Cumanian Anthroponymics in Bulgaria during the 15th Century

Valery Stoyanov


0.      In the early Ottoman registers there are many Bulgarian names with Turkic, but Non-Ottoman origin. They can be attributed to the Pre-Ottoman Turkic peoples, who settled down in the Balkan area during the Middle Ages. The most of these personal names are usually considered by the Bulgarian scholars as ones with Slavic etymology. But in fact they have counterparts in many popular Cumanian names, or can be explain from Turkish. This article, which is a part of a large, as yet unpublished study about the Oriental influences on the Bulgarian anthroponymics, offers examples of probably Cumanian and Pechenegian names, used by the Bulgarians during the first centuries of the Ottoman rule.

                For the purpose of the investigation data was examined from the already published onomastic materials in the Fontes Turcici Historiae Bulgaricae (FTHB). The attention was drawn on the personal names of dwellers from Bulgarian villages and districts[1], who were sometimes explicitly noted as ‘infidel’ (Pers. gäbrān, ), as well as on names of Voynuks, who were at that time recruited exclusively from the local Christian population. And if one finds among them Non-Slavic, Non-Greek and Non-Christian names of possible Turkic or Iranian origin, they must be linked with the most probably to the (Proto)Bulgarian ant to the Cumanian or Pechenegian name-tradition, whose bearers were absorbed into the medieval Bulgarian people. As the time passed some of these names entered durably into the Bulgarian onomastics and do not testify necessarily any particular ethnic origin. There are Slavic etymologies, frequently offered to them, and only a broad linguistic analysis can suggest more different possible interpretations. In other cases the use of such names is limited in time and space, reflecting a practice, already dying away. They are often combined with customary Bulgarian (Slavic) names and this fact speaks about the advanced stage of Bulgarization of their bearers. Last but not least the preservation of such forms in the 15th century is also due to the characteristic of the patriarchal society „reproducing“ of old names, whereby the new-borne kid received the name of his grandfather or of an other ancestor of the family. So was made a bridge over the generations and sometimes this is the only sign of their possible Turkic origin.

         In the research are comprised arbitrary selected names, fixed in the Ottoman registers along the formula „X, son (or brother, or son-in-law) of  Y“, or through the more rarely appeared variant „X - Y“, where the „X“ means the proper name and the „Y“ reflects the father’s name of the registered person.


1.      One of the most spread appellations with such an origin is Kuman () with variants Kumanin () and Kumano (). The adherents of the Slavic etymology derive the name from the Old Bulg. ‘godfather; who wed someone’ (from Kum + -an)[2], whereas other scholars associate it quite right with the designation of the people Cumans [3]. In the European sources the name appeared in the 11th century simultaneous with its bearers[4] (the Russian chronicles noted it under 1096)[5], but still about the year 388 a. d. the Chinese sources mention the pastoral tribe K’uo-muo-γiei, which name is juxtaposed by some authors with that of the later Cumans[6]. It was found as genonymous in many Turkic peoples: the clan Koman par example was existed amongst the Crimean Caraims[7], the clan Komanğelair belonged to the tribe Argun, a branch of the Kara-Kirghiz, whereas one other tribe, Kumanay, belonged to the Middle Horde[8]. A variant is the tribe name Kumandur, similar to the Kirghizian name Mongoldur and to the Crimean Mogoldur from Mongol[9], who appears also amongst the Romanian noble names in documents from the 15th and 16th centuries[10]. We find more distant forms of this appellation in Kubandď and Tôn-Kubandď - two tribes of the Kumandi-people in Altai[11].

         As a personal name Kuman is pretty known in the entire territory, inhabited once by the Cumans. In the Russian Hypatian chronicle one finds a Polovtsian, named Коуманъ (1103). Three Коуманъ’s, including someone „Valakhian“, figure among the peasants, who were given to the monastery of Ziče in Montenegro with a charter of the Serbia’s King Stefan (1222-1228)[12]. The family Komani from the Valakhian inhabitants of the medieval town of Pijanici (in to-day’s Kosovo) and another one „Valakhian“ family Komanic amongst the residents of „Katun Bariljevski“ (now village Barilevë, in Kosovo) are mentioned in a charter of the Holy Stephan (the 30 years of the 14th century)[13]. One eminent Bulgarian Κόμανος note to the end of the same century the Byzantine sources, too[14]. We find this patronymic in Hungarian documents among the names of Valakhian chieftains (knez’es), who immigrated into Hungary: Komán (1424), Kuman (1428), Koman (1434); the name is proper to the Romanian onomasticon from the 15th century onwards, too: a Gypsy Команъ(1458), Koman Kure (1460), попu Команu (1482-96), Данчюл сынь Команωв (1489), a Gypsy Команча (1487), Коман (1511), Coman, Cuman (1623), Coman Grigorie, Coman Matiei (18th c.) etc.[15]

