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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Proto-Bulgarish Place Names in Eastern Europe

As long-term studies have shown, a group of closely related tribes, which we collectively call the Bulgars, distinguished by special dynamism among all Turkic peoples, who populated the area between the Dnieper and Don Rivers from the beginning of the 5th mill. BC., have become the creators of the Corded Ware culture (CWC) which has been widespread in Europe from the Volga to the Rhine Rivers and from southern Scandinavia to the Carpathians (see sections "Ethnicity of the Neolithic and Eneolithic cultures of Eastern Europe. " and "Türks as Carriers of the Corded Ware Cultures "). Most of the Bulgars was assimilated among the various peoples of Europe, but those Bulgars, who inhabited Western Ukraine, kept their ethnicity and in the first millennium BC. re-settled in the wider area of Central and Eastern Europe (see. the cycle "The Scytho-Sarmatian Problems").

The Bulgars left traces of their stay in many place names, which can be divided into two groups – the time of CWC and Scythian times. The place names in Scandinavia, Germany, and most parts of Poland are definitely belonging to the first group. These include a strip of names, which stretches from Left-Bank Ukraine to the north in the area of dissemination and Fatyanovo Balanovo cultures. This suggests that it was the Bulgars but not other Turks creators these cultures, because the attempts to decipher the place names by means of other Turkic languages failed. It is also confident to say that the second group includes place names of Hungary, the left-bank Ukraine, and two strips from the Western Ukraine, one in the direction of the Dnieper River and the other to Black Sea.

The overview map of the Bulgarish placenames of ancient times.

On the map, purple dots mark localities with Bulgarish origin of the name, which may correspond to the times of CWC or close to them. Maroon – the later, of Scythian period.

In general, if we consider each place name separately, then an element of random coincidence remains always in case of absence of a good correspondence to local conditions. Particularly isolated toponyms can be often doubtful, while we can confidently talk about the stay of the Bulgars where place names form clusters or chains marking the ways of their migrations. It should be noted that random coincidences have unsystematic nature and therefore do not distort the picture of the placement of certain groups of toponyms when they are numerous, and even more when they can be associated with certain archaeological cultures.

Among the clusters of toponyms of Bulgarish origin are present those that directly indicate the Chuvash ethnicity of the inhabitants of some settlements:

Chaus, a village in Mezhev district of Dnepropetrovsk Region. Ukraine.

Chausove, a village in Pervomaysk district of Mykolayiv Region. Ukraine.

Chausove, a settlement in Zhukovskiy district of Kaluga Region. Russia.

Chausy, a village in Pogar district of Briansk Region. Russia.

Chausovo, a village in Novodugino district of Smolensk Region. Russia.

Chavusy, a town im Mogilev Region. Belarus.

All the given names contain a root that corresponds to Chuv. chăvash "Chuvash". Apparently, the ancient Bulgars stayed in the noted settlements before arriving Slavic population which called by them according to the self-names of the inhabitants. A table sort of grapes called "chaus/chaush" known and the Russsian name Chausov is known, but the origin of these words has not yet been explained. There is a word of non-Romance origin ceauș "courier, messenger" in Romanian. Apparently it also comes from the self-name of the Chuvashes since Scythian time.

The most common Bulgarish place names in Eastern Europe are Mayak and Mayaki, which can be associated with Chuv. lighthouse "landmark". In Russia alone, there are about fifty toponyms Mayak, although some of them come from the name of a navigational landmark. However, in favor of the Bulgar origin of others is the fact that one of the most common toponyms in Russia, numbering more than a hundred cases, is the name Markovo, which is associated with OE. mearc, mearca "boundary", "sign", "county", "marked space", i.e. in a meaning close to the Chuvash word. In this one can see a certain pattern in the naming of geographical objects by ancient peoples. It is almost impossible to separate the toponyms Mayak of Bulgar and Russian origin; one can speak more confidently about those who are among the clusters of other Bulgarish ones. Those that are located in isolation should not be taken into consideration. In this case, in Russia, one can count at least twenty-five names of Bulgarish origin, and fifteen in Ukraine. There are fewer place names Mayaki, but it can be assumed that almost all of them are of Bulgarish origin.

