A primer on Tajik names

The Tajik language is closely related to Persian, and is the primary language of the Central Asian republic Tajikistan. Though Tajik used to be widely spoken in neighboring republics Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, it’s gradually been displaced by their respective native languages. However, some people in those republics still speak Tajik, as do some people in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

There’s a political debate over whether Tajik is its own language or a mere dialect of Persian, though it’s officially considered a true language. Over the years, Tajik has greatly diverged from Dari (the Persian dialect spoken in Afghanistan) and the Persian spoken in Iran. Due to the Tajik people’s location and geographical isolation, there remain many archaic elements which the rest of the Persophone world has long since discontinued. There’s also some influence from the Uzbek language.

One of the secondary characters in Journey Through a Dark Forest, Manzura, is Tajik. Manzura volunteers as an interpreter while part of her orphanage is en route to Isfahan in 1937, and makes herself extremely useful.

Tajik alphabet:

Tajik was written with the Persian alphabet until the 1920s. In 1923, the Soviets started simplifying the Persian alphabet, and in 1927, the Roman alphabet was introduced. Then, in the late Thirties, Cyrillic was forced upon them, as part of the cruel Russification policies of Stalin (who ironically wasn’t Russian himself). Though attempts to reintroduce the Persian alphabet began in 1989, these campaigns weren’t very successful.

In the Roman alphabet, there are a few odd letters—Ç, Ƣ (Gha), Ī, Ş, and Ƶ. W and Y aren’t used. Ƣ is represented as Ғ in Cyrillic, and typically transliterated as Gh. Other Cyrillic letters include my favorite Ж (Zh), Ӣ (Ī), Қ (usually transliterated as Q), Ӯ (Ū), Ҳ (usually H), and Ҷ (usually J).

Surnames:

Due to the decades of Russification, many Tajik surnames have Russian endings. Like other surnames of the Central Asian republics, they have their own native twist. Sample surnames include Abdulov, Abdulayev, Abdulin, Ibragimov, Nabiyev, Niyazov, and Rakhimov. Recently, Slavic surnames were banned, and it’s now illegal to give babies non-Tajik forenames.

True Tajik surnames usually end in -zod(a), -i, -on, -yon, -yor, -far, -niyo, and -ien.

Sample names:

Male:

Abdullo, Abdullohi
Abdusalom
Alisher
Anoushirvan
Anvar (Brighter, more luminous)
Arash
Ardavan
Ardshir
Armin
Arzhang
Ashkan
Atash (Fire)
Azad (Free)

Babak
Bahman
Bakhriddin
Bamdad
Behnam
Behrang
Behruz
Behzad

Dara (Rich)
Darab
Darvesh
Daryo (River)
Daryush

Faraz (Of high status)
Fardad
Fardin
Farhad
Farhang (Of good breeding)
Fariborz
Farkhod (Happiness or Elation)
Farrukh (Happy)
Farshad (Happy)
Farzad (Splendid birth)
Farzam (Worthy)
Farzan (Wise)
Farzin (Learnèd)
Firuz (Successful)
Fruhar

Jahandar (Owner of the world)
Jahangir (Conqueror of the world)
Jahanshah (King of the world)
Jamshed
Janob (Excellency)
Javid (Everlasting)

Kambiz (Fortunate)
Kamran (Successful)
Kamshad (Successful)
Kamyar (Successful)
Kanishka
Kasra
Kavah
Khakim (Wise)
Khon
Khoram
Kosha (Diligent)
Koshan
Kourash

Mahyar
Mamadsho
Mamur (Judge, officer, magistrate)
Mani
Manuchehar
Mashhadi
Mazdak
Mehrab
Mehrak
Mehran, Mehrang
Mehrdad
Mehrzad
Mirzo (Prince)
Muhammad
Mullo
Murivat
Murod, Morad (Desire, wish)

Namdar, Namvar (Famous)
Niyousha (Listener)
Noushzad
Nuriddin (Light of religion)
Omaid (Hope)

Padshah
Paghahan
Pagzman
Paiman (Promise)
Parsa (Pure)
Payam (Message)
Pazhman (Heartbroken)
Pendar (Thought)
Poya (Searcher)