         Whether direct from the ethnic name or secondary through the anthroponymous, shaped from it, the name of the Cumans left traces on the pretty vast territory. One place near Baku and another one in the land, inhabited by the Turkmens, as well as one river in Turkestan, bear the name Kuman[16]. In the Ukraine the place-name (Г)Уман was probably received from the Polovtsians[17]. Extreme numerous are the derivatives of this name in Moldavia, Romania and in the whole domain of the formerly Valakhian settlements in Hungary. As a toponymous one finds the name Coman(ul) in the department of Ilfov (Bacău). So was called a hill in Oltenia in the area of the town of Balş, as well as a village on the bank of the river Olt opposite to the village Batia in the northern part of the valley between Olt and Teleorman[18]. Cetatea lui Coman was probably the old name of the contemporary village Cetatea, mentioned in a document from 1625 and disposed in Oltenia west of Jiu[19]. Comania is a pretty spread toponymous in Romania[20], for instance in the departments Buzău and Teleorman[21], as well as a name of a village on the northern frontier of Burnaz and of a swampy lake in the interior of the old „raďa Giurgiu“[22]. Comanica is the name of one village east of the plain of Cîmpul Romanaţilor and southern of the town of Balş; a name of a little river in the area of Teleorman, eastern of the river Olt; as well as a name of now extinct village (1512) near the town of Dorobanţu in the same region[23]. Comanecei figure in the Romanian toponyms Cîmpa Comanecei and Valea Comanecei[24]. Comandareşti is a name of another Romanian village[25]. In the department of Prahova one finds the toponymous Comăneanca, in the department of Teleorman - Comăneanul, and in the department of Dolj (Brăila, Buzău) - Comăneasa[26]. One village in Oltenia, again in the region of Balş, is called Comăneşti; that is the formerly name of the village Costeşti in the area of Teleorman, too[27]. The village Comani, situated before Calafat and after Vidin, forms nowadays a part of the settlement Golenţi. In a document from 1385 it was called Vadul Cumanilor, ‘Cumanian ford’. The village was situated in the region Fundul Diiului, known from the Cumanian invasions in Byzantium in 1114, as the Emperor Alexios Comnen came to Vidin and send against them an army over the river. The same name took another formerly village (1579) in the region of Teleorman[28]. Comanii is a component of the toponymous Comanii Vechi[29]. Comăniţa is a tributary of the little river Teslui in the northern part of the valley between Olt and Teleorman[30]. In the Hungarian documents are fixed settlement-names Kumanpataka (1358), Comanfalua (1369) and Kományfalva (1439, to the town of Vílágos)[31]. We find the toponymous Komane between Tissa and the canal of Bega[32]. One town in the region of Pukë on the mountain slopes of the valley of the river Drin in Northern Albania is called Komani (without an enclitic article: Koman)[33]. In the Middle Ages in the vicinity of the nowadays town of Prishtina (Kosovo) was situated the village Komanovo, which was gifted by Stefan Uroš Dečanski to the monastery of Hilendar (1327). Again near Prishtina was found another one village Kumanovo, mentioned in a charter of King Stefan Dušan from 1330 under the dominions of the new monastery of Dečan[34]. It disappeared without traces during the Ottoman times, but some researchers identify it with the nowadays village Llapnasellë in Kosovo[35]. Kumanić is the name of a village, situated near Tikveš, and Kumaničevo is a name of a great settlement in the region of Kostur, Macedonia[36]. One village Kumanič is known in the region of Nevrokop, another village in the region of Kaylare bore the name Kuman, and in the Northeast of Skopje there is a big city Kumanovo. The name of the village Kubratovo near Sofia was once Kumanica (Kumanič in the Ottoman documents)[37]. Such is the name also of another unidentified village () from the same region[38], of a village in the register for land dominions from the time of the Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror[39], of the undetermined village Kumanci (Kumaniče )[40] and of a village Kumanič (Kumaniče ), belonged to the Hortach or Horyatis, the region of Thessaloniki[41], in the Ottoman defters from the end of the 15th century. A quarter near the village Zimevica in the region of Sofia was called Cumanova Čuka. In the district of Tărnovo there were cottages Kumanite and Kumanovci; another cottages named Kumanica were situated near the village of Karash (in the region of Lukovit); in the vicinity of Părsha (the region of Tărnovo) existed a quarter Kumanovci and near the village Buchukovtsi (the region of Dryanovo) there was another quarter Kumanite[42]. All these testify the wide diffusion of the Cumanian ethnonymous not only in the Moldo-Valakhia, but also in Bulgaria and in the more western regions of the Balkan peninsula.

         We see this frequency of the name also in the 15th-16th centuries Ottoman registers. It is certainly one of the most used anthroponymous, related to the Cumans: 69 of all investigated examples contain the name Kuman, 4 of them have the form Kumanin and in 3 cases appears the form Kumano. They are known from the whole ethnic territory of the Bulgarians, so in the areas of Shumen, Tărnovo, Nikopol, Pleven, Vratsa and Vidin; in the districts of Sofia, Pernik and Samokov; in the regions of Plovdiv and Razlog; in the present-day Macedonia and Yugoslavia, as well as in the area of Thessaloniki and Drama in Greece. Especially widespread was this name in the region of Pleven and in Panagyurishte, too. The last settlement was once a village of Voynuks, that showed a relatively high per cent of names with a probably Turkic-Persian origin. But this anthroponymous was combined almost always with traditional Bulgarian names (Stoyan, Nikola, Dragan, Dobre etc.), what shows us, that in the period in question it was firmly entered into the Bulgarian onomasticon and was not be considered as alien. Jordan Zaimov relates its first appearance in Bulgaria to the 13th century; two centuries later was noted the female name Kumana and the diminutive form Kumanka, derived from it. The Ottoman registers do not give us an opportunity for such conclusions. But therein are found the derivatives Kumanina (from Kuman-in + -a), Kuma (abbreviated from Kum-an, respectively Kum- + -a)[43], Kumalin (from Kum-a + -lin, or Kum-al- + -in), Kumalič (similar to Kumalin: Kum-a + -lič, or Kum-al- + -ič), Kumo, Kumyo (analogous to Kuma: abbreviated from Kum-an, respectively Kum- + -o/-yo), Kumčo (diminutive from Kum-o, Kum-a < Kum-an, or Kum- + o), Kumli (from Kum-an > Kum- + -li), as well as the uncommon for Bulgaria name Kunbek, which turns on the attention to another possible variant of the Cumanian ethnonymous.