At the second mill BC, the Turkic tribe of Bulgar, the ancestors of the modern-day Chuvash, primarily occupied the country on the left bank of the Dniester (Stetsyuk V., 1999, 85-95; Stetsyuk V. 2000, 28). The border between their habitat and the Teuton area lay across the watersheds of the Pripjat’ and Dniester. As this boundary was feebly marked, linguistic contacts Bulgars with Teutons and other Germanic tribes were rather close, as the numerous lexical matches between the modern German and Chuvash languages make clear. This fact has been noted by several researchers working independently of each other (KORNILOV G.E., 1973; YEGOROV GENNADIY., 1993; STETSYUK VALENTYN., 1998). The Bulgars stay on the mentioned territory is confirmed by local place names, which can not be explained by means of the Slavic languages but are understandable by means of Chuvash. The bulk of Bulgarish place names is concentrated in the Lviv region, but in enough large quantities, they are also found in the Volyn region, in the Carpathian Mountains, and adjacent localities of Hungary and Poland.

While deciphering place names the following phonetic correspondences between the Ukrainian and Chuvash languages were revealed:

The letters ă and ě reflect reduced sounds a and e. In Ukrainian pronunciation, the sound ă can correspond to the vowels o, a, and less often u

Chuvash letter u correspond historically most often to sound a, seldom to u.

Chuvash letter a can correspond to Ukrainian a and o.

Chuvash letters e and i correspond to Ukrainian e and i though mutual substitutions are possible.

Chuvash consonants differ little from Ukrainian ones, but Chuvash previous sound k has evolved into x (kh) and g into k, that is, words with g don't exist in the Chuvash language do not, except for loan-words. Other features are:

Chuvash letters reflecting voiceless consonants may sound more voiced at the beginning of words and before vowels (for example, p sounds closer to b).

The letter ç reflects a sound close to the Ukrainian z' or c'. Because the voiceless consonants often have a voiced pair, then ç may also correspond to Ukrainian dz. Chuvash sound reflected by the letter č can be derived from the ancient Turkic t.

The most common Bulgarish appellative for the names of settlements may be the ancient Türkic word jöke "linden", presented in similar forms in many modern Türkic languages. In Chuvash, they correspond to çăka. In Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland there are more than a hundred toponyms with the root zhuk "beetle", more than eighty names of Zhukovo alone were found, in addition, there are toponyms Zhukovka, Zhukovskaya, and others. However, it is highly doubtful that the Slavic name of the beetle insect was so often used for the names of human settlements. Deciphering the names of Zhukotin villages in Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions confirms the hypothesis made. The second part of these toponyms – tin is not a possessive suffix, but a wandering word with the meaning "village", "settlement", or "fence" (for more details, see the section "Ancient Anglo-Saxon Toponymy"). The Bulgarish origin of the name is confirmed by the existence of the ancient city of Zhukotin in Volga Bulgaria. On the other hand, the predominant number of toponyms with the root "zhuk" is located among other toponyms of ancient Bulgarian origin. Despite this, toponyms with the morpheme zhuk are not marked on the map, since it is impossible to separate the Bulgar and Slavic names.

Another widespread toponym of Bulgar origin from the name of a tree is containing the root almaz "diamond". They should be associated not with the name of the mineral, but with the Turkic. alma "apple", "apple tree". In modern Chuvash, it has the form ulma and together with the affix çă (pronounced approximately as zya), which serves to form nouns from nominal stems for designations of the person, tools and implements, products of activity indicated in the basis, may mean a gardener or seller of apples. Almazovo villages in Russia are at least five, and in Ukraine, there are Almaznaya and Almazny settlements. In addition, in some cities of Ukraine and Russia, there are Almaznaya streets that have retained the names of former villages.

