All about Bogdan and Bogdana

Romanian writer, philologist, historian, and politician Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu (1838–1907)

Bogdan is a Russian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Serbian, Polish, Macedonian, Romanian, and Croatian name meaning “given by God.” It derives from Slavic roots Bogu (God) and dan (given), and is believed to be an early Slavic translation of the Greek name Theodoros.

As one of very few Slavic names with the root dan, some scholars believe it was adopted from the Scythians (a people of probable Iranian origin), since the Scythian name Bagadata has the same meaning.

Other forms of this name include:

1. Bagdan is Belarusian.

2. Bohdan is Ukrainian, Slovak, and Czech, as well as a Polish variation. The letter G morphed into H in some Slavic languages, but it can go either way in Polish.

3. Bogdanas is Lithuanian.

4. Bogdanǔ is Medieval Russian.

5. Bògdón is Kashubian.

6. Pukhtǎn is Chuvash.

7. Božidar is a Serbian, Slovenian, Sorbian, and Croatian variation.

8. Bozhidar is Bulgarian.

9. Bożydar is Polish.

Female forms:

1. Bogdana is Russian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Serbian, Romanian, Polish, and Croatian. I have a Russian–American character by this name. Her nickname is Bogusya. This is also the name of my character Cinnimin’s beloved prababcia (great-grandma), who goes by Bogda.

Variations include Bogdána (Hungarian) and Bògdana (Kashubian).

2. Bagdana is Belarusian.

3. Bohdana is Ukrainian, Czech, and Slovak.

4. Bogna is Polish, Sorbian, and Romanian. I really don’t like the look or sound of this name!

5. Božidarka is Serbian

6. Bozhidara is Bulgarian.

One thought on “All about Bogdan and Bogdana

  1. I’m not really a fan of this family of names. Probably because they just don’t feel particularly fresh in Poland. We don’t have any solid statistics that far back that would be available online, but Bogdan and Bohdan definitely feel like midcentury names, most Bogdans I know were born in the 60’s, none later. A few years ago my little sister looked through my name books and when she came across Bogdan she started laughing and said that in her opinion, it’s the most boring, old man name ever. It doesn’t feel super old to me but boring for sure and due for a few more decades of rest before it can be usable again. All the Bog- names that were used more consistently in the previous century are now on a decline, and I think it kind of sucks that currently some others aren’t climbing in popularity because there are a lot of names with this element that are not used at all or very sparsely. Bohdan less common in the overall population (there are 142188 Bogdans and 13369 Bohdans) probably because the “hd” cluster isn’t really a typical thing of Polish language so it kind of looks awkward and I know people who don’t even know how to pronounce it and pronounce Bohdan as Bohtan. I’ve never heard of or know about anyone named Bogdana, though, looking at the January stats of this year for the whole population now, and they say there are 1317 Bogdanas while 2699 Bognas. Bogna to me seems largely a thing of the 60’s, but also 70’s. There are also some women named Bogda.
    I’ve also come across names Bogdał and Bogdała, which mean “god gave”.
    Since you also mentioned Bożydar & co, Bożydar is much rarer than Bogdan, a lot of people consider this name funny because it combines two actual words together – boży meaning divine, of god and dar meaning gift – (and word names aren’t really a Polish contemporary thing hence it may seem weird to some) and maybe that’s the reason why there are only 260 Bożydars. I know one and he doesn’t really like his name. I don’t like it either, but not because I consider it so very strange or something, I think I’m just not very much into the sound of it.

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