Bulgaria Personal Names

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In the early 1800s, the majority of Bulgarians were known by only their first names, occasionally accompanied by an occupation as an additional identifier. Before 1880, family names/surnames began to come about, typically based on the paternal grandfather's name (a practice not common today).[1]

Traditionally, children were often named after an older relative, so as to keep that relative's name in the family. This practice is not binding today.[2]

Masculine given names can end in a variety of letters, such as "l", "r", "n", "o", "i", etc. whereas feminine names more commonly end in "a" and occasionally "i".

Bulgarian naming traditionally consists of three names.

  • the first name (the given name)
  • the middle name (traditionally the father's name)
  • the last name (surname/family name)

Many surnames are the adjective form of the masculine given name, formed by adding -ov/-ev for males, or -ova/-eva for females.

See the article Bulgarian Names - Naming Patterns for more specific information about naming practices and different suffixes.

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