2.      Similar to Uzbek, Janibek, Berdibek and other names from the history of the Golden Horde, Kunbek is also a two-component appellation. It contains as a second element the old noble title bek (Old Turkic bäg; Chag., Uzb., N.Uigh. bäk, bek; Selj., Karakhan. bäg, beg; Osm. beg, bey; Uigh. päk; Shor., Sagay., Koybal. ġ; Kaz., Kirgh. bī; Tel., Leb. pī  etc.), which general means ‘prince, chieftain of a separate tribe, dignitary’ and in a wide sense ‘nobleman’ or ‘superior’. It is found only twice in the used source material - in Kunbek Vlayu from the village Karnofol (Voysil, the region of Plovdiv) and in Gergi Kunbek from the village Sariche (Tsaratsovo, the region of Plovdiv)[44]. His combining with Bulgarian names and the existence of a Kipchak form for the title bek instead of the Oghuzian variant on -g > -y excludes any possibly penetration of the anthroponymous through the Ottoman influence. It must have been rather borrowed from the Tartars or from those Cumans, who already became under Mongolian domination allies to the Valakhian chieftain Basarab Vodă and to the Bulgarian Tsar Mikhail Shishman against Byzantium and the Serbia’s rulers.

         It is interesting the first component of this name - Kun, reminding of the Hungarian designation of the Cumans - n-ok (plural from n), which was rendered in Latin as Cuni (from Cunos). In the Latin-Hungarian sources therewith was named not only the Cumans (Kipchaks), but also the Kabars, the Oghuz and the Pechenegs[45]. Later, during the 13th century, diffused in Hungary the learned term Cumani or Comani, so that the word Kun remained in the common speech mostly as a designation of the Cumans, who get a refuge in the country after the Mongolian invasion. According to one observation, traces from the name Kun are found chiefly in the toponymics of the lands, crossed by the Hungarian King Laszlo the Great (1342-1382), in whose army there were many Cumanian warriors (cf. par example Kunova Teplica in Slovakia, Kunowice in Poland, Kunovec between the rivers Drava and Sava), whereas in other lands - in Voyvodina, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania etc. - we find mostly place-names, derived from the ethnonymous Kuman, as used by the Kipchaks themselves[46]. There are many hypotheses about the meaning and the etymology of the name Kun (Qun). Some authors juxtapose it with the name of the people Qūn, known from the Islamic sources (e. g. by Bērūnī and Aufī), who, before his invasion in the land of the so called Sārī (or Ṣarď), lived once eastern of the Kirghiz. Others think it as a shortened form from Kuman (Quman) or Kuban (Quban), whereas a third part of scholars derive all such names from a common Altaic root *qu- > *qu-m; *qu-ba, *qu-wa[47]. What ever may its origin be, for us is more important the very fact of the existence of the ethnonymous Kun, by which the name Kunbek could be interpret as „Bek of the Kuns“ (from ‘kun-i bek’), or as the proper-name „Kuni-bek“ (like „Beg Kune“ or „Kuno Bey“).

         These names (Kuno, Kune, Kuni etc.) figure in the Ottoman registers. We find therein also the toponymous Kunina () for the village Kunino (the region of Vratsa), that comprised to the middle of the 15th century 21 Christian and 1 Moslem households[48], and which name descends either from the ethnonymous Kun or better from the patronymic Kunin (Kun-in), derived from it. The most spread of the above forms is Kuno (), which Ottoman writing allows the reading Kono, too. Very often is found the form Kune (), more seldom Kuni (), both of them considered as diminutives from Kuno. Pretty known are the variants Kunčo, Kunko or Kunkyo (diminutives from Kun-o), Kunin (from Kun-o + -in) and Kunkin (diminutive of Kun-in), but they have a relatively limited use. All of them are derivatives of Kuno. And although there are adequate explanations about the origin of this name[49], the spread of the enumerated forms chiefly in North-western and Western Bulgaria (in the areas of Vidin, Pleven, Lovech, as well as in the regions of Pernik and Sofia) and the mention of a Polovtsian Кунуй in the Russian sources[50], make probably to associate the anthroponymous Kuno (Kun-o) and Kunin (Kun-in) with the ethnic name Kun. It is true, that so far it was not found any existence of the initial form *Kun, but this could be done to its originally penetration in a relatively small area, from which, now on Bulgarian soil, arose the derivatives, arrived to us.


