanka, Mariika, Penka, Elena, Stanka, Todorka, Yordanka, Radka, Stoyanka, Donka, Milka, Yanka, Nadezhda, and Zlatka. Neither of these names is on the list of the favourite names given to new-born girls in Sofia. A similar disparity was identified with male infants' names.
While in earlier times the name given to one was regarded as a magic word, an amulet, a spell, nowadays layers would shift primarily because of fashion trends. Some twenty years ago, for example, quite a stir was made by a representation of a beautiful medieval aristocrat, Desislava, believed to be portrayed in a Renaissance manner. The name of this 700-year old lady, painted on the wall of a church near Sofia, appealed to the Bulgarian population so much that almost one in every three new-born girls was given this particular name.
Historically, the name system has its origins in the remote Indo-European and distant Slavic past, but, in practice, its beginning goes back to the First Bulgarian Kingdom that appeared on the Balkans. Its development was (potentially and in reality) influenced by the names once used by Dacians and Moesians, Thracians, Greeks, and Romans. The adoption of Christianity and the introduction of the Slavonic script, as well as the spread of old-Bulgarian manuscripts, played an important role for the emergence of numerous biblical names of Jewish origin and such related with the church saints calendar.
By their origin, Bulgarian names fall into three major groups: Slavic, Christian, and native.
Slavic names are widespread among Bulgarians, Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, etc. The majority of them consist of two elements, the most widely used being such meaning "good", "peace", "world", "glorious". Vladi-slav for example, means 'he who is master of glory". Despite the "dust of time", the meaning of names like Bogdan (given by God), Radoslav (enjoying glory), Vladimir (mastering peace), etc. is as transparent to a Slav as the water in a clear mountain creek.
Christian names, known in every place touched by the truth of Christ, became common among the Bulgarian population with the latter's conversion into Christianity in the 9th century: Andrey, Dimitâr, Irina, Katerina, Stefan, Sofia, Ana, Hristo, Ivan, Maria, Anton, Pavel, Iliya... [cf. Andrew, ..., Irene, Catherine, Stephen, Sofia, Ann, Christian, John, Mary, Antony, Paul, Elijah...] Most of them are of Jewish, Greek, or Latin origin. In the middle ages, Christian names were mainly current among the clergy, the nobility, and the urban population, while in the villages, until as late as the past century, predominant were the Slavic names and their derivatives. In Bulgaria, as anywhere else, the Christian name system was "remade" in terms of the sound and grammar laws of the indigenous language, and strictly conformed to its regularities. Of course, many Bulgarians might not know that Petâr means "stone", but that does not prevent them from believing the name to be of Bulgarian origin - as do the English with respect to Peter, the Germans - with Peter, the Russians - with Piotr, or the French - with Pierre.
Indigenous names, formed over a period of fifteen hundred years now, are in fact the most numerous ones. They include a great number of derivatives of Slavic and Christian names, many loan translations (literal translations from other languages), Bulgarian designations of various states, phenomena, plants, geographical sites, character traits. By way of illustration, here follows a short list of male names, formed from the root "RAD" (one that causes or is filled with joy): Rade, Radi, Radyo, Radko, Radan, Radenko, Radoy, Radesh, Radin, Radoyko, Radoil, Radoul, Radon, Radota, Radovan, Raino, Raiko, Rayan, Radush...
To make the list of specifically Bulgarian proper names a bit longer, we should mention several more names: boy's - Dobri (good), Zdravko (sound and healthy), Zhelyu (from Zheliaz - iron), Stoyan (hardy), Petko (originally, born on Friday), Kamen (stone, cf. Peter), Goran (abbreviated from Grigor - Gregory), Vesselin (cheerful), Radostin (joyful), Boyko (bold), Bratan (brother's son), Naiden (found, foundling), Liubomir (originally - to be the world's darling, in modern times - also peace-loving); girl's - Stanka (from: to take one's stand, settle), Tzveta (flower, cf. Florence), Rositza (dew), Roumiana (pink-cheeked), Rada (joyful), Neda (abbreviated from Nedelya - Sunday), Milka (from Mila: nice, sweet), Penka (abbreviated from Petkana, Petrana; cf. Pen, Penny), Albena, Zornitza (morning star), Temenuzhka (Violet), Karamfila (pink /flower/), Rilka ... and many more.
Quite a number of new names, borrowed from neighbouring or more distant nations, were added to these three groups over the past century: Mariana, Eleonora, Igor, Oleg, Madlena, Silviya, Antoaneta, etc. In many cases, parents would choose the foreign version of what already existed in Bulgarian, giving preference to, let's say, the English Elizabeth instead of Elisaveta, Magdalena instead of Magdalina, Daniel instead of Danail. During the last two decades, the Bulgarian name system has been under strong West-European influence. An ever more frequent occurrence is giving girls male-sounding names such as Nikol (Western Nicolle) instead of the Bulgarian Nikolina, for example. Some boys are given oddly sounding names like Endryu (Andrew) instead of the traditional Andrey.
Naturally, Bulgarians not only "import", but also "export" appellations - popular abroad are for instance a few Bulgarian proper names such as Boris, Vladimir, Vladislav, Nadezhda.