Next submitted the most convincing place names in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia decoding by means of the Chuvash language .


The most convincing examples of place names of Bulgarish origin are those that can be associated with the geographical terrain features. For example, the town of Khyriv in Stary Sambir district of Lviv Region is located in an area rich in pine forests. Since the Chuvash xyr means "pine-tree ", the origin of the name from this word is probable. When similar examples could be found enough, the presence of the ancestors of the Bulgars in Western Ukraine should not be doubted. Sometimes the connection of a name with the peculiarities of settlements is compelling. The village Havarechchyna not far from the town of Zolochiv in Lviv Region is known for black pottery, which is manufactured according to the old original technology of firing clay

The name of the village namely points out to the folk craft spread here – Chuv kăvar "embers" and ěççyni "a worker" united in kǎvarěççyni would mean "a worker with hot coals", that is "a potter".

At left: Black pottery from Havarechchyna . Photo: PARK-PODILLYA.COM.UA

A common surname Bakusevich in this village can also have Bulgarish origin, since an old man's name Pakkuç was used by Chuvash. The name of the village Kobylechchina, located in the south-east of Zolochev also contains the same word as in Havarechchina. For the first part may be suitable Chuv. hăpala "to burn" which in meaning and even phonetically stands close to the Chuv. kăvar. Then, pottery has existed in this village too.

The name of the rocky ridge Tovtry in western Ukraine could be etymologized by Chuvash tu "mountain" and tără "top". As the name of the mountain sounds tau in many other Turkic languages, the primary name of the ridge could be Tautără. The mountain range on the border of Slovakia and Poland Tatry had the same protoform too. Tovtry stretches from Zolochiv in the Lviv Region to northern Moldavia and appears as separate limestone ledges and ridges that protrude above the surrounding expressive, mostly fairly level terrain, ie explanation as "mountain peaks" fits very well (see the photo of Iryna Pustynnikova above).

On the contrary, the name for the village Voronyaki and special for the part of the ledge Holohory on the western outskirts of Podol Upland can be decoded as "smooth, flat place" following Chuv vyrăn "place" and yak "smooth" (see the photo left). Such an explanation of the name suited for this locality and is semantically close to the name Holohory (Ukr. "naked mountains").

L. Krushelnic’ka distinguishes Cherepin-Lahodiv group in archaeological relics of Hallstatt period in north-eastern Carpathian region which is corresponded to Early-Scythian time . Many relics of this group are concentrated in a strip of land extending from the village of Cherepin in the Peremishljany district of L’viv Region, through Zvenyhorod and Lahodiv eastward along Holohory to the village of Makropil’ in Brody district. Many place names on this territory can be decoded by means of the Chuvash language. Besides mentioned above Voronyaky we can find the village Yaktoriv here, which name is decoded as “level-mountain” (Chuv. yak "smooth". and tǎrǎ “top"). There's a mountain called Kamula southeast of the village of Zvenyhorod, which having 471 meters above sea level, is the highest point of Ukraine outside of the mountains of Carpathian and Crimea. Chuv. kamǎr čul “stone clump" (čul "stone") is a good match for the name of this mountain. Kamăr also well suited because different languages have similar words with similar meaning (Lat cumulus, Lith. gumulus "heap", Alb. gamule "pile of earth," Bash. kömrö "hump").

There is a high stone rock with the mysterious name Tustan' not far from the city of Drohobych. Attempts to etymologize this name have not yet yielded satisfactory results. It can be explained with the help of the Chuvash language as a “stone hill”, which is fully consistent with reality, taking into account Old Chuv. *tus "stone" and těm “hill, hillock”. Chuv. chul "stone" goes back to the common Turkic protoform tāsh (SEVORTYAN E.V.. 1980: 167-168). The supposed intermediate form in the formation of the Chuvash word should have been exactly tus.

The name of the swift Poltva River flowing through the city of Lviv also has Bulgarish origin (Chuv. paltla, “swift").

