A primer on Slovenian names

Though I’m first and foremost a Russophile down to the very core of my soul, I’m also, more generally, a Slavophile. In no particular order, the other Slavic peoples I feel the greatest love and passion for are the Czechs, my own Slovakians of course, the Bulgarians, the Serbians (whom I may possibly share ancestry with), and the Slovenians. As I’ve posted about before, I love the Slovenian national anthem, and my old “Super-Speical” box came from a wine distributor in Ljubljana.

One of the midwives in Little Ragdoll, Radana Zupan, is Slovenian–American, and the progressive, left-handed tutor in my second and third Russian historicals, Božidar Brinarsky, is half-Slovenian, half-Slovakian. Mr. Brinarsky was a schoolteacher in Slovenia for 15 years, and taught in various Manhattan schools after immigrating in 1913. His father is Slovakian, and his mother is Slovenian. Not only does he tutor Fedya after he’s pulled out of school due to horrific abuse from an anti-left-handed kindergarten teacher, but he also teaches Fedya and Ivan proper left-handed handwriting, so they don’t slant or smudge anymore. He also tutors the left-handed Dmitriy, Anastasiya’s son, as well as later teaching left-handed writing to Violetta, whose right arm and hand were paralyzed too badly to recover when she had polio.

Slovenian alphabet:

Slovenian uses the Roman alphabet, though like the other Western and Southern Slavic languages, it features a few letters which may be unfamiliar to the average English-speaker. Č is CH, Š is SH, and Ž is ZH.  J is of course pronounced like a Y, and C is TS. A few words and names of foreign origin use non-Slovenian letters such as Ö, Ü, Ć, and Đ.

Slovenian surnames:

Because Slovenian doesn’t natively use the soft Serbian letter Ć, surnames may use both Ć and Č on legal documents, so many people technically have two legal surnames. For example, Božić and Božič. However, in contrast to other languages, Slovenian surnames ending in -ič don’t necessarily take a patronymical origin. Most Slovenian surnames differ by geographical origin; e.g., the Slovene Littoral region has many -čič names, such as Miklavčič and Gregorčič. Besides -ič and -čič, many surnames also end in -nik, -lj, and -lin. Origins include patronymics, animals, geography, employer (e.g., Kralj [King] for peasants working on a king’s estate), ethnicity, and Medieval settlement patterns. Surnames ending in -ski and -ov are usually of foreign origin.

Women’s surnames don’t take feminine suffixes on legal documents, though in everyday speech and writing, feminine suffixes are regularly used. For example, Kralj becomes Kraljeva and Novak becomes Novakova.

Common Slovenian names and their nickname forms:

Female:

Adrijana, Jadranka
Agata
Albina
Aleksandra (Saša)
Alojzija
Amalija
Ana (Anica, Anika, Anita, Anja)
Anastazija (Nastja)
Andreja
Antonija (Tonka)
Apolonija (Polona)
Avgusta
Bogdana
Bojana (Battle)
Božena (Divine)
Branislava (Slava)
Branka
Brigita
Cecilija (Cila, Cilka)
Cirila
Cvetka (Flower)
Daliborka
Damijana, Damjana
Danica
Danijela
Darija, Darja (Darinka)
Dejana
Dominika
Doroteja (Teja, Tea)
Draga, Dragica
Dunja (Quince)
Dušanka (Soul)
Edita
Elizabeta (Špela)
Emilija
Erika
Eva
Frančiška (Francka)
Gaja, Kaja
Hedvika
Helena, Elena, Jelena (Alena, Alenka, Jelka)
Ines
Irena
Iva (Willow tree)
Ivana (Ivanka)
Jana
Jasmina
Jasna (Sharp; Clear)
Jerneja (Neja) (Bartolomea)
Jolanda
Jožefa, Jožica (Pepca)
Julija, Julijana
Justina
Karolina
Katarina (Katica, Katja)
Klara
Klavdija (Claudia)
Klementina
Kristina
Ksenija (Xenia)
Lavra
Lea
Lidija
Lilijana
Ljerka (Lily)
Ljuba (Ljubica) (Love)
Ljudmila
Lucija
Magdalena (Alena, Alenka, Majda)
Maja
Margareta, Marjeta
Marija (Maja, Marica, Mojca)
Marina (Marinka)
Marta
Martina
Mateja, Matija (feminine form of Matthew)
Melanija
Mihaela
Milena (Milka)
Milica (Milka)
Mirjam, Mirjana
Miroslava (Slava)
Monika
Nada (Nadja) (Hope)
Natalija (Nataša)
Nevenka
Neža (Agnes)
Nika
Olga
Patricija
Pavla, Pavlina
Petra
Pia
Radana (Happy)
Renata
Romana
Roza
Rozalija (Zala)
Sabina
Sara
Silvestra
Silvija (Silva)
Simona
Slavica, Slavka (Glory)
Stanislava (Slava)
Štefanija
Suzana
Tamara
Tatjana (Tjaša)
Terezija
Uršula (Urška)
Valentina
Valerija
Vera (Faith)
Veronika
Vesna (Spring)
Vida
Viktorija
Vladimira
Žana
Zdenka (Create)
Zdravka (Healthy)
Željka (Desire)
Živa (Alive)
Zlata (Gold)
Zora (Zorka, Zorica) (Dawn)
Zvezdana (Star)