Qiomars
Qubad
Rahmatillo, Rahmatullo (Mercy of God)
Raimkul
Rastin (Truthfulness)
Ravshan (Light, bright)
Ravshanbek
Rouzbeh (Fortunate)
Roshan
Royan
Rozi
Rukhshan (Flashing)
Rustam (a legendary Persian warrior)

Salar (Leader)
Saman (Home)
Sasan
Sepehr (Sky)
Shadan
Shahbaz (Royal falcon)
Shahin (Falcon)
Shahram (King’s subject)
Shahrdad (City’s gift)
Shuhab (Meteor, shooting star)
Shuhrat (Fame)
Soroush (Messenger)
Sougand
Suhrob, Suhrab (Red water or Illustrious, shining)

Toktam
Ulugbek (Great chieftain)
Ustoz (Master, teacher)
Yusuf
Zardusht

Female:

Afarin (Praise; To create)
Afsana (Legend)
Afsar (Crown)
Afshan (To sprinkle)
Afsun (Charm, spell)
Anahita
Ara (Ornament, decoration)
Ariana
Arezo (Wish)
Arghavan (Reddish-purple)
Armaghan (Gift)
Asal (Honey)
Asiya
Avizeh (Pendant)
Azaliya (Everlasting, eternal)
Azar (Fire)

Bahar (Spring [season])
Baharah (One who brings the Spring)
Baharak (Small spring [season])
Banafshah (Flower)
Behnaz
Belourine (Crystal)
Bizhan

Darya (Sea, river)
Delaram (Quiet-hearted)
Delbar (Charming)
Delkash (Fascinating)
Delruba (Heart-robber)
Dorri (Glittering star)

Farahnaz (Splendid coquetry)
Farhana
Farkhonda (Joyous, happy)
Farzaneh (Smart, wise)
Firuza, Firoza (Turquoise)
Flura
Freshta (Angel)
Fila (Lover)
Forozan, Fruzan, Forozenda (Shining)
Freba (Charming)

Ghoncheh (Flower bud)
Giti (World)
Golbahar (Spring rose)
Gugush
Gulchekhra, Gyulchekhra (Appearance like a rose)
Gulnar, Gulnaz
Gulpari
Gulshan (Rose garden)
Gulshod
Gulya, Gyulya

Hasti (Existence)
Huma (A mythical bird symbolizing freedom)
Indira
Jasaman (Jasmine)
Javaneh (Sprout)
Katayoun
Khandan (Smiling)
Khaterah (Memory)
Khojasta (Auspicious)
Khorshid (Sun)
Lala (Tulip)
Lila (Lilac)

Mahasti
Mahnaz
Mahrukh (Face like the Moon)
Mahsa, Mahwash (Moon-like)
Mahtab (Moon)
Manizha
Manzura
Marjan (Coral)
Marmar (Marble)
Mastana (Joyous, carefree)
Mavzuna
Mehrangiz (Affectionate)
Mehrnaz
Mehrnoosh
Mehry (Kind)
Mina (Enamel)
Minou (Paradise)
Mona
Munisa
Murwarid (Margaret, Pearl)
Muzghan (Eyelashes)
Muzhdah (Good news)

Nahal (Young plant)
Najela (Cute)
Nargis (Daffodil, narcissus)
Nasrin, Nastaran
Nava (Tune)
Nilab (Blue water)
Nilufar
Nikou (Beautiful)
Nousafarin (Creator of joy)
Noushin (Sweet)

Oisha
Padidah (Phenomenon)
Parand (Silk)
Parastou
Pariya
Pari (Fairy)
Paricheher (Fairy-like face)
Parisa (Fairy-like)
Parvana (Butterfly)

Rasa (Expressive stature)
Roudabeh
Rukhsana (Roxana)

Saaman (Jasmine)
Saghar (Wine cup)
Sahar (Dawn)
Sahba (Wine)
Sapedah (Dawn)
Sima, Seema (Face)
Setara (Star)
Shabnam (Dew)
Shahnaz
Shararah (Sparks)
Shirin (Sweet)
Shogofa (Blossom)
Sholah (Flames)
Simin (Silvery)
Souzan (Burning)
Sumayah

Tahminah
Tanaz
Taneen
Tara (Star)
Tarana (Song)
Taranum

Zarrina, Zarrin (Golden)
Zeba
Zhalah
Zhila

Advertisements

Share your thoughts respectfully

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s