3.      One proved Cumanian name, found in the Ottoman registers, is Derman () with variants Durman and rman, sometimes falsely deciphered as „Damyan“. According to J. Zaimov Derman is a shortened form of Deriman (< Derim + -an; wherein Derim was shortened of Derimir, which derived from the verb dera ‘to fight, to struggle’) and Dărman is a combination between rmo (< rma ‘thick wood, brushwood’) and -an[51]. He relates the both forms respectively to the 15th and 16th centuries, but still during the 13th century in the Hungarian sources was fixed the Cumanian anthroponymous Dorman[us] or Derman[us] (1285), later also Dormani (1340), Dormánháza (1406; later Dormánd), the family Dormánházi (1406), Dormán (1477) etc.[52] It is possible, that the form Dormanus in the medieval Hungarian chronicles was an error of the copyist instead of Derman[53], but more probably it re-creates the Turkic name Durman (< dur-/tur- ‘to stand, to stop, to remain; to dwell, to inhabit’ -man), from which are developed the other phonetic variants. Durman is known as a toponymous on about 50 km northern of Hiva; Turman is the name of a village in Northern Crimea and Dorman was the name of a Turkic tribe, lived under the Mongols[54]. Dorman or rman was called the governor of the Branichevo-region, subjected to the Bulgarian Tsar Georg Ist Terter (1280-1292). We find the same name on the territory of Moldavia and Valakhia, cf. дочка Петра Дръмана (1499), rman căpitan (1563), Jonasco rman (1636)[55], as well as a patronymic in Albania, cf. Leka and Pavli, sons of someone Dermani; Andreja, Lleshi and Gura, sons of another Dermani in the first detailed register (defter-i mufaṣṣal) of the Sanjak of Shkodra (1485)[56]. The appellation figure in the toponomy, so as Дръмънещи (1499) or rmăneşti  - designations of three villages in Romania: the one of which in the valley of the stream Tatros in the environs of the village Comăneşti, the other near the town of Suceava and the third between the towns of Târgovişte and Ploieşti, hence in the area, where is disposed the settlement Comarnic, too[57]. Here belongs also the Bulgarian village Dermanci (Dermanče in Ottoman records), that is Dărmantsi in the region of Vratsa and Dermantsi, situated in the valley of the river Vit, like the village Komarevo, for which name one supposes eventual Cumanian origin, too[58]. The used source material allows the wary conclusion, that in the 15th century the anthroponymous was partly spread in Northern Bulgaria and in the district of Sofia, whereby in the following century we find it already also in the region of Plovdiv (in Kalofer).


4.      Another Cumanian name is Šišman (), also Šušman (), written sometimes without diacritical dots as Susman (). The both forms of the anthroponymous are pretty known in the Byzantine sources - Σίσμανος and Σούσμανος[59]. The scholars are unanimous about its Turkic etymology (< šman ‘fat, thick; fatman’ < š ‘swell, swelling’ or < šiš- ‘to swell’ + -man)[60]. The most early data about this appellation are connected with the Cumanian in his ethnic origin despot of Vidin - Šišman, ancestor of the last medieval Bulgarian dynasty, comprised Mikhail IIIrd Shishman (1323-1330) and his brother Belaur; Ivan Stefan [Shishman] (1330-1331) and his brother Shishman; Ivan Alexander (1331-1371) and his sons - the tsars of Tărnovo and of Vidin Ivan Shishman (1371-1393) and Ivan Sratsimir (1371-1396)[61]. The name was formerly more spread, cf. the abbreviated forms Šiša and Šišo, their derivatives Šiška and Šiško, as well as the settlement-names Šišmanovo, Šišenci and Šiškovci. It was found in neighbouring to Bulgaria lands, too. In Moldo-Valakhia par example are registered the both variants: Шишман (1431) and Шушман (1485), Шuшман (1470, 1488)[62]. In Hungary are known many Valakhian „knez’es“, named Šyšman, especially in the region Hátszeg: Stefanos Susman de Bozas (1452), Stefani filij Sysman de Bozijas (1457), Sandrinus Sysman (1470), Susman (1494, 1507, 1511, 1514, 1519), the family Sismánfi; the name is laid down also in the appellation „praedium Sismány“ (1700) by the formerly Cumanian settlement near Előszállás in the Comitat Fejér (cf. the later Alsó and Felső-Sismánd, west of Hercegfalva)[63]. As a place-name it is noted in Albania, too - Shishmançi (Albanian transcription of Šišmānği) in the first detailed register of the Sanjak of Shkodra (1485). During the census there lived also someone Leka, son of Shishmani išmāni)[64]. The Ottoman records from the Bulgarian lands show, that the most widespread was the form Šišman, followed by Šušman and the shortened variants Šišo (< Š-man + -o; respectively Š + -o) and Šušle (Š-man + -le). These appellations are found mostly in the regions of Tărnovo, Pleven, Sofia and partly in the area of Plovdiv (so in Kalofer), too.


