Damir and Dotnara

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Damir means “peaceful” and “peace-loving,” derived from the phrase Da zdravstvuyet mir, “long live peace.” This also happens to be one of those invented Soviet names which already existed as a name in other cultures, with a different etymology. Damir is also a Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian name meaning “to give peace.” I have a character named Damir, who was born in January 1937.

My character’s nickname is Mirek, though other nickname forms might be Mirik, Damek, and Damik.

Dotnara is a name I always liked, since I saw it as the name of a secondary character in Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn’s incredible novel The First Circle when I was sixteen years old. It means “daughter of a hard-working people,” derived from the elements doch trudovogo naroda. This is the name of my character Inga’s beloved doll which her unjustly imprisoned mother made and gave her for her fifth birthday, whom she takes to Shanghai and America with her in 1942, after her grandparents send her to the father who has no idea she exists.

Sources consulted:

http://panzercentral.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=96&t=36301 (penultimate post)

http://www.namenerds.com/uucn/listofweek/soviet.html

http://horo.mail.ru/namesecret/

http://www.devichnik.ru/9810/imia.html (male)

http://www.devichnik.ru/9805/imia.html (female)

http://vse-imena.com/

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4 comments on “Damir and Dotnara

  1. Naming is such a fun process. I’m never happy until I have the character’s names just right.

    Love the meanings behind the names you’ve selected. They’re awesome.

  2. Chrys Fey says:

    I love the idea of giving a character a name that means something. 🙂

  3. Glenda Funk says:

    I was scrolling through the A to Z Challenge blog list, and your blog caught my eye. I love the study of Onomastics, and as an English teacher, character names are something I teach students to consider. Have you read Ralph Ellison’s essay “Hidden Name and Complex Fate”? It’s one of my favorites.

  4. Cecilia says:

    choosing names for a character is such a challenge. The name has to be just right. I did not put this much effort into naming my children and that was a saga in itself. 🙂 I shall have to revisit your site next time I have a character needing a good name.

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