Male:

Albert
Albin
Aleksander (Saša, Sašo, Aleks, Aleš, Sandi)
Aleksej (Aleks, Aljoša, Aleš)
Alfonz
Aljaž
Alojz, Alojzij (Lojze) (Aloysius)
Amadej
Ambrož
Andraž, Andrej
Anej, Enej (Aeneas)
Anton (Tone)
Avgust, Avguštin
Blaž (Blaise)
Bogdan (Boško)
Bogomir
Bojan (Battle)
Boris (Bor, Borut)
Borislav (Bor, Slava)
Božidar (Boško) (Divine gift)
Branimir (Branko) (Peaceful protection)
Branislav (Branko, Slava)
Ciril
Črtomir (Črt)
Cvetko (Flower)
Dalibor
Damijan, Damjan
Damir
Danijel, Danilo
Darko (Gift)
David
Davor
Dimitrij (Mitja)
Domen (Dominic)
Dragan, Drago, Dragutin (Precious)
Dragomir, Dragoslav (Slava, Mirko, Miro)
Dušan (Soul)
Edvard (Edi)
Emil
Erik
Fabijan
Feliks
Ferdinand
Filip
Frančišek
Friderik
Gašper (Jasper)
Goran (Mountain man)
Grega, Gregor
Henrik
Ignac, Ignacij, Nace
Igor
Ivan
Izidor
Jadran, Jadranko (Adrian)
Jakob (Jaka, Jaša)
Janez, Anže (Johannes)
Javor (Maple tree)
Jernej (Nejc) (Bartholomew)
Josip, Jožef (Jože)
Julij (Julian)
Jure, Jurij (Jurica) (George)
Karel, Karol (Charles)
Klemen
Konrad
Kristijan, Kristjan
Krištof
Ladislav
Lenart (Leonard)
Leon
Leopold
Lovrenc (Lovro)
Ludvik (Louis)
Luka
Marijan, Marjan
Marko
Martin (Tine, Tinek)
Matej, Matevž, Matic, Matija, Matjaž (Tjaž) (Matthew)
Mihael (Miha)
Miklavž, Nikola, Nikolaj (Niko, Nik)
Milan
Milivoj (Gracious soldier)
Miloš
Miran (World; Peace)
Miroslav (Miro, Mirko, Slava)
Oskar
Ožbalt, Ožbej
Pavel (Paul)
Peter
Primož
Rafael
Roman
Rudolf
Samo
Sebastijan, Sebastjan (Boštjan)
Silvester
Simon
Slavko (Glory)
Srečko (Luck)
Stanislav (Slava, Stane)
Štefan
Stojan (To stand)
Tadej (Thaddeus)
Teodor
Timotej
Tomaž
Tomislav
Urban
Uroš
Valentin (Tinek, Tine)
Valter
Vid
Viktor
Viljem (Vili, Vilko) (William)
Vincenc (Vinko)
Vitomir (Master of the world; Master of peace)
Vladimir (Vlado)
Vladislav (Vlado)
Zdenko (To create)
Zdravko (Healthy)
Željko (Desire)
Žiga (Sigmund)
Zlatan (Zlatko) (Golden)
Zoran (Dawn)

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2 comments on “A primer on Slovenian names

  1. How interesting, Carrie-Anne. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I’m rather partial to this name: Terezija 😉 And I love that you included pronunciation rules. 🙂

    Like

  2. Love these posts, so informative and fun! 🙂

    Like

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