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What distinguished the surnames of Ukrainians despised by others: a little secret

Anna OnishchenkoLife
What disrespectful people were called in ancient times

A person's surname is a unique identifier of his or her family, passed down through the male line. Surnames always have a certain meaning. Some of them are derived from a person's appearance, characteristics, lifestyle or moral qualities, marital status, or job.

In addition, not only the root of the word, but also suffixes play an important role in understanding the origin of a surname. They can be used to investigate how much the surname has changed or even to understand how our ancestors were treated by their environment. An expert in genealogy, Olha Mykhailichenko, who has been studying this issue for over 15 years, told Depo.ua more about this.

Most Ukrainian surnames were formed from nicknames given to the founders of the family. Over time, they have changed and deformed, but certain parts of the word can still be used to understand what characteristics our ancestors were given in the past.

Some surnames of ancestors could have been formed during the census. They are characterized by the suffixes -enko and -enko. That is, if a man named Vasyl lived in the village, his children were identified as Vasylenko for convenience. In short, Vasylenko is the son of Vasyl, Hrytsenko is the son of Hryts, and so on.

Similarly, surnames derived from professions were formed, for example, Shevchenko is someone who sews, Honcharenko is someone who is engaged in pottery.

Ms. Mykhailichenko also noted that the suffixes -in, -iv, -ov are inherent in surnames that also derive from the name of the ancestor.

At the same time, some suffixes can also be used to understand how our distant ancestor was treated by his or her environment. As a rule, the suffixes -ak, -ak, -nak, -nyak, -chak, -shak, - shchak indicated that the person was treated rather disrespectfully. Such nicknames as Baidak, Cherniak, Loshak, etc. are now worn by the descendants of not the most respected Ukrainians.

Also, depending on a person's behavior, they could be given an "animal" nickname. Cunning and unpleasant people could be called Rats, bad parents could be called Cuckoos, and so on.

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