5.      There are serious reasons for the supposition, that the name Dušman (), more seldom Dušmano (), so often found amongst the Bulgarian Christians[65], has a Pre-Ottoman Turkic origin. By the translation of the corresponding data it was sometimes falsely read as „Dušan“, in spite of the existence of the letter Mīm (m) in the Ottoman writing of the word. Its general meaning ‘enemy, adversary, one who wishes evil to others’ excludes the possibility of the penetration of the name in Bulgarian through the Ottoman influence. In addition comes the circumstance, that still before the Turkish invasion on the Balkans in a charter of King Stefan Dušan for the foundation of the monastery of Dečan (1330) figure someone „Valakhian“, named Dušman. On the other hand, one Albanian family Dushmani (Dušmani), in vassalage to the feudal senior Balshë from the region of Shkodra, is mentioned also in the Venetian charters from the middle of the 14th century, that is before 1385, when the Ottomans set foot for the first time in Albania as allies of Karl Thopia. There again, in the region of Pukë in Northern Albania, not far from the town of Komani, is situated also the town of Dushmani (without an enclitic article - Dushman), which name was probably adopted by the quondam lord of the region. Later during the first Ottoman registration of the Sanjak of Shkodra the old fief of the family Dushmani was separated in a single administrative unity, named Dušman-ili nahiye[66]. All this, as well as the existence of a Polovtsian, named Тошманъ in the Hypatian chronicle[67], refers to the possible Cumanian elements in the Bulgarian anthroponymics. In the Ottoman-Turkish language the word düšmān () or düšmen () ‘enemy, adversary’ is considered to be a Persian loan-word. The initial Persian form došmän () is usually written without Ālif (ā). It is penetrated also in Pushto, where the Afghanian pronunciation dušman () stays most close to the Bulgarian one. The entry of the name Dušman () in the Ottoman defters almost exclusively by Ālif (ā) and Wāw (ū) prompt, that the registrator did not make a connection with the possible meaning of the anthroponymous (Turkish: düşman). This was due perhaps to the hard pronunciation of the word in Bulgarian, except if there was not any more different meaning in it. In this case the name Dušman could be made also from another initial form (like *duš + -man?) in analogy to Durman and Šišman. Carried with the medieval Turks to the Balkans this name was used during the 15th-16th centuries not only in North-western and Western Bulgaria (in the regions of Vratsa, Lovech and Pleven; in the vicinity of Godech; in the districts of Sofia and Pernik), but also in the eastern part of the Danubian plain (in the regions of Shumen and Razgrad), as well as far to south in the area of Thessaloniki. In the Ottoman records from that times the anthroponymous was combined with customary Bulgarian names (Ivan, Yanko, Prodan, Boyo), but also with not typical forms (Seto, Mirdjan, Hasno). Some of the examples are noted in villages like Kumanich, Kărlăkovo, Kunina, or in such settlements, from where are known also another questionable appellations.


6.      Definite Pre-Ottoman is the name Aldomir (), noted twice during the reign of Sultan Mehmed IInd (1451-1481) in the village Batkovtsi, the region of Sofia, whereby one of the registered person came from Vidin[68]. J. Zaimov connects it with Aldemir, Aldimir, but along with the correct Turkic etymology (from al, el ‘hand’ and temir, demir ‘iron’, i. e. ‘iron hand’) he assumes also, that it was an altered form of Vladimir or Radomir. He explains similarly the appellation Altimir, too - as „probably altered from Ratimir, or like Aldemir[69], whereas N. Kovachev, who noted 2/3 from all examples of the anthroponymous in Northern Bulgaria, is convinced of its Turkic (Cumanian) origin: from al- ‘to take’ and timir ‘iron’[70]. A variety (or rather an initial variant) of the pointed out form is the name Eltimir. So was called the Despot of the Krăn-district on the Tundzha-valley. He was a brother of Tsar Georg Ist Terter (1280-1292) and therewith belonging to the Terter-dynasty in Bulgaria (1280-1323) - a late ramification of one of the most eminent Cumanian clans Terter-oba (Terterobiči in the Russian sources), from which descended also the Khan Kotyan (Kuthen), who immigrated into Hungary[71]. The anthroponymous Aldomir is pretty known amongst the names of Valakhian and Moldavian boiars, as well as of Valakhian „knez’es“ in Hungary[72]. The appellation of the village Aldomirovci in the region of Sofia derives from it. The name of the village Aydemir near Silistra could be an alteration to Aldemir, except if one interprets it literally as ‘iron Moon’ (< Turk. ay ‘Moon’ + demir ‘iron’). Hier belongs also the name of the village Altimir () in the area of Byala Slatina (the region of Vratsa) with its 35 households in the middle of the 15th century[73], as well as the proper name Andomir in a register from the following century[74], which form, if not due to an incorrect reading because of a similar kind of writing of the letters Lām (l) and Nūn (n) in initial position, could be testify to the characteristic assimilation of both sounds in some dialects. From Aldomir was made the shortened form Aldo ()[75], noted still 1491 in the Ottoman documentation[76].


