A to Z Reflections 2022

This was my ninth year doing the Challenge with this blog, and my eleventh year with two blogs. For the fifth year in a row, I had a fairly simple theme instead of a research-heavy one like I used to. However, this year’s theme was too important and timely for me to feel disappointed; on the contrary, doing anything other than Ukrainian names would’ve felt wrong.

For the fourth year, I didn’t start writing and researching my posts on either blog till March. The posts on my main blog took up so much time, I only had a few days to research, write, and edit the posts here. The few remaining letters that weren’t done by the end of March were completed early on April first. Since this wasn’t a research-heavy theme like Greek mythology or names from a classic work of literature, I was more than able to complete all 26 posts without compromising their content.

Someday I do hope to resume my former habit of putting my posts together many months in advance, and returning to more research-heavy themes on my names blog. There’s just such a theme I’ve been wanting to do here since 2017, and I’ve not forgotten about it. Until such time, it’ll remain a secret.

As always, I featured both female and male names on each day, and alternated which sex each post started with. Though I used to feature six each when I did names from a particular language or era, I’ve now abandoned that habit. If I find more than six great, interesting, or noteworthy names, why not include them all? And there are also some days where I unfortunately just couldn’t find more than a few, or could only find one.

Since Ukrainian doesn’t have certain letters, J, Q, W, and X had to be wildcard days. In the interests of staying as close to my theme as possible, I chose names from languages which experienced cultural osmosis during Polish, Austrian, and Tatar rule. Many upper-class Ukrainians also became very Polonified and Germanized during these periods, though there was far less willing adaptation of Tatar culture!

I initially hoped to feature Ukrainian-specific names only, but that soon proved very difficult to adhere to. Because of so much cultural osmosis at best and forced adoption of foreign culture at worst, many Ukrainian names are shared in common with other Slavic languages. Oftentimes, the thing that makes a Slavic name specifically Ukrainian is the spelling or the nickname forms.

It’s always frustrating to encounter bloggers who gave up early or never started, and some don’t even have a link, or the right link. Also annoying are blogs without the option to comment, moderation of all comments (not just the first one by a new reader), having to sign up with a unique-to-the-blogger commenting service, or a really uncommon commenting interface.

I’m not the only one who notices participation seems down in recent years. Perhaps this is mainly down to how the medium of blogging itself has undergone a lot of changes over the past decade. Many of my blogging buddies from 5–10 years ago have moved to other social media platforms, transitioned to a more infrequent blogging schedule, or quit blogging and social media altogether.

Post recap:

The As of Ukrainian names
The Bs of Ukrainian names
The Cs of Ukrainian names
The Ds of Ukrainian names
The Es of Ukrainian names
The Fs of Ukrainian names
The Gs of Ukrainian names
The Hs of Ukrainian names
The Is of Ukrainian names
The Js of Polish names
The Ks of Ukrainian names
The Ls of Ukrainian names
The Ms of Ukrainian names
The Ns of Ukrainian names
The Os of Ukrainian names
The Ps of Ukrainian names
The Qs of German names
The Rs of Ukrainian names
The Ses of Ukrainian names
The Ts of Ukrainian names
The Us of Ukrainian names
The Vs of Ukrainian names
The Ws of Polish names
The Xes of Tatar names
The Ys of Ukrainian names
The Zs of Ukrainian names

The Zs of Ukrainian names

Male names:

Zhadan means “desired, welcomed, wished-for,” derived from a contracted participle of the verb zhadaty. It possibly may be a Ukrainian form of the Latin name Desiderius, derived from desiderium (desire, longing).

Zoreslav means “dawn glory.”

Zoryan means “star.”

Female names:

Zinayida is a rare form of Zinaida, which comes from the Greek name Zenais and ultimately Zeus (“shine” or “sky”).

Zlatyslava means “golden and glorious.”

Zoreslava, or Zorislava, means “dawn glory.”

Zoriana derives from zora, the South and West Slavic word for “dawn, daybreak, aurora.” The Zorya are two guardian goddesses in the form of evening stars and the morning star in Slavic mythology.

