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They were the life of the party: what surnames were given to energetic Ukrainians in ancient times

Yulia PoteriankoLife
In Ukraine, a cheerful disposition was a sufficient reason to give a person a surname

Distinctive character traits often describe a person most accurately and completely. In the Ukrainian tradition, they often became the basis for surnames. An ancestor with a bright temperament could leave his mark in this way.

In his work Modern Ukrainian Surnames, Ukrainian linguist Yulian Redko separately grouped family names based on a description of a person. And in this group, he separately identified those that indicate the cheerful nature of the founder of the family. Traditional society valued people who could be the life of the party, cheer up and make others happy.

Based on the results of his work, Redko identified the following surnames that indicate an energetic and optimistic ancestor, a lover of laughing and dancing for any reason:

  • Veselyi;
  • Potishnyi;
  • Smishko;
  • Smiyanets;
  • Tantsiyra;
  • Hulyaka;
  • Skochko.

According to Redko's findings, Ukrainians gave this type of surname to people 200 years ago and earlier. They do not carry any special meaning, but are descriptive and are based on the person's character as his or her main property.

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