7.      The name Asen (), which Cumanian origin was proved long ago, figure also in the Ottoman records. Some scholars juxtapose it with the Chinese transcription of the designation of the oldest Turkic ruling clan during the 6th-8th centuries, A-shih-na, whereas others see in it the form Äsen or Esen (< Turk. esen ‘healthy, cheerful, buoyant, clever, reasonable’)[77]. Before its appearance with the Tsar Ivan Ist Asen - Belgun (1186-1196) the name was noted as an appellation of the Polovtsian Khan Осень (died 1082)[78] - the father or father-in-law of Khan Aepa, whose daughter married Yuriy Vladimirovich[79]. A son of Osen (or Yasen) was probably the famuous Khan Bonyak[80] (Μανιάκης in the Byzantine sources), who helped 1091 the Emperor Alexios Comnin to manage the Pechenegian danger. It seems, that upon his father was named the town of Osenev (also: Sharukan, Cheshuev)[81] ‘belonging to Osen’, that was twice occupied by the Russian in 1111 and 1116. Another Cumanian khan Асинь was captured 1096 near Sharkel (Belaya vezha)[82]. The anthroponymous is pretty known in the Byzantine sources (Άσάν, Άσάνις)[83], it appears as a New-Grecian name, too. Members of the Assenian dynasty entered during the 13th-14th centuries in a Byzantine service[84]. The last descendants of these Assenides put the beginning of one of the oldest noble families in Romania - Asan, noted in the list with 75 names of D. Cantemir’s „Descriptio Moldaviae“ (1714-1716)[85]. The later use of the name seems to keep up the memory of the Bulgarian Assenides and do not be connect with a concrete ethnic origin. It is very curious however the record in the presumed second land-inventory of the region of Tărnovo (about 1445-1461), wherein among the group of the reserve Voynuks from a village in the area of Sevlievo was noted someone „Dobruy [better Dobri: - V.St.] with another name Asen[86]. The reason for this strange specifying is not clear. Whether the questioned Dobri was a descent of Cumans and preserved his Turkic name also in the 15th century, or he belonged to a noble kin, that pretended to have ties with the Assenides. Whatever it was, in distinction from today, as the name is pretty known (N. Kovachev notes 9062 cases of its use during the years 1901-1970), it was not have been once so widespread. This could be due to its peculiar „sacrality“ - as a name of an old ruling clan it was scarcely be „accessible“ to everyone and its bearers received it mostly in connection with some of their ancestors. In the used source material we find it once again by „Kirana, widow of Asen[87] amongst the inhabitants of Thessaloniki, where figure also further „Cumanian-Bulgarian“ names. Except of the usually form Asen (cf. Old Bulg. , ) the Ottoman registers contain also variants like Asyan (a soft pronunciation of the Old Bulg. ), Asyo (shortened and diminutive form of As-en, As-yan +  -o/-yo) and Yasko (another diminutive form of Asen with an iotation > Yasen or Iasen, i. e. Yas-en + -ko). Therein are recordet also place-names like Osenoluk (Osânoluq ) - the village Osenovlak in the region of Sofia and Osyanovec (Osânofğe ) - appellations of the village Polski Senovets in the region of Tărnovo and of the village Osenets in the region of Razgrad. They could be derived from a labialised variant of the name (cf. > = Osen, Osyan) and therewith could be interpreted as Osen-ev + ci (> če), i. e. Asen > Asenev ‘belonging to Assen’ > Asenevci ‘the Assens’, respectively as Osen-ev + lak (< Bulg. ‘meadow, grassland’) or + Turk. suffix -luq (?), i. e. ‘Aseneva lăka’ (‘the meadow of Assen’) or ‘Asenevlik’ (?)


8.      In the Ottoman records from the 15th and 16th centuries there are many other Bulgarian names with a Turkic (probably Cumanian) origin. So we find par example in a register from the time of Sultan Mehmed IInd (1451-1481) amongst the inhabitants of the village Trebnik in the region of Sofia along with Kuman and Kumanin also someone Balik (), whose name was wrongly deciphered as Balina [88]. This anthroponymous appears in Bulgaria by the middle of the 14th century, when the bolyar Balik, for whom is supposed an eventual Cumanian origin, separated his dominions between the Lower Danube and the Black-Sea coast from the Bulgarian state. The area with a centre in the town of Karvuna was called later Dobrudzha - perhaps after the name of the Balik’s brother and successor Dobrotica[89], who began to cut his own coins as a sign of his independence from Tărnovo. The Byzantine sources signify Balik through „ἄρχων Μπαλίκας“ (1346), which form can be interpret as Balika, too. The name is found also in the lands northern of the Danube (Balik, Balyk); still 1392 a boiar Balęk was testified in Moldavia[90]. It was been traditionally derived from the Turk. balďq, balik (Old Turk. balaq, balďq) ‘fish’, but it could be juxtaposed with the East Turk. balďq, balik ‘town’ (e. g. in Beš-balik, an old designation of Peking), too. One supposes usually, that the town of Balchik on the Black-Sea coast was called so after the name of Balik. This toponymous will be however arisen as a diminutive from balďq in the meaning of a ‘little town’, or from the Turk. balčďk ‘swamp, miry place, mud, dirt; rubbish, excrement’, which word through the form balďq ~ balq, fixed by M. Kashgharî (11th century), lead to a third possible explanation of the name Balik, giving it a function of a peculiar „protective appellation“. The Ottoman sources contain as derivatives from it Balika () and Baliko (); it is not to exclude, that variants of Balik were the names Baluka () and Baluki (), too, for which forms is not proposed any Slavic etymology.

                The registers from the 16th century note the proper name Balin (), often considered as a Slavic in origin. Its earliest records are connected with names of Valakhians, for instance in a charter of the Serbia’s King Stefan Uroš IInd (about 1318)[91]. It figure also in Valakhian documents: David şi Balin şi Mateş a lu Coţani (1425)[92]. This fact by itself proves however nothing at all, because the Valakhians used both Slavic and Cumanian proper names (cf. Kuman, Šišman, Dušman) and the designation „Valakhian“ in the Middle Ages was not always connected with an ethnic origin. One of the Polovtsian cities was named Balin (1116) and this is a reasonable ground to suppose a Non-Slavic origin of the place-name. And because the towns of Sharukan (Cheshuev) and Sugrov (Sugroba), mentioned along with Balin, were called after the names of the corresponding Polovtsian khans, the appellation Balin could be obviously regarded as arisen from someone Cumanian patronymic. Its derivatives Balina and Balinko figure in the Ottoman records, too.

