Fighting Slavic names

While not seen nearly as frequently as roots like miru (world, peace) and slava (glory), there are nevertheless a number of Slavic names with the root borti (to fight). Though contrary to what it might look like, the name Boris has zero etymological connection. It’s not even Slavic in origin, but Turkic.

The root boji, boj also means “fight; battle,” but isn’t seen nearly that often in names. Like the almost exclusively Polish group of names with the root gniew, gnyevu (anger), I suspect these originated in an era when the Slavs were warlike tribes who took pride in their battle prowess.

These names include:

Blizbor (Polish; archaic): To fight nearby.

Bojislav(a) (Czech, Serbian, Croatian): Glorious battle.

Bojomir(a) (Polish): Battle peace; fighting for peace.

Borimir(a) (Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian): Battle peace.

Boriša (Vlach, unisex): Fighter.

Borisav (Vlach): Person who fights.

Borislav(a) (Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Slovenian, Croatian): Battle glory.

Borivoj (Serbian, Croatian), Bořivoj (Czech), Borivoje (Serbian): Battle soldier.

Borjan (Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian): Battle; fight.

Borko (Macedonian, Serbian, Croatian): Battle; fight.

Borna (Croatian, unisex): Battle; fight.

Bożebor (Medieval Polish): To fight for God.

Borzygniew (Polish): To fight in anger.

Chociebor (Polish): To want to fight.

Czcibor (Polish), Cibor (Czech), Ctibor (Polish; rare): Battle honour.

Czȩstobor (Polish): To fight often.

Dalibor (Serbian, Macedonian, Slovenian, Czech, Slovak, Croatian), Dalebor (Polish), Daliborka (Serbian, Slovenian, Croatian): To fight far away. I have two characters named Dalibor, one Serbian and one Macedonian.

Domabor (Polish): Battle in the house.

Lutobor (Polish): Fierce battle.

Miłobor (Polish): Gracious battle.

Mścibor (Polish): Revenge battle.

Myślibor (Polish): To think of a battle; thought of a battle.

Pomścibor (Polish): To avenge battle; to wreak battle.

Preben (Danish, Norwegian): First battle; descended from Wendish Pridbor, which in turn gave rise to Medieval Scandinavian name Pridbjørn.

Przedbor (Polish): Before battle; in front of a battle.

Ratibor (Polish): To battle in a war.

Samboja (Polish, female): To battle alone.

Sambor (Polish; archaic): To fight alone; alone in battle.

Sobiebor (Polish): To usurp battle. I personally would refrain from using this in any language, due to how it’s only one letter away from the name of the infamous camp Sóbibor!

Strogobor (Polish): Harsh battle; strict battle; severe battle.

Sulibor (Polish): Battle promise; mightier battle. I really like this name.

Svetibor (Serbian; rare): Holy battle; world battle.

Velibor (Serbian, Croatian): Great battle. I have a Russian–American character by this name, the runt of triplets. His parents originally planned to name another boy Volimir, but when he came out detached from his cord, not breathing, and only one pound, seven ounces, his father felt Velibor had a better meaning for that tiny fighter.

Wszebor(a) (Polish): Always fighting. I have a secondary character named Wszebora, who takes perverse pride in how the meaning of her name perfectly fits her cruel nature.

Żelibor (Polish): To want battle.

Zlatibor (Serbian, Croatian): Golden battle.

Żyborka (Polish): Battle prey.

Thor-inspired names

Dedicated in loving memory of Peter Tork, né Peter Halsten Thorkelson, 13 February 1942–21 February 2019, whose birth surname inspired this post.

Thor’s Fight with the Giants, Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872

I’ve wanted to do a post on Thor-inspired names for quite some time. Though many might consider the name Thor itself to be pompous and pretentious, there are quite a few other names whose meanings relate to Thor. If you wouldn’t consider the name Thor for a real child, perhaps you’d be more inclined to use one of these names.

Unless otherwise noted, all these names are male.

Thor was the Norse god of thunder, from Old Norse þórr, ultimately from Ancient Germanic *þunraz. The name was #48 in Denmark in 2017. Its modern form is Tor, and the feminine forms are Thora and Tora.

Haldor (Norwegian) means “Thor’s rock,” from Old Norse Hallþórr.

Tollak (Norwegian) means “Thor’s play/game,” from Old Norse þórleikr. The word leikr refers to a game or play involving weapons.

