Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bulgarian Names

Jodie writes:

Like many words in the language, names in Bulgarian have masculine and feminine forms. All names for girls will end with ”a”. This may be just a feminine form of the same name for a boy – for instance, Stanislav, a boy’s name, becomes Stanislava for a girl – or Ivan becomes Ivana. Not all masculine names have a feminine version and vice versa, but boys' names will end with a consonant and girls' names will end with “a”.

What makes this even more interesting, is that this same rule carries forth to last names! Therefore, a married couple will have different last names – that is, the woman’s last name will be the same as the man’s, but with an “a” at the end – so the husband will be “Petrov” and the wife will be “Petrova” – and the children will have last names according to which sex they are.

We also learned that during the Communist rule, there was a list of names that you were allowed to name your children. For example, Alexander was allowed, but Alex wasn't. If you really wanted to name your child a name that wasn’t on the allowed list, you had to pay extra for it.

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