The Ys of Slavic names

Female:

Yefrosina and Yefrosiniya are the Russian forms of the Greek name Euprosyne (merriment, mirth). She was one of the Three Graces. This always struck me as a bit of a peasant name.

Yelikonida is the Russian form of the Greek name Elikonida, which derives from helix (spiral) and Helikon (torturous mountain). Mount Helikon contained two springs sacred to the Muses, and was a source of poetic inspiration. This was the name of a third century saint of Thessaloniki.

Yevdoksiya and Yevdokiya are Russian forms of the Greek name Eudoxia (good judgement, good repute). This also always struck me as a peasant name.

Yevpraksiya is the Russian form of the Greek name Eupraxia (good conduct). This one strikes me as the name of a nun or priest’s wife.

Yordana is the Bulgarian form of Jordana, obviously taken from the famous Jordan River. Despite how it’s majestically portrayed in songs and poems, it’s more like a small, tame creek.

Yunona is the Russian form of the Latin name Juno, which possibly means “youth,” or could be of Etruscan origin. Juno was the Latin name for Hera.

Male:

Yakim (Russian) and Yakym (Ukrainian) are forms of Jakob, which derives from the Hebrew name Ya’akov (heel). I have a priest character named Father Yakim.

Yarema is the Ukrainian form of Jeremiah, which derives from the Hebrew name Yirmiyahu (God will exalt).

Yermolay is the Russian form of the Greek name Hermolaos (the people of Hermes). Yermolay Aleksandrovich Solzhenitsyn is the oldest son of my favourite writer, born in 1970.

Yevgraf is the Russian form of the Greek name Eugraphos (well-written, well-drawn).

Yevnik is a variant of the Russian name Yevnoik and a nickname for Yevnikian, both of which derive from the Greek name Eunikos (good victory).

Yuvenaliy is the Russian form of the Latin name Juvenal (youthful). As depressing and macabre as this might seem, it’s one of those names I find very fitting for a stillborn or baby who dies extremely young. The meaning is so symbolic, and it’s not like that child will ever be called by such a name beyond on the grave and death certificate.

One thought on “The Ys of Slavic names

  1. Pingback: A to Z 2019 reflections | Onomastics Outside the Box

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