Torbjörn (Swedish) means “Thor’s bear,” from Old Norse þórbjörn. Variants include Torbjørn (Danish, Norwegian); Thorbjørn (Norwegian); Torben (Danish, German); Thornben (German); and þorbjörn (Icelandic).

Torgeir (Norwegian) means “Thor’s spear,” from Old Norse þórgeirr. Variants are Torger and Terje. The latter isn’t to be confused with a female Estonian name meaning “mist.”

Torgny Segerstedt (1876–1945), Swedish scholar of comparative religion, and publicist and editor-in-chief of anti-Nazi newspaper Göteborgs Handels-och Sjöfartstidning

Torgny (Swedish) means “Thor’s noise/murmur/grumble,” from Old Norse þórgnýr.

Torhild (Norwegian, female) means “Thor’s battle,” from Old Norse þórhildr. Variants are Toril and Torill.

Torkel (Swedish, Norwegian) means “Thor’s cauldron,” from Old Norse þórketill. Variants include Tyge (Danish); Tyko (Finnish); Tygo (Dutch); Tycho (Dutch, Danish); Torcuil (Scottish); Torquil (Anglicized Gaelic); and Torkil (Danish, Norwegian).

Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, 1546–1601

Torleif (Norwegian) means “Thor’s descendent,” from Old Norse þórleifr.

Tormod (Norwegian) means “Thor’s mind/mood,”  from Old Norse þórmóðr.

Torsten (Danish, Swedish, German) means “Thor’s stone,” from Old Norse þórsteinn. Variants include Thorsten (Swedish, Danish); Thorstein, Torstein (Norwegian); Torsti (Finnish); and Thurston (English). þorstína and þorsteina (Icelandic) are feminine forms. An elaborated Icelandic feminine form, þórsteinunn, means “Thor’s stone wave.”

Torvald (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish) means “Thor’s ruler,” from Old Norse þórvaldr. Many people may recognize this as the name of the husband in Henrik Ibsen’s famous play A Doll’s House.

The Vs of Medieval names

Male:

Vauquelin (French): Derived from Ancient Germanic name Walchelin, from root walha (foreign).

Vecheslav (Slavic): “More glory,” from roots veche and slava. The familiar modern form is the Czech and Slovak Václav. Other forms are Wenceslas (Latinized), Vyacheslav (Russian and Ukrainian), Wacław and Więcesław (Polish), Ventseslav (Bulgarian), Venseslao (Italian), Venseslás (Spanish), Vencel (Hungarian), Wenzel (German), and Veaceslav (Romanian).

Velam (Swedish): Form of William, derived from Ancient Germanic name Willahelm. Its roots are wil (desire, will) and helm (protection, helmet).

Velasco (Spanish): Possibly “crow,” from a Basque word. The modern form is Vasco, a Spanish adjective meaning “Basque.”

Velimir (Slavic): “Great peace” and “great world,” from roots veli and miru. This name is still used in modern Serbian and Croatian.

Venerio (Italian): Derived from Venus (sexual desire, love).

Vesike (Baltic, Livonian): “Water,” from Livonian root •vesi.

Vigmund (Swedish): Derived from Old Norse name Vígmundr, from roots víg (battle, fight) and mund (protection).

Vimund (Swedish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Vímundr, with roots  (home, sanctuary, temple) and mund (protection, hand).

Vitomir (Slavic): “Master of peace” and “master of the world,” from roots vit (lord, master) and miru. This name is still used in modern Slovenina, Serbian, and Croatian.

Volknand (German): “Brave people,” from Ancient Germanic roots folk (people) and nand (brave, daring).

Vratislav (Slavic): “To return glory,” from roots vratiti and slava. This name is still used in modern Czech and Slovak.

Female:

Valata (Baltic, Livonian): Of widely-disputed, uncertain etymology.

València (Catalan)

Värun (Swedish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Vírún, from roots  (temple, home, sanctuary) and rún (secret).

Vasara (Baltic, Livonian): Possibly derived from the Latvian word for “summer,” or the Finnish word for “hammer.”

Verdiana (Italian): Feminine form of Latin name Viridianus, derived from root viridis (green).

Verildis (Dutch): Derived from Ancient Germanic name Farahild, from Langobardic root fara (family, kind, line) or Gothic faran (to travel), and Old Norse hildr (battle).

Vermilia (Italian)

Viana (Catalan)

Viçenta (Portuguese), Vicenta (Catalan): “To conquer,” from Latin root vincere.

Vivendòta (Catalan)

The Us of Medieval names

Female:

Umayma (Moorish Arabic): “Little mother.”

Umayna (Moorish Arabic): Form of Amina (feel safe; truthful).

Urraca (Spanish, Basque): “Magpie,” ultimately from Latin furax (thievish).

Ursola (Catalan): Form of Ursula (little bear)

Ustė (Baltic)

Ustilé (Baltic)

Male:

Uallach (Irish): “Pride,” from root uall.

Ubaid (Moorish Arabic): “Servant.”

Udder (Danish, Swedish): Derived from Old Norse name Oddr (point of a sword), and the word otr (otter).

Uddolf (Swedish): Derived from Old Norse name Uddulfr, from roots oddr and ulfr (wolf).

Ulfkil (Danish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Ulfkætill, from roots ulfr and ketill (cauldron, helmet, hat).

Ulfrik (Swedish, Danish): Derived from Old Norse name Ulfríkr, from roots ulfr and ríkr (mighty, rich, distinguished).

Ulvar (Swedish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Ulfarr/Ulfgæirr, from roots ulfr and geirr (spear), or herr (army).

Ungust (Cornish)

Unker (Danish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Óðinkárr. Its roots are either Old Danish othankar/othinkar (raging, easily furious), or Old Norse óðr (frenzy, rage, inspiration) and kárr (“obstinant; reluctant” or “curly-haired”).

Urdin (Basque): “Blue.” 

The Ts of Medieval names

Male:

Taki (Danish): “Receiver, surety, guarantor,” from Old Danish root taka (to take).

Tancred (Norman), Tankard (English): Derived from an Ancient Germanic name meaning “thought and counsel,” from roots thank (thought) and râd (counsel).

Tasufin (Moorish Arabic)

Tedaldo, Teodaldo (Italian): Derived from Ancient Germanic name Theudewald, with Ancient Germanic root þeuþ (people) and Gothic valdan (to reign). This is the name of a Decameron character.

Tedrick (English): Derived from Ancient Germanic name Theodoric (ruler of the people), from roots theud (people) and ric (power, ruler).

Temüjin (Mongolian): “Of iron,” from Turkic root temür (iron). This was Genghis Khan’s original name.

Temür (Turkic): “Iron.”

Terkel (Danish): Derived from Old Norse name Þórketill (Thor’s cauldron), from roots Þórr (Thor; thunder) and ketill (cauldron). This is also the modern Danish form. The modern Swedish and Norwegian form is Torkel.

Theodred (English): Derived from Anglo–Saxon roots þeod (people) and ræd (counsel).

Thorbern, Thorbiorn (Swedish, Danish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name  Þórbiǫrn (thunder bear; Thor’s bear), from roots Þórr and bjǫrn.

Thorfinn (Scandinavian): Derived from Old Norse name Þórfinnr, with roots Þórr and Finnr (Laplander, Sami). I’m planning a future post devoted to the many names derived from Thor! There are far too many to cover here.

Tikhomir (Slavic): “Quiet peace” and “quiet world,” from roots tikhu (quiet) and miru (world, peace). The modern form is Tihomir (Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Croatian).

Todros (Judeo–Catalan)

Toghon (Mongolian): “Pot.”

Trudbert (German): “Bright strength,” from roots thrud (strength) and bert (bright).

Tulir (Danish): Nickname for Old Norse name Þórlæifr (Thor’s descendant; thunder’s descendant). Its roots are Þórr and leif (heir, descendant, heritage).

Tumi (Danish): Nickname for names starting with Þórr/Thor, and containing M as their final element.

Tverdimir (Slavic): “Hard peace” and “hard world,” from Proto–Slavic root tverd (hard) and mir (world, peace). The modern form is Twardomir (Polish).

Female:

Tanguistl (Cornish), Tangwystl (Welsh), Thangustella (English): “Pledge of peace,” from Welsh roots tanc (peace, tranquility) and gwystl (hostage, pledge).

Tanzeda (Occitan)

Taudisca (Tuscan Italian), Tedesca (Italian): Derived from Proto–Germanic root *þiudiskaz (of the people, vernacular, popular). This is also the modern Italian feminine adjective for “German.”

Tegrida (Spanish): Form of Tigris, which may be of Celtic or Gallic origin.

Tekusa (Russian and Slavic): Form of Greek name Thekusa.

Temperantia (Italian)

Tessina (Italian)

Tortula (Italian): “Small twist.”

Tyfainne (French): “Epiphany,” from Greek root Theophania. This name was traditionally given to girls born on 6 January.