Slavic names of love

Though Slavic names formed from the root lyuby, “love,” aren’t as common as names formed from the roots milu (dear, gracious), miru (world, peace), or slava (glory), there are more than just a few of them. Though there are exceptions, like the almost exclusively Polish names formed from the root gnyevu/gnev (anger), many Slavic names have meanings invoking happy, beautiful concepts. This stands in stark contrast to how many names of Germanic and Old Norse origin invoke war and fighting.

These names include:

Female:

Liběna is Czech. The first root, libý, means “pleasant.”

Libuše is also Czech, and formed from the same roots. This was the name of the legendary founder of Prague.

Ljuba means “love” in Serbian, Macedonian, Slovenian, Czech, and Croatian.

Ljubina is Serbian.

Ljubomira means “love of peace/the world” in Serbian and Croatian. Other forms include Ľubomíra (Slovak), Lubomíra (Czech), and Lyubomira (Bulgarian)

Lubina is Sorbian.

Lubosława means “love of glory” in Polish.

Lyuboǔ is Belarusian.

Lyubava is Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian.

Lyubov is Russian, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian. This is the name of the female protagonist of my Russian historical novels. Though most of the main characters move to America halfway through the first book, I call them my Russian novels because that’s where most of my very large ensemble cast originated. Lyuba’s name was originally Amy, and I obviously needed to change it to a real, equivalent Russian name.

Male:

Bogoljub means “love of God” in Serbian and Croatian.

Bratoljub means “love of brother” in Serbian and Croatian.

Dragoljub means “precious love” in Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian. This is also their name for the nasturtium flower.

Lubomír is Czech, and means “love of peace/the world.” Other forms include Ľubomír (Slovak), Ljubomir (Serbian, Macedonian, Croatian), Lyubomir (Bulgarian), Lubomierz (Polish), and Lyubomyr (Ukrainian).

Ľubomír means “to think of love” or “thoughts of love” in Polish.

Ľuboslav is a newer Slovak name meaning “love of glory.” The Polish form is Lubosław, and the Bulgarian and Russian form is Lyuboslav.

Lyuben is Bulgarian.

Lyublen means “Love Lenin!” in Russian. This is one of the invented names which were rather popular in the early decades of the USSR.

Slavoljub means “love of glory” or “glory of love” in Serbian and Croatian.

Srboljub means “to love a Serb” in Serbian, and seems like a rather rare name.

Veroljub means “lover of faith” in Serbian.

Živoljub means “living/vivacious love” in Serbian.

Names invoking anger

Though many Slavic names are formed from the beautiful roots miru (peace, world), milu (dear, gracious), slava (glory), lyuby (love), and tsvet/cvet/cvjet/kvet (flower), there’s a rather curious group of names with the root gnyevu/gnev (anger). Almost all of these names are Polish, and, to the best of my knowledge, are rare in modern usage. I suppose they date from an era when the various Slavic peoples were much more warlike.

Dobiegniew means “brave/courageous anger.”

Gniewomir means “anger and peace,” a very juxtaposing image. Nicknames include Gniewko and Gniewosz.

Gniewosław means “anger and glory,” another very juxtaposing image.

Izbygniew means “to dismiss/dispose of anger” or “room/hut of anger.”

Jarogniew means “fierce/energetic anger.”

Lutogniew means “fierce/cruel/wild/severe anger.” The Old Slavic word lut is also related to Luty, the Polish nickname for February. That month indeed is very cruel and fierce in Poland, weather-wise.

Mścigniew means “to avenge anger.”

Ostrogniew means “sharp anger.”

Spycigniew means “pointless/futile/unnecessary anger.”

Toligniew may mean “to silence/calm/soothe anger.”

Wojgniew means “soldier of anger” or “soldier’s anger.”

Wszegniew means “always angry” or “all anger.”

Zbigniew means “to dispel anger.” Nicknames include Zbyszek, Zbyszko, Zbysiek, and Zbysio. The Czech form is Zbygněv, with the nickname Zbyněk. This seems to be by far the most popular and common of these names.

Żeligniew means “to crave/long for/thirst for/hanker after anger.”

Slavic flower names

As promised, here’s a list of Slavic names primarily beginning with the roots Cvet-, Kvet-, and Tsvet-. This element means “flower” in the Slavic languages.

Female:

Cveta is Serbian.

Cvetana is Serbian and Croatian.

Cvetka is Slovenian.

Cvijeta is Serbian and Croatian.

Cvijetka, Cvita, Cvitana, and Cvitka are Croatian.

Cvjetana is Serbian and Croatian.

Cvjetislava means “flower glory” in Croatian. Another form is Cvjetoslava.

Cvjetka is Serbian and Croatian.

Květa is Czech, and Kveta is Slovak. This can either be a nickname or full name.

Květoslava means “flower glory” in Czech. The Slovak form is Kvetoslava. Květuše is a Czech diminutive.

Kvitoslava is Ukrainian.

Tsveta, Tsvetana, and Tsvetelina are Bulgarian. A nickname is Tsvetanka.

Tsvetomira means “flower peace” and “flower world” in Bulgarian, though the first element may also derive from tsvyat (colour) and thus mean “colour of peace.”

Male:

Cvetan and Cvetin are Macedonian, Serbian, and Croatian.

Cvetko is Slovenian.

Cvijetko, Cvijeto, Cvitan, and Cvitko are Croatian.

Cvjetan and Cvjetko are Serbian and Croatian.

Cvjetislav is Croatian. Another form is Cvjetoslav.

Květoslav is Czech. The Slovak form is Kvetoslav.

Kvitoslav is Ukrainian.

Tsvetan and Tsvetko are Bulgarian.

Tsvetomir means “flower peace” and “flower world” in Bulgarian.

A to Z 2019 reflections

This was my eighth year doing the Challenge on my main blog, sixth on my secondary blog. Very uncharacteristically, I didn’t start writing my posts till March. The posts on this blog only began being researched, written, and edited on the 25th, which gave me scant time!

As always, I featured both female and male names on each day, and alternated which sex each post started with. There were no unisex names this year, since the Slavic languages are highly gendered. There are a few unisex nicknames for names with both male and female versions (e.g., Sasha, Valya, Vasya), but actual full names are much rarer.

Early on, I decided to feature a dozen names per post, with six for each sex. That included variations of the names, versions for the opposite sex, and nicknames. As promised, I tried my best to avoid names with the -mir(a) and -slav(a)/sław(a) roots, since I’m planning future posts devoted to such names. I’ll also have future posts featuring Slavic names with the -mil(a) and Tsvet-/Cvet-/Kvet- roots.

Since Slavic languages don’t all have the same alphabet, certain letters lent themselves more to certain languages; e.g., W came entirely from Polish, while J and H could only come from the West Slavic languages and a few South Slavic languages. I’d hoped to feature more Montenegrin names, but unfortunately couldn’t find enough that are unique to that language.

Obviously, X and Q were by far the trickiest letters to find names for, since they only naturally occur in Czech and Slovak, and the few names with those rare letters are all borrowed from other languages.

For whatever reason, I’ve had really bad luck with links clicked on for the last few years! So many blogs had interesting names or themes, but I discovered that person hadn’t blogged in months (or years!), or quit participating early. Others have also noticed participation seems to be down the last few years.

Other blogs were hard to navigate, like putting A to Z posts on an entirely separate page, or posting multiple times a day and not putting the A to Z post on top, or putting a hyperlink to it at the start of the top post. Still other bloggers had no commenting option, or there were a lot of big graphics and text blocks to scroll through before finally finding the A to Z post.

I was quite turned off by bloggers using their theme to promote their businesses. I’m fine with a theme inspired by one’s business or art (e.g., topics you researched for a book, subjects you’ve painted, recipes from your bakery), but not out and out telling bloggers to, e.g., hire you as a genealogical researcher or hawking merchandise from a pyramid scheme!

Having one big list was much more convenient than all the daily lists in different places, though its length and volume did prove a challenge in scrolling. I’d be happy to volunteer with maintaining next year’s list, as I did in 2015.

Post recap:

The As of Slavic names (55 views)
The Bs of Slavic names (29 views)
The Cs of Slavic names (28 views)
The Ds of Slavic names (24 views)
The Es of Slavic names (20 views)
The Fs of Slavic names (18 views)
The Gs of Slavic names (19 views)
The Hs of Slavic names (22 views)
The Is of Slavic names (19 views)
The Js of Slavic names (19 views)
The Ks of Slavic names (13 views)
The Ls of Slavic names (17 views)
The Ms of Slavic names (17 views)
The Ns of Slavic names (22 views)
The Os of Slavic names (12 views)
The Ps of Slavic names (15 views)
The Qs of (non-native) Slavic names (15 views)
The Rs of Slavic names (20 views)
The Ses of Slavic names (15 views)
The Ts of Slavic names (8 views)
The Us of Slavic names (14 views)
The Vs of Slavic names (16 views)
The Ws of Slavic names (12 views)
The Xes of Slavic names (16 views)
The Ys of Slavic names (10 views)
The Zs of Slavic names (26 views)

The Zs of Slavic names

Male:

Zdravko is a South Slavic name meaning “healthy.” The feminine form is Zdravka.

Żelimysł roughly means “to desire thought” in Polish.

Zhelyazko means “iron” in Bulgarian.

Zlatan is a South Slavic name meaning “golden.” The feminine form is Zlata.

Zoran is a South Slavic, Czech, and Slovak name meaning “dawn.” This is the middle name of my Slovenian–American character Achilles, the name his family and church community call him. The feminine form is Zora, the name of one of my Serbian characters. She survives Jasenovac with her mother and four older sisters.

Zosim is the Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian form of the Greek name Zosimos (likely to survive; viable). This would be a very symbolic name to give a baby fighting for his life.

Female:

Zdenka is a Slovenian, Slovak, Czech, and Croatian name meaning “create, build.” The male form is Zdenko.

Zimana means “winter” in Serbian.

Zinoviya is the Russian and Ukrainian form of the Greek name Zenobia (life of Zeus). I have a character by this name, after the grandma she’ll never know. Her nickname is Nova.

Zornitsa means “morning star” in Bulgarian.

Zumreta is the Bosnian form of the Turkish name Zümra (emerald).

Zvezdana (Serbian, Slovenian), Zvjezdana (Croatian), Zvezdelina (Bulgarian), and Zvezda, Dzvezda (Macedonian) mean “star.”