         The name Baluš, Beluš () was interpreted by J. Zaimov as derivative from Balo, Belo etc. + -uš [93]. The Ottoman writing of the word during the 15th century allows however different kinds of reading, inclusively Boluš, or even Bluš, i. e. B(o)luš, just as the name of the Polovtsian khan, first mentioned in the Russian chronicles, who after the defeat of the Torks near Sula came in the summer of 1055 on the left bank of Dnepr to make a peace with the Prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich[94]. The etymology of this name is unclear. One can think about the labialization of a primary a-vocal, so characteristic for the Russian language, i. e. Boluš < *Bĺluš < *Baluš, which form with a secondary fall of the vocal was developed on the Russian soil into Bluš. The appellation Baluš reminds in its turn of the Iranian male name Balūč () ‘Baluc, Baluč, Baloč’ (also „belūğ“ - from the designation of the people Baluchis, Balukhis), as well as of the later Hungarian form Palócz - an equivalent of the Russian „Polovets, Polovtsian“ (i. e. ‘Cuman’). We do not know, if the questioned name could be connected also with the name of the Romanian town of Balş, which is situated in a zone, full of toponyms with a probably Cumanian origin (e. g. the villages Comăneşti, Belgun, Buzduc etc., the hill Comanul and so many water-names with specific designations on -[l]ui)[95]. A diminutive from Baluš, i. e. Baluško is found in the Ottoman defters, too.

         The used source material contains the name Barak, so in a late register from 1576, where was noted someone „Nemi, son of Barak“ from the village Berendey (i. e. Berende in the region of Radomir)[96]. The Turkic word barak (baraq, barag) means as an adjective ‘hairy’, but it was also a designation of a ‘hairy breed hunting dog’ (M. Kashgharî). It is found as Afghanian male name Barak (), too, as well as amongst the Romanian noble names in documents from the 15th and 16th centuries, as Cumanian anthroponymous from Hungary: Demetrius Barag (1521) and as a name of someone Polovtsian Баракъ in the Russian chronicles (1183)[97]. This fact, as well as the circumstance, that the above example was recorded in the village Berendey (the region of Radomir, or rather Pernik), refers to he Pre-Ottoman Turkic name-tradition, since the Berendeis were one of the most powerful tribal group amongst the union of the so called ‘Black Hats’ in Kievan Rus’.

         To the medieval Cumans, if not even to the early Bulgarians, is to related also the anthroponymous Barso or Barsyu (), recorded in 1491 in the village Lyubene (probably the village Lyuben in Chech, Eastern Macedonia): „Barsyu, son of Yano“[98]. With a labialized first vocal (a > ĺ) the name is presented in the form Borso (), too - in a register from the last quarter of the 15th century, wherein amongst the inhabitants of the village Kalabak (Kalanbak, Kalambaki), the region of Drama, successively figure Iorgi and Mikhail, sons of someone Borso[99]. Both variants refer to one widespread among the Turks appellation Bars (i. e. Bars + -o) < bars ‘panther, tiger’. It is known in the Romanian onomastics since the 14th century like a name of a Valakhian boiar Bars Roman (1389), of a Moldavian „comis“ Bars (the beginning of the 15th century) etc.[100], one finds it also amongst the names of the Kipchakian in their origin Mameluks[101], as well as in the name of the Polovtsian Khan Begbars (Begubars) from the tribal group of Urus-oba[102]. The last designation figure several times in the Russian chronicles (so under the years 1084, 1190, 1229) and belonged obviously to different persons. Bekbars was the name of one melik (king) of Derbend from the end of the 12th and the first half of the 13th century, probably identical with the 1190 mentioned Polovtsian. The name Bibars was used by the Valakhian „knez’es“ in Hungary; we see it amongst the Romanian noble names from the 15th-16th centuries, as well as in some settlement-names (Bibarcfalva, Bibarcovo), too. But may be the most famous bearer of this name was the Mameluk Sultan of Egypt Beybars, descended from the Cumanian dynasty of Ölberlü. All this prompt, that also in the Bulgarian variants Barso or Borso could have been hidden eventually traces from the influence of the Cumanian name-tradition.


9.      In such an article like this is impossible to comprise all suspicious forms with probably Cumanian or Pechenegian origin. But the studied source material shows clearly, that still by the first Ottoman records of land possessions and population, made to the middle of the 15th century, i. e. about a generation after the conquest of Bulgaria, along with the typical Bulgarian (Slavic or Christian) names are found also designations with Turkic, Iranian and even Arabian origin (Aldomir, Balik, Čakăr, Čoban, Dogan, Dušman, Fetük, Gogul, Hamza, Kara, Kačur, Kuman, Musa, Šahin, Šišman, Turgul, Turšan etc.). And because the time of one generation is not enough for adapting of new alien anthroponyms, these appellations must be related to the name-tradition of a part of the local population and especially to the onomasticon of the medieval Turks, still integrated into the Bulgarian people, as well as probably to the Valakhians, beeing under their cultural influence. In the more cases these names are combined with customary designations, what speaks of the advanced stage of Bulgarization of their bearers. Sometimes however the continuity is more evident, especially when the proper name and the father’s name belong to the same „Non-Bulgarian“ category, or if they were recorded in a region, strongly saturated with similar forms. Such areas emerge mostly in the districts of Pleven, Lovech, Vidin and Vratsa[103], in the town of Pernik and the neighbouring villages[104], in the settlements near Sofia[105], as well as far to east in Panagyurishte and partly in Kalofer. We can suppose therefor, that still before the Ottomans arrived Turkic ethnic elements were settled down in these areas of medieval Bulgaria.

                A ground to connect such names with the Turkic equestrian peoples gives us their semantic, reflecting the nomadic way of life. The great part of them represents designations of typical animals - hare (Koyan), ram (Koč), buffalo (Malak), wolf (Kurt), roe (Karağa), dog (Barak, Čomar), different species of hunting birds (Balaban, Baše, Čakăr, Dogan, Ğura, Kraguy, Šahin, Tugan) etc., as well as eventual derivatives of verbs with a specific meaning (like: to run, to escape, to chase, to pursue, to catch, to surround, to swoop down, to settle etc.). Another group of names can be juxtapose with objects from the everyday life. They arose probably along the old Turkic practice to name the child according to the first word, pronounced after the birthing, or to the first object, seen by the lying-in woman. Some appellations have a wishing meaning, others contain the idea of something dirty or repulsive, which gives them a protective function. There are also cases, in which the meaning of the designation is connected with the time, the place or other circumstances of the birth, or allude to the succession of the corresponding child. Of course, we must not exclude the possibility of additional enlargement of the palette with Turkic names under the influence of the new-arrived Turkish population (cf. Čakăr, Čalăk, Čukur, Damar, Durgan, Iriš, Kuruš, Kuzgun, Malkoč, Oglan, Parmak, Tarla, Topal, Yaman, Yanuk etc.). A special role at that seems to have had the so called Yuruks, who preserved for a long time the mobile pastoral way of life and so were in contact with more settlements of one area.

         Some of the suspicious proper-names shows an Iranian origin (Bazo, Bahadăr, Čare, Čenger, Čira, Čočur, Čupan, Mirzan, Piyali, Ruzbayran, Saman, Sar, Šabil, Šahin, Turšan etc.). This is not strange, because both the Cumans and the Pechenegs (and in more great degree the early Bulgarians, too) were in one or in other way subjected to the influence of the Iranian culture. It is curiously to note however, that in many cases the Afghanian phonetic variant (respectively the Afghanian semantic) of some words stays closer to the Bulgarian forms as their Persian counterparts. This refers to Central Asia, from where the three people set out in different times to the West.

         Still in the 15th century, but more often during the following one, amongst the Bulgarians are found names with a definitive Arabian origin (Ahrin, Falak, Ganem, Hasim, Kesas, Kumaš, Merak, Musa, Rafit, Rahman, Samine, Šabakin etc.). Some of them are penetrated through the Iranian mediation, of which is witness the peculiarity of the corresponding forms. Others can be resulted from eventual earlier contacts, but in the prevailing part the Arabian name-material (so as many Persian word-forms) will have been entered in the local onomastics thanks to the Ottoman Turks. These are indeed single examples and they went rapidly out of use, but their existence by itself put the question of the cultural syncretism on the Balkans during the first Ottoman centuries.

         Today may be sound very strange, that a Christian have had once a name like Fetyuk, Ğevadin or Zamir, that he could called his child after the name of the Sultan Bayezid, or that he bore a typical Persian or Turkish designation, which, if not inherited from earlier Turkic precursors, could have been owed to the influence of the Ottoman ethnic conglomerate. The cultural interaction however was a fact and without considering it we could hardly understand many characteristic features of the Bulgarian mode of life and mentality, as well as the existence of all those Turkish loan-words, inclusively in their Bulgarized variants.


[1] In villages with a confessional heterogenous population the Christians and the Moslems were recorded as usual separate. In the large cities, such as Tărnovo, Vidin, Thessaloniki, Sofia etc., they inhabited different quarters and this fact was reflected precisely in the Ottoman defters.

[2] Par example Н. Ковачев. Честотно-тълковен речник на личните имена у българите. Sofia 1987, p. 116.

[3] Cf. С. Илчев. Речник на личните и фамилни имена у българите. Sofia, 1969, p. 283; Й. Заимов. Български именник. Sofia, 1988 (21994), p. 131.

[4] Cf. G. Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica. Bd. II. Sprachreste der Türkvölker in den byzantinischen Quellen. Berlin, 1958 (see under: Κούμανοι, Κόμανοι, Κομάνια, Κόμανια, Κόμανος).

[5] For instance by Nestor, see Собрание Русских летописей. Vol. I. S. Petersburg, 1856, p. 99: кумани рекше Половци“ [‘Cumans, i. e. Polovtsians’].

[6] Cf. K. H. Menges. The Oriental Elements in the Vocabulary of the Oldest Russian Epos, The Igor’ Tale Slovo o Púlku Igorevě. Published by the Linguistic Circle of New York. Supplement to Word, Vol. 7, December 1951,  Monograph N° 1,  pp. 13-14.

[7] H. Seraja-Szapszał. Uzupełnienia i wyjaśnienia. - Myśl Karaimska, 1931, t. 2, zesz. 3-4, p. 7 (quoted after Я. Р. Дашкевич. Codex Cumanicus - действительно ли cumanicus? - Вопросы языкознания, 1988, 2, 62-74; see on p. 66).

[8] L. Rásonyi. Tuna Havzasında Kumanlar. - Belleten, 3, 1939, 401-422 (see on p. 416-417).

[9] Ibid, p. 407.

[10] Ibid, p. 420.

[11] Ibid, p. 416-417.

[12] L. Rásonyi. Valacho-Turcica. - In: Aus den Forschungsarbeiten der Mitglieder des Ungarischen Instituts und des Collegiem Hungaricum in Berlin dem Andenken Robert Graggers gewidmet. Berlin-Leipzig, 1927, 68-96 (see on p. 90); I. Schütz. Les contacts médiévaux albano-comans reflétés par l’onomastique de Kosovo. - AOH, 40, 2-3, 1986, 293-300  (see on p. 296). The document belongs to Stefan Prvovenčani - a Serbia’s Great zhupan in 1196-1217 and king in 1217-1228.

[13] Schütz. Les contacts, 296.

[14] See Moravcsik. Byzantino-Turcica, II: Index.

[15] Rