Anthroponyms of Jewish Women in the 16th Century Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Jūratė Čirūnaitė
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania
Published 2012-04-25



How to Cite

Čirūnaitė J. (2012) “Anthroponyms of Jewish Women in the 16th Century Grand Duchy of Lithuania”, Respectus Philologicus, 21(26), pp. 200-207. doi: 10.15388/Respectus.2012.26.15488.


The most popular names among Jewish women in 16th century Lithuania were Simcha, Marjam, Anna, Debora. The names were most frequently recorded as diminutives (63.3%), with only 36.4% appearing in canonical forms. The smallest group comprises names formed using only anthroponyms that were derived from those of (male) family members (29.6%). 35.2% of the namings are recorded as mixed type. The same number of women are recorded using only names in the documents.
Personal names are included in 70.4% of recorded women’s namings. Andronyms (anthroponyms formed from the spouse’s name) were found in 64.8% of all the records. 9.3% of women’s namings include anthroponyms formed using the spouse’s patronymic. Only 1.9% of namings had a female patronymic (the derivative of the suffix -owna/-ewna).
One-member female namings prevail (59.3%). Two-member namings comprise 33.3%. Three members are found in 5.6% of the namings, while four-membered ones comprise 1.9%. The average length of the namings is 1.5 times that of the anthroponyms.
Common words explaining anthroponyms were found in 68.5% of the namings. Common words related to religion prevail (51.4%). 29.7% of the common words characterize relationships or family status, and only 10.8% describe occupation, post or trade (vocation). Common words describing descent (social origin) comprise only 8.1% of all the women’s namings.
Namings consisting only of anthroponyms of family members can be subdivided into the following subgroups: 1) derivatives of the suffix -owaja/-ewaja; 2) derivatives of the suffix ‑owaja/-ewaja; 3) derivatives of the suffix -owaja/-ewaja + the genitive of a male patronymic; 4) derivatives of the suffix -owaja/-ewaja + a male patronymic + the genitive of a male patronymic. Namings without anthroponyms consisting of family members included names and names with common words. Mixed namings consisted of: 1) a name + a derivative of the suffix -owaja/-ewaja; 2) a derivative of the suffix -owaja/-ewaja + the genitive of a male patronymic + a name; 3) a derivative of the suffix -owaja/-ewaja + the genitive of a male patronymic + a name + a female patronymic.
The most popular type of naming is a recorded name.

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