In the past, a child's name used to be chosen by his/her parents, sponsor (for this same reason, also called godfather), or by the priest - he/she was named after the grandfather, some other relation or, the Christian patron of his birthday. Today, it is entirely a parents' choice. About half of the first-born among the Sofia residents continue their grandfather's or grandmother's names preserving at least the first letter (for example, the grandson of a Vasil would be called Vladislav). The rest of them give their child any name which they like.
Compound proper names of the type of Ana-Maria or Maria-Magdalena are rare in Bulgaria, although they are sometimes used.
Towards 1980, a proper name has 243 bearers on the average - males and females (291 and 209, respectively). The top ten list of women's names is: Maria, Ivanka, Elena, Mariika, Yordanka, Ana, Penka, Nadezhda, Radka, Anka. That of men's names includes: Ivan, Gheorghi, Dimitâr, Petâr, Hristo, Nikolay, Todor, Yordan, Stoyan, Vasil.
In addition to one's given name, each contemporary Bulgarian has also a middle (father's) and a surname.
The middle name is something comparatively new. It was introduced in the 19th century, through administrative acts, and formed by adding the -ov (or -ev) suffix to one's father's proper name, for example Ivan - Ivanov, Gheorghi - Gheorghiev. However, this innovation had roots in the older Ottoman tradition in tax records entries, where tax payers were registered following the rule of "Ivan, Ivan's son".
As for family names, until about the 18th century they came from the forefather's name, occupation, nickname, place of origin, etc. without any suffix at all. Later, ever more often the all-Slavic name suffixes "ov" ("-ev"), "-ski", "-ich", "-in" came into use. Thus, if the family descended from a Petâr, the respective family name can be Petrov, Petrovski, or Petrovich. Surnames ending in "-in" were mainly given to widow's children, e.g. Marin (Maria's son).
The endings of female surnames are "-ova" ("-eva"), "-ska", "-ich", "-ina" ("-in"), respectively.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, forms issued by the central and local community administrations had sometimes a "nickname" entry column. Nicknames were in general use and institutionally accepted during the past centuries. A nickname was attributed by the community to a clan, family, or an individual. Its substance did not follow any particular rule. It could be related with certain skills, with one's appearance, peculiar characteristics, or occupation. Today nickname usage is mainly limited to informal communication. However, public figures are often "decorated" with nicknames: The Nubian (Vasil Mikhailov, former MP from the UDF), The Commander (Ivan Kostov), The Steam-Roller (Evgeni Bakardzhiev, former Minister of Construction and Regional Planning), The Strategist (Alexandar Lilov, former leader and ideologist of the Bulgarian Communist/Socialist Party), Bateto [The Big Brother] (Ivan Slavkov, lately notorious BOC ex-President), Tato [Dad] (Todor Zhivkov, Bulgaria's long-term authoritarian communist leader)... Record holders in the "nickname discipline" are neither politicians, nor football players, but thugs, whose nicknames deserve special study...
Nowadays, family names in Bulgaria are largely unified, i.e. although there are names like Ostoich, Koulin, Novoseletz, Tzavella, Treyakishki, Tourmachki, the prevailing majority of them end in "-ov" ("-ev") - Kostov, Zhelev, Zhivkov, Nikolov, Petrov, Bachvarov, Barzakov, Staikov, while the other end in "-ski", "-ska" - Peevski, Sofianski, Mikhailovski, Sandanski, Ilievski, Nakovski, Paounovski, Stoyanovski...
Meanings/equivalents of the above 40 names: 1. Ivan (John); 2. Gheorghi (George); 3. Dimitar (Greek: Demetrios); 4. Petar (Peter); 5.Hristo (close to Christian); 6. Nikolay (Nicholas);7. Todor (Theodore);8. Yordan (Jordan);
9. Stoyan (hardy);10. Vasil (Basil);11. Stefan (Stephen);12. Anghel (angel) ;13. Nikola (Nicholas); 14. Atanas (Gr.: immortal); 15. Iliya (Elijah); 16. Assen (name of a medieval Bulgarian king, of Old Bulgarian origin); 17. Kiril (Cyril); 18. Krasimir (to be the world's embelishment); 19. Alexandâr (Alexander) 20. Emil
1. Maria (Mary, Maria); 2. Ivanka (Jane); 3. Elena (Helen, Ellen); 4. Mariika (Mary);
5. Yordanka (female name parallel to Yordan - Jordan); 6. Ana (Anna, Ann); 7. Penka (cf. Pen, Penny); 8. Nadezhda (Hope); 9. Radka (Joy); 10. Anka (Annie); 11. Stoyanka (parallel feminine form of the boy's name Stoyan); 12. Stanka - (from: to take one's stand, settle); 13. Vasilka (feminine form corresponding to Vasil - Basil);14. Emiliya (Emily); 15. Violeta (Violet); 16. Donka (possibly derivative of Andonka, cf. Antonia); 17. Rositza (dew); 18. Tzvetanka (Flower); 19. Margarita (Daisy, Margaret); 20. Todorka (Theodora)