Reference Dictionary of Ukrainian Names


Leonid Chernovatyi

Prof., Kharkiv University, Ukraine

March 9, 2023, 12:59 a.m.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine underway, Mondonomo has published a special dictionary edition devoted to the Ukrainian given names, their transliteration and etymology. The work can be considered the very first Reference Dictionary of Ukrainian Names. Written by me, Prof. Leonid Chernovatyi, who specialises in translatology, and Dr Eugen Schochenmaier, a researcher in onomastics, this is the definitive scholarly reference for a new generation of Ukraine-centred scholars and amateurs. This dictionary is a celebration of Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage bringing to light the country’s most important names from prehistory to the present. It chronicles the naming patterns within Ukraine at a time when the country’s people, culture, and language are facing destruction and devastation. This move comes out of solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Given that this Dictionary is likely to establish itself as a major work of reference in the comparative English-Ukrainian onomastic research, it is inspirational to see that it contributes to the study of name origins as well – the field that had “not been developing until the twentieth century in some areas, and being still today at a formative stage in others” (The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming, 2016). Organized thematically across nine chapters, the Reference Dictionary contains more than 6.000 Ukrainian given names with their corresponding English pairs, while accompanying information reveals the origin and significance behind the names:

АвреліяAvreliiaahv-REH-lee-yahlat. – golden

About 2.000 pet forms of names weave Ukraine’s dynamic and inextinguishable folk traditions through the dictionary, providing naming texture as well as a sense of the nation’s living history (Ладко – Ladko – lah-d-KOH - Владимир, Лад, Ладо, Ладолюб, Творилад). All in all, it includes over 8.000 up-to-date dictionary entries with Ukrainian script, official Romanized form and non-standard spellings; a guide to Ukrainian pronunciation; and a section on menu terms. This reference is an invaluable tool for researchers, travellers, students, name-givers and businessperson.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Delaware corporation Mondonomo, LLC and personally to Dr Eugen Schochenmaier for giving me the opportunity to plunge into the breath-taking world of Ukrainian names, closely interwoven with the history and culture of the Ukrainian people, which, unfortunately, the English-speaking world knows so little about. I hope this dictionary will make its modest contribution to the development of intercultural relations among our people.

Prof. Leonid Chernovatyi, Kharkiv University, Ukraine