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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Ukrainian Surnames of Hypothetical Bulgarian Origin

Since traces of the presence of the Proto-Bulgars on the territory of Ukraine were left by the in many place names, an attempt was made to find matches also in anthroponimics. Possibility of the existence of the Ukrainian surnames Bulgarian origin is confirmed by such fact. The name of the village of Gavarechchina in Lviv Region has a clear Bulgar origin, as it is connected to the common village handcraft of black pottery. The surname Bakusevich is typical for this village and it also has Bulgarish roots because old Chuvash male names Pakkuç, Pakus, Pakăs are recorded. The surnames Bakus, Bakusevich or Bakutsevich are found also in the villages of Kimir, Ushkovichi, Chupernosov, Nedilyska in Peremyshlyany district, Lviv region, where the existence of Bulgar settlements can be confirmed by archaeological data (Cherepin-Lagodiv group of sites). Incidentally, the names of the first three above-mentioned villages are also explained by means of the Chuvash language. Obviously, Ukrainians took the name Backus from the Bulgars still in For-Christian times, and it was an additional person identifier after spreading Christian names. Later it or derived from it Bakusevich – Bakutsevich were recorded as a surname. The explanations of the meaning of these noted names are is absent in the Chuvash dictionaries, but maybe, they oroginated Chuv. pak "swiftly" or pakka "to thrash, beat" in conjunction with the affix – uç. This affix, just as – aç – eç ere used to form nouns. Thus, we can be sure that some other Ukrainian surnames exist since prehistoric times, as well as names of villages in which they occur.

As research base "List of names of Dniester Land" (V. STETSYUK 2001: 156-214) has been taken. The list was compiled by members of the expedition "Dniester" of Lion Society (Lviv) in the years 1989-2001 and includes more than two thousand different names, typical in settlements of the Dniester region. Data on existing surnames outside of the Dniester Land are taken from the site:"A history of Surnames".

When looking for the names of the possible Bulgarish origin, words out of the list which have good phonetic match in the Chuvash language, were taken for analysis. These of them were chosen which have some semantic connection between partial words and are suitable for a name that is those which characterize certain human qualities or speculation about the possible origin of the person or his occupation. Words only with good phonetic similarity but with questionable ability to use as a name were rejected.

Human qualities

Chuv. kărachă "poor, exhausted" – the surname Karatch is found in the neighboring villages of Isakav (Tlumach district in Ivano-Frankivsk Region) and Pidverbtsy (Horodenka district, the same region).

Chuv kĕra "strong, thick" – Gera is common surname in the village of Solyanuvatka near the town of Dobromila in Lviv Region.

Chuv. kĕçĕllĕ "sick on itch" – the surname Kitsela is common in the village of. Nimshin (Galych district in in Ivano-Frankivsk Region). This surname was recorded in the village of Goreloye (Tambov regio, Russia) in 1507.

Chuv. khavkhallă "noisy, clamorous" – the surname Kavkale is found in the village of Perkivtsy (Kelments district in Chernivtsi Region).

Chuv. khunta "a defender, help"- the surname Khandon is common in the village of. Liubints (Stryi district in Lviv Region) and is found in the village of Korchyn (Skole district in Lviv Region). Chuv. khuntan – the possessive form of the khunta.

Chuv. khura "black", kuç "eye" – The surname Karakaza is very common surname in the neighboring villages Raskiv and Rukhotin (Khotin district). The name in the form Qaraqazov was recorded in Karelia (Russia), and in Belarus in the city of Vitebsk in 1617.

Chuv. pěçě "hip" – the surname Betza is found in the village of. Kornalovychi (Sambir district in Lviv Region).

Chuv. pĕtev "body" – the surname Petiovka is present in Transcarpathia.

Chuv. săpaylă "modest, restrained" – the surname Sabala is found in the village of Morozivtsi (Stary sambir district in Lviv Region).

Chuv. simĕs "green" – people with the surname Symes live in the city of Lviv.

Chuv. sukhal "beard" – Sakal' is common surname in the city of Turka, Lviv Region.

Chuv. çinçe "thin" – known in Ukraine surname Dzindzia and its variants Dzindzyuk, Zinzyuk are common in the villave of Anadoly (Khotin district in Chernivtsi Region), the surname Dzinka occurs in the village of Petryliv (Tlumach district in Ivano-Frankivsk Region). The form of this name Zinzyuk was recorded in Sestoretsk (Leningrad region, Russia) in 1682. Good phonetic conformity with Ukrainian suffixes.

Chuv. çurăk "broken, tattered" – the surname Tsyurak is common in the villages of Sokirchin, Petriv, (Tlumach district in Ivan0-Frankivsk Region).

Chuv. çyn "a man", Old. Chuv. çu "unbaptized" – the surname Dzunza is found in the city of Kalush (Ivano-Frankivsk Region.) In Russia, the name was first recorded in the form of Dzunza in the town of Balakovo (Saratov Region.) in 1602. During stay of Bulgars on the territory of Ukraine Christianity was not widespread among them. Perhaps the word refers to a person not served some ritual, such as initiation.

Chuv. tem "a whose unknown person" çura "baby" – the surname Temtsyurak is common in the village of Zhuravno (Zhidachiv district in Lviv Region). Good phonetic matching and semantic relationship of words with the Ukrainian suffix Ukrainian.

Chuv. vitěr "keen, sharp-sighted", kuç "an eye" – Vytrykush is common surname in the village of Polana (Gorodok district in Lviv Region).


Χσβ. pĕlĕsh "relative" – Pelesh Ukrainian surname in Lemkovyma.

Chuv. yăkh "clan, tribe", vak small – the surname Yahvak is recorded in the city of Sambir. Semantic connection of words could describe belonging to a minor genus.

Chuv. tură "God" pulkkă "herd, flock" – the surname Tarabavka is common in the village of Letiache (Zalischyky district in Ternopil Region) and the name Tarabavsky is common in the village of. Horodnytsia (Horodenka district in Ivano-Frankivs Region). Sufficient phonetic matching. (A thansformation of v in l in is possible in the Ukrainian language). The surname could characterize belonging to a particular race.

Chuv. khalap "fabulous" ăru "kinn, tribe" – the surname Halabura is prevalent in the village of Chernelytsya (Horodenka district). The surname could characterize belonging to the legendary race.

Chuv. khĕr "a daughter, bride" and Elyush, Chuvash male pagan name – the surname Kerelyus is present in the village of Torchinovychi (Stary Sambir district). Phonetic matching is sufficient and word khĕr meaning "a daughter" occurs often as the a first partial word in women's names. In this case, the translation could be "Elyush' daughter".


Chuv kălăkh "useless, wasted" – the surname Galak is found in the village of Furmansvka (Kamenetz-Podolsk district in Khmelnytsli Region).

Chuv. pukan "a chump" – the surname Bagan is present in the village of Kulchytsi (Sambir district) and Pakan is common in the village of . Ilnik (Turka district)

Chuv. Pekine is man's name – the surname Begin', Begin are common in the villages of Isakivtsi, Petriv, Sokirchin (Tlumach district).

Chuv. purtă "an ax" – the surname Barta is present in the villages of Gannussvka? Poberezhzhia (Tismenetsia district). This surname is common in Hungary, but the Ukrainian villages are quite far from Hungary. And indeed the Hungarian surname Barta could also have Chuvash roots because Chuvash and Hungarian languages have a large common vocabulary.

Chuv. çerçi "a sparrow" – the surname Jerge is very common in the neighboring villages Vozyliv (Buchach district, Ternopil Region), and Monastyrok, Rakovets (Horodenka district), there is a village Cherche in Rogatyn district (Ivano-Frankivsk Region).

Chuv. çiç "to shine" – the surname Dzidza is available in the village Chernelytsa (Horodenka district).

Chuv. çiç "to shine", tĕn "faith" – Ulana Tsizdyn Lviv sportswomen.

Chuv. çumăr "rain" – Victoria Syumar as a known Ukrainian journalist.

Chuv. surăkh "a sheep", măn "big" – the surname Sarakhman is very common in the villages Vanevychi, Morozivtsi (Sambir district), occurs in the city of Sambor, village of Tyaziv (Tismenetsia district).

Chuv. çur "spring", kun "a day" – the surname Tsurkan is available in the village of Nagoriany (Kelmentsi district).

Chuv. tără 1. "top", 2. "clean" and tută "taste" – Taratuta, common Ukrainian surname considered to be originated from taratiryty "to chatter". However Ukr dish taratuta allows explain the surname as "tasteful".

Chuv. khurçă "steel" – the surname Kurzyak is available in the village of Zozulintsy (Zalischyky district).

As far the proposed etymologies correspond to the truth cannot be appreciated without additional historical evidence of the nationality of the ancestors of carriers of specific surnames and they are unlikely to appear once. Therefore, they themselves do not prove the presence of the Bulgars in a certain territory of Ukraine, we have other convincing data for this. Ukrainian surnames of Bulgarian origin are additional material for the study of historical phonology of the Turkic languages. Together with the toponymy, anthroponymy establishes a certain chronological framework for the existence or transformation of the distinct sounds of these languages. In addition, a comparison of Ukrainian and Chuvash anthroponymic systems (similarity in semantics, structure, creation) will provide concrete material for studying the spiritual culture of our ancestors and establishing patterns of anthroponymy in prehistoric times and at the same time will help establish at least an approximate time of the emergence of individual surnames, which is also important.