Onomastics in Interaction With Other Branches of Science. Volume 2.

Foreigners in the Bulgarian Anthroponymic System: Non-traditional Variants of Traditional Given Names?

Gergana Petkova
Medical University of Plovdiv


Nowadays, a very fashionable trend can be observed for parents to choose so-called international names for their newborn children. This is done in the hope that their descendants will avoid challenges in the future if they wish to settle down in a foreign country. Actually, this tendency is widely practiced not only by Bulgarians but also by all Europeans. It is the reason why most parents in Bulgaria prefer universal, atypical variants of given names perceived as traditional for our onomasticon by the common people. Their motivation is to make sure that the children will have no difficulties adapting to an external culture, where appropriate. The present text aims to study that tendency in the official statistical data for a 10-year period (2008–2018). The objective is to compare the findings for Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria, with those observed in the smaller town of Veliko Tarnovo; this is due to the fact that every new fashion starts in the largest city of the country while in smaller settlements the name-giving tradition is generally more conservative. The research is part of the “Personal Names in Bulgaria in the Beginning of 21st Century” project developed by scholars from the Institute for Bulgarian Language, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Onomastic Section.

Keywords Bulgarian traditional forenames, foreign variants

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