Zoryana means “star.”

The Ys of Ukrainian names

Female names:

Yaryna is a variant of Iryna, which comes from the Greek name Eirene (peace). The spelling may have been influenced by the Slavic root yaru (energetic).

Yavdokha is the Ukrainian and Belarusian form of the Greek name Eudokia (Eudocia in Latin), which derives from the Greek word eudokeo (to be well satisfied, to be pleased), and roots eu (good) and dokeo (to imagine, think, suppose). One of the diminutives is Yavdonya.

Yelysaveta is the traditional Ukrainian form of Elizabeth, which comes from Hebrew name Elisheva (my God is an oath). Another form of the name is Yelyzaveta.

Yevheniya is the Ukrainian form of Eugenia (well-born).

Yulianiya may be an elaborated form of Yuliana, or a modern invention.

Male names:

Yakiv is the Ukrainian form of Jakob, which ultimately comes from the Hebrew name Ya’akov. Though traditional etymology claims this name means “heel” and “supplanter,” many modern Biblical scholars believe it comes from Semitic roots meaning “may God protect.”

Yakym is the Ukrainian form of Joachim, a contracted form of the Hebrew name Yehoiachin (God establishes) or Yehoiakim (raised by God).

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

Yarosh is a folk form of the Greek name Hierotheos (sacred god).

Yavtukh is a folk form of the Greek name Eutychios, a variant of Eutychus. Its root is the word eutyches (fortunate).

Yevhen, or Yevheniy, is the Ukrainian form of Eugene (well-born).

Yevstakhiy is an archaic form of the Latin name Eustachius, which possibly comes from the Greek name Eustachys (fruitful; literally, “good ear of corn”).

Yosyp is the Ukrainian form of Joseph, which comes from Hebrew name Yosef (he will add). Another form is Yosyf.

Yukhym comes from the Greek name Euthymios (in good spirits, generous). An alternative form or diminutive is Yusko.

The Vs of Ukrainian names

Male names:

Vakula is the Ukrainian form of the Greek name Boukolos (cowherd, herdsman). This is the name of the protagonist in Nikolay Gogol’s 1832 folk mystic story “The Night Before Christmas.” Another form of the name is Vukol.

Valentyn is the Ukrainian form of Valentine, which comes from Roman cognomens Valentinus and Valens (strong, healthy, vigourous).

Valentynian is a rare form of the Roman cognomen Valentinianus, which is also related to Valentine.

Vasyl is the Ukrainian form of Basil, which comes from Greek name Basileios and word basileus (king).

Vavyla is the Ukrainian form of the Greek name Babylas (i.e., Babylon).

Vladyslav means “to rule in glory.”

Volodymyr is the original form of Vladimir (famous rule).

Volodyslav is a variant form of Vladyslav.

Vyktor is a lesser-used form of Viktor (victor, conqueror).

Female names:

Valentyna is the Ukrainian form of Valentina.

Vasylyna is the Ukrainian form of the Russian name Vasilisa, an uncommon feminine form of Basil.

Veronyka is a rare form of Veronika, which derives from the Greek name Pherenike (bringing victory). The spelling was first altered to Berenice in Latin, from the Macedonian form Berenike, and then to Veronica, because of the ecclesiastical phrase vera icon (true image).

Vira is the Ukrainian form of Vera (faith).

Vivdya is a folk form of the Greek name Eudokia (Eudocia in Latin), which derives from roots eu (good) and eudokeo (to be satisfied, to be well pleased).

Vladyslava means “to rule in glory.”

The Us of Ukrainian names

Female names:

Ulyana is the Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Russian form of Juliana, which ultimately derives from the Roman family name Iulianus. Its root may be the Greek word ioulos (downy-bearded), or it could be related to Jupiter (Iuppiter in Latin). Jupiter comes from the Indo–European root *Dyew-paterDyews means Zeus, and pater is father. In turn, Zeus derives from root *dyew- (“sky” or “shine”).

Male names:

Uilyam is the Ukrainian form of William, which comes from the Germanic name Willahelm (will helmet).