What Ukrainian surnames were associated with gossipers and those who liked to quarrel: examples

Yulia PoteriankoLife
The love of gossip and quarrels among Ukrainians was a good reason to give a person a distinctive surname

One of the most powerful sources of Ukrainian surnames was certain character traits. It all started when a person was given a nickname based on a particular characteristic. And then it could take root and give even some derivatives with suffixes typical for the Ukrainian language. Over time, such nicknames were documented and became the norm.

An extensive study of Ukrainian surnames was conducted by Lviv linguist Yulian Redko. He began collecting such information in the 1950s and eventually defended his dissertation on it, later publishing the book Modern Ukrainian Surnames.

According to the data collected in the book, people who quarreled a lot with their neighbors were often remembered for it by being given the following nicknames, and later surnames:

  • Beshketa;
  • Vereskun, Vereshchak;
  • Horlatyi, Horlai;
  • Hrubian;
  • Zavedia, Zabiaka;
  • Krykun, Kryklyvets, Krykliy;
  • Morochylo;
  • Repetylo, Repetun;
  • Skorobreha;
  • Shumylo.

If a person was caught gossiping, they could become Sheptun, Shepta, Sheptiy, etc.

Neighbors could call an unsociable or gloomy person that critisized everythis as Burkun, Vorkun, or Movchan.

A frivolous neighbor, a weak-willed person, was nicknamed Shalavylo, Shalaputa, Halai, Halaiko, Taradai, Vertiy, Slabodukh.

And for a slow and indecisive disposition, they gave nicknames like Hmyria, Hula, Zabara, Zabarylo, Hnyliukh, Nedvyha, Mialo, Kaparnyk, Tiuhtia.

Also, such Ukrainian surnames as Samokhval, Kichatyi, Kychun, Krutyholova, Morochylo, Nedbailo, Darmoyid, Khvasta have been created from obviously negative character traits too.

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