Since the toponyms that we have found in this small part of the Cherepin-Lahodiv group of monuments presumably originate from Scythian-Bulgarish names inspired by nearby natural formations, we have a basis for trying to etymologize other toponyms with unclear origins in the area via Chuvash. A cluster of settlements with original names is located several kilometres south of Lahodiv. Some of them may be decrypted by way of Chuvash: Korosno – Chuv. karas, “poor;” Peremyshlany – Chuv. pěrěm, “skein, hank;” eşěl, “green;” Kimyr – Chuv. kěměr, “heap, great lot;” Chupernosiv – Chuv. çăpar, “motley,” masa, “appearance;” Ushkovychi – Chuv. vyşkal, “similar.” A few more examples of Scythian-Bulgarish toponyms in L’viv Region follow:

Chyshky, a village to the south-east of Lviv, the village of Chyzhky on the north of Staro-Sambir district – Chuv/ chyshkă “a fist”;

Kutkir, a village in Busk district – Chuv kut “a trunk”, khyr “pine-tree”.

Tetyl’kivci, a village near the town of Brody – Chuv. tetel “fishing network”;

Turady, a village west of the town of Žydačiv – Chuv. turat “branch, brushwood”;

Tsytula, a village west of the Town of Zhovkva – the name can have two explanations I. Chuv. çi 1. “to eat”, 2. "to rub", tulă, “wheat”; II. Chuv çută "light", "fire", "brigt", "beauty"; -ula – Ukrainian tender suffix to previous name Tsyta;

Veryn, a village south of Mykolajiv, and the village of Veryny near the town of Zhovkva – Chuv. věrene “maple”.

Further to the east of the Lviv Region, the amount of the place names of Bulgarish origin decreased gradually, but surprisingly, they form a clear chain of settlements at a distance of 10-20 km from each other (Sokal, Tetevchitsi, Radekhiv, Uvin, Corsiv, Tesluhiv, Basharivka, Tetylkivtsi near Pidkamin’, Kokorev, Tetylkivtsi near Kremenets, Tsetsenivka, Shumbar, Potutoriv, Keletentsi, Zhemelintsi, Sohuzhentsi, Savertsi, Sasanivka, Pedynka, Sulkivka, Ulaniv, Chepeli, Shepiyivka, Kordelivka, etc.) This chain extends from Sokal in the north of Lviv region above Radekhiv to Radivyliv, then turns east and runs south of Kremenets, Shumsk and Iziaslav to Lubar, then turns south-east, goes above Chmilnyk through Kalynivka, and there's not a chain already but a whole band of names going in the direction to the Dnieper River, they can be found in large numbers on both sides along.

West of Cherkasy, a bog separates the Irdyn’ and Irdyn’ka, rivers that flow into the Dnieper below and above the city respectively. Looking at a map, one may observe that these two rivers were once part of a channel that separated from the Dnieper, leaving behind the island on which the city of Cherkassy was built. The Chuvash verb irtěn, “to be separated," expresses that situation rather well. The name of the city can have Bulgarish origin too as well as more than ten similar names in the whole Eastern Europe. Thete are villages Cherkasy in Pustomyty district of Lviv Region, in Kovel district of Volyn Region, Czerkasy in the neighboring Lublin Voivodeship of Poland (Tomaszew County, Lashuv commune), and there are four villages of Charkasy in Belarus. In Russia there are even more settlements in the form of Cherkassy; some of them are located on the Chuvash ethnic lands, but they are present also in the Kursk, Lipetsk, Tula, and Tver Regions. In Chuvashia itself there are at least a dozen settlements with an end -kassy: Anchikassy, Oykassy, Kachakassy, Irkhkassy, Torkassy, Khirkassy, Chulkassy, Sharkassy etc (EGOROV GENNADIY. 1993, 38). Such names are a typical attributive construction in Turkic languages, when the defined name takes the possessive affix of the 3rd person singular (that is, in this case sy). Chuv kasă “village, street, new settlement” in such constrution have to take the form kasăsy, which is reduced to kassy. Chuv. kĕr "autumn" is well suited as definition for toponyms of this type, that is the settlement had a meaning "autumn village". The accepted interpretation becomes more convincing if one takes into account the similarity of this meaning to the sense of the widespread Turkic kyshlaq, which is translated as "winter residence" (from qysh "winer" of the same origin as Chuv. kĕr). At that time Turks, being cattle-breeders, pastured livestock by nomadic way in the summer, but at autumn coming they stayed on one place, where hay was stored by them in advance for the winter. Such sites were called cherkassy or kysklaq. The name of the Lithuanian village of Kerkasiai of the same origin preserved the original sound k, while it moved to ch in the Slavic languages (known interchange of consonants).

Names of the village of Kandaurovo and the river Kandaurovs’ki Vody, lt of the Inhul derive from Chuv. kăn “potash” and tăvar, "salt". It has been assumed that the ancient Bulgars could obtain salt in this area from evaporation, selling it to their neighbors (Stetsyuk Valentyn, 1998, 57). But here we are not talking about common, table salt, because then there would be no need for a special attributive for the word tăvar. Therefore, potash (potassium carbonate) may be implied. The deposits of this salt are found in nature and it is known to people from ancient times. Potash tastes bitter, and just Herodotus mentioned the river with bitter water in Scythia. Describing the Hipanis River (Ὕπανις), he noted that the water is fresh in this river, and within four days of its journey from the sea the water becomes very bitter. Hypanis is usually associated with the Southern Bug, but it is possible that the sources of the Inhul were taken for its sources, the water of which became bitter just after the confluence of the Kandaurov’ki waters.

The third river is the Hypanis, which starts from Scythia and flows from a great lake round which feed white wild horses; and this lake is rightly called “Mother of Hypanis.” From this then the Hypanis River takes its rise and for a distance of five days’ sail it flows shallow and with sweet water still; but from this point on towards the sea for four days’ sail it is very bitter, for there flows into it the water of a bitter spring, which is so exceedingly bitter that, small as it is, it changes the water of the Hypanis by mingling with it, though that is a river to which few are equal in greatness. This spring is on the border between the lands of the agricultural Scythians and of the Alazonians, and the name of the spring and of the place from which it flows is in Scythian Exampaios, and in the Hellenic tongue "The Sacred Ways"(Herodotus, IV, 52, translated by G.C. Macaulay).

Herodotus’s Hypanis is commonly corresponded to the Southern Buğ river. Since the Kandaurovs’ki Vody flow into the Inhul, the Ancient Greek historian probably had another bitter river in mind. This may not be so important, however: deposits of potassium chloride (a source of potash) can be found in this locality, and so bitter water may flow through many of its rivers. In particular, B. Ribakov attributes a bitter taste to the water of the Black Tashlik, which flows into the Siniukha (Ribakov B.A., 1979, 36). More important for our purposes is the Bulgarish origin of the river name Kandaurovs’ki Vody, a real oddity for this locality.

Especially noteworthy is a band of names that goes running along the flow of the Vorskla River and then goes to the Psel River. This are corresponds well to spread of Chornolis culture. Let us review the place names from the mouth of the Vorskla and farther up its course.

Bulakhy, a village between the Vorskla and Psei Rivers – Chuv. pulăx "fertility";

Abazivka, two villages, the one next to Poltava and another in Kharkiv region in the south-east of the town of Krasnograd – Chuv. apăs "a priest", "a midwife", and Chuvash pagan names Apuç and Upaç is well suited/ However the name can have Greek origin (Gr. ἄππας "a priest").

Bishkin', a village on the Psel River near the town of Lebedin in Sumy Region – Chuv. pĕshkĕn "to incline, lean".

Gozhuly, a village next to the city of Poltava – Chuv. kăshăl "a ring".

Kalantayiv, a village in Svetlovodsk district of Kirovohrad Region, Kalantayivka, a village in Rozdilna district of Odessa Region, Kolontayev, a village in Krasnokut district of Kharkiv Region – Chuv. khullen “slowly, quietly” – tay – an affix that forms adjectives from nominal stems with the meaning “possessing in excess the attribute indicated in the stem” with a tinge of contempt. In the Chuvash language, there is a word kălantay “lazy” (private communication). Cf. surname Kollantay.

Kuyanivka, a village on the south suburb of the town of Belopilla in Sumy Region – Chuv. kuyan “a hare”.

Sahnovschina villages on the riverside of the Tagamlyk River, lt of the Vorskla River and in Kharkiv Region in the south-east of the town of Krasnograd – Chuv. săkhăn "to flow", "to soak", "to saturate".

Khukhra, a village at the mouth of the river of the same name falling into the Vorskla River– Chuv. khukhăr "empty", "not full".

However, there are on other territory of Ukraine many Bulgarish place names which can be often acknowledged as by logical-semantic connection of parts of words and by the cases of almost complete phonetic identity. Compare:

Gelmiaziv, a village near the town of near Zolotonosha – Chuv. kělměç “a beggar”.

Katsmaziv, a village southwest of the town of Sharhorod in Vinnycja Region – Chuv. kuç “eye”, masa “appearance”.

Khalayidove, a village south-west of town of Monastyryshche in Cherkasy Region – Chuv. xăla, “red” jyt, “a dog”.

Kretivci (from Kretel), a village southeast of the town of Zbarazh in Ternopil Region – Chuv. kěret “open”, těl “place” (the village is located on a level, open place).

Kudashevo, a village south of the town of Chyhyryn in Cherkasy Region – Chuv. kut, “buttocks,” “meat”.

Odaiv, a village in Tlumach district in Ivano-Frankivs'k Region, the village of Odai in Kryzhoplil district of Vinnytsa Region, and the hamlet of Odaya near the village Chun'kiv in Zastavna district of Chernivtsi Region – Chuv. ută 1. “hay”, 2. “island, valley”; ay “foot of, low, lower”, uy “field”; yal, yav “a villge, settlement”; yăva 1. “home”, 2. “nest”; ya, yav “to twine”. At left: the village of Odaiv.

Ozdiv (from Oztel), a village southwest of the city of Luc’k – Chuv. uçă “open”, těl, “place” (the village is located on a level place).

Potutory, a village in Berezhany district and the village of Potutoriv, east of the town of Kremenec’ in Ternopil’ Region – Chuv. păv, “to press, squeeze,” tutăr, “shawl”.

Shuparka, a village in Borshchiv district in Ternopil’ Region – Chuv. çăpărka “a whip”.

Temyrivci, a village west of the city of Halych – Chuv. timěr, “iron”.

Tseptsevychi, a village west of the town of Sarny in Rivno Region – Chuv. çip, “thread”, çěvě “seam”;

Tymar, a village south of the town of Haysin in Vinnytsia Region – Chuv. tymar, “a root”;

Uman’, a city in Cherkassy Region – Chuv. yuman “oak”. It is characteristic that there was in Uman natural oak grove from which remained only one 300-year-old oak tree (see the photo at right).

Urman’, a village in Berezhany district, Ternopil’ Region – Chuv. vărman “forest" (the village is surrounded by forests);

Zhurzynci, a village north of the town Zvenyhorodka in Cherkasy Region, and the village Zhurzhevychi, north of the town of Olevs’k in Zhytomyr Region – Chuv. şarşa “smell”.


Initially, Bulgarish place names in Russia were searched only in adjacent areas to Ukraine. Since the Chuvash language was been using when the searches, more eastern place names can be referred to later times, when the ancestors of the Chuvash advanced in the Volga region and could then settle in the surrounding locality. As a result of the search, it turned out that the place names of Bulgarish origin were drawn as a strip between the Indo-European and Finno-Ugric territories. As it turned out later, the band comes to a whole cluster of Bulgarish place names in Bryansk, Moscow, Tver, Yaroslavl Regions, the dissemination of which may be associated with Fatyanovo culture.

It is in these areas that several tens of villages were discovered, bearing the name Akulovo or Okulovo. In general, there are more than sixty settlements of this type and mainly in the northern regions northwest of the Tula-Nizhny Novgorod line. Chuv. aka "arable land, plowing" suits well for decoding the name. Decorated with an affix – la, the root forms adjective with an equivalent meaning. There is also a verb akala "to plow" in Chuvash. Such a name is suitable very well for new settlements given by agricultural populations from the forest-steppe zone searching for vacant land. Also, some other place names of Russia testify to the agricultural character of the economy of the Bulgars who migrated to the Russian outback. Among them, the numerous name of the villages Sharapovo which corresponds to Chuv. sărap "stack".

In total, over two hundred place names of supposed Bulgarish origin were discovered in Russia. The most convincing examples are given below:

Amon', a village north of the town of Rilsk, Kursk Region – Chuv. ăman "worm".

Amon'ka, a river, rt of the Pod', rt of the Seym, lt of the Desna River – as Amon'.

Apazha, a village in Komarichi district of Briansk Region – cf. Apash, a village in Cheboksary district of Chuvashia, Abashevo, villages in other places of Volga region. Perhaps from the pagan Chuvash name Apash of unknown origin.

Artakovo, railway stantion, the village of Artakovo in Odoyev district of Tula Region, the village of Artakovo-Vandarets in Konyshyovsky district of Kursk Region – Chuv. artak "friendly, warm, happy".

Boldyrevo, four villages in Vesiegonsk, Vyshnevolotsk, Kesovogorsk and Staritsa districts of Tver Region and a village in Yaroslavl district of Yaroslavl Region – Chuv. păltăr "entrance-hall, closet".

Bolkhov, a town and the administrative center of Bolkhovsky district in Oryol Region – Chuv. pulǎkh "fertility".

Kokorevka, a town in Suzemka disrtict of Briansk Region – Chuv. kakăr "hooked pole".

Kolontaevka, a town in Lgov district of Kursk Region, Kolontaevo, a town in Bolkhov district of Orel Region, the villages of Kolontaevo in Suvorov district of Tula Refion and Noginsk district of Moscow Region – see Kalantayiv

Konyshyovka, a town in Kursk Region, villages Konyshevo in Kolchugin district of Vladimir Region, in Antropov district of Kosntoma Region, in Pskov district of Pskov Region – Chuv. kănăsh "rubbish, garbage, trash".

Kostroma, region center – Chuv. kăstărma "whirligig, peg-top".

Kozelsk, a town and the administrative center of Kozelsky district in Kaluga Region – Chuv. kĕçĕllĕ "psoric".

Nerl, rivers – rt of the Volga and lt of the Kliazma, a town in Ivanovo Region, a village in Kalazin district of Tver Region – Chuv. nĕrlĕ "nice".

Odoyev, a town of Tula Region – see Odaiv

Orsha, towns in Vitebsk and Kalinin Regions, villages in Novorzhev district of Pskov Region and Kalinin district of Kalinin Region – чув ăsha "darkness, mirage".

Shablykino, a town in Oryol Region, villages in Aleksandrov district of Vladimir Region, Krasnoselsky district of Kostroma Region, Istra and Pushkino districts of Moscow Region, Krasnokholmsky district of Tver Region – Chuv. shăplăkh "stillness, lull". There are in Poland two villagis of this root. Lull is a good name for a village.

Shatovo, a village in Serpukhov district of Moscow Region – Chuv. shat "tight, close, next".

Serpukhov, the city of Moscow Region – Chuv. sĕr "to rub" pakhav "a plane, knife plane".

Svapa, a river, rt of the Seym River, lt of the Desna – Chuv. săvap "good, use".

Tarusa, a city of Kaluga Region – Chuv. tărăs "birch bark basket".

Tolpinka, a river, rt of the Seym River, lt of the Desna and the village Tolpino at this river – Chuv. talpăn "to gush, fast flow".

Vandarets, a river, rt Svapa, rt of the Seym, lt of the Desna – Chuv. vantǎ "fish-trap", vantǎ yar "to put a fish-trap";

Voronezh, a city – Chuv. var "ravine", anăsh "width";


On the territory of Belarus were found some place names which can have Bulgarish origin. The number is quite small, and this might give grounds to speak about coincidence. However, because some of them have counterparts in Ukraine, we can assume that the ancient Bulgars populated also part of Belarus. Most likely they came back from the north, as evidenced by their placement:

Stariya Chamadany, a village in Shklovsk district of Mogilev Region – Chuv. chama “quantity, size,”, tan "equal, the same".

Kalantayova, a village in Senno district of Vitebsk Region, Kolontai, a village in Volkovysk district of Grodno Region – See Kalantayiv.

Orsha, a river and a town in Vitebsk Region – Chuv. ărsha "darkness, mirage".

Ula, a village and river in Beshenkovichi district of Vitebsk Region – Chuv. ula “motley”.

Zhurzhava, a railway station in Vitebsk district of Vitebsk Region – Chuv.shărshă “smell”. There's in Ukraine the village of Zhurzhyntsi in Lysianka district of Cherkasy Region.


There are few place names of Bulgarish origin in Moldova. Almost all of them have correspondences in Ukraine (Bahmut, Odaia, Palanka, Şipoteni). Several toponyms of Măgura are typical for the Carpathian region (see below), and such decoding is accepted for others mentioned here :

Bahmut, a village, Călărași district – Chuv pakhmat – 1. «bold, reckless», 2. «intelligence, common sense».

Odaia, villages in Șoldănești and Niaporeni districs – Chuv ută 1. «hay». 2. «island». 3. «valley». ay «low, lowland», uy «field».

Palanca, a village, Drochia district – Chuv palan "guelder rosse", pălan "deer", adjective sufix -ka.

Şipoteni, a village, Hîncești district – Chuv shep "beautiful, wonderful", ută "valley", en "side".


In Romania, all place names of alleged Bulgarish origin were left by the Bulgars in the middle of the 1st millennium when they moved to the Balkans. The most common here is Măgura. Only in Transylvania there are 97 (Haliczer Józef. 1935). If we talk about their origin, we can take into consideration the Slavic gora "mountain", but the prefix ма- is incomprehensible. Most likely, the form of toponyms of this type is a word related to Chuv. măkăr „hillock, cone” with ending –a taken under the influence of Slav. gora. The peoples of Dagestan, where the Khazar Khaganate once reigned, have a common word maghar "mountain", which has to bt also of Bulgarish origin. Since this toponym has acquired a nominal sense (Rom. măgura "hillock"), out of all their many, it is almost impossible to single out the left by the Bulgars. Nevertheless, many of them are plotted on Google Map in places where other Bulgarish toponyms are clustered. These can be considered the following:

Odaia, Odăile, There are place names of this type in Romania about ten – Chuv ută 1. «hay». 2. «island». 3. «valley». ay «low, lowland», uy «field».

Palanca, Pakanga, six place names of this type were found – Chuv palan "guelder rosse", pălan "deer", adjective sufix -ka.

Suceava, a city – чув. sět (Old Turc süt) «milk», shyvě «river».

Șipot, Șipote, Șipotu, eight villages have such names – – Chuv shep "beautiful, wonderful", ută "valley".

Tâmpa, a mountain in the city of Brașov – Сргм. tĕm "hill", "figure, body", "height, length."

Ţuţora, a village, Iași County – Chuv çiç «shine», «blossom», ăru «family, tribe».

The Complete List of Proto-Bulgarish Place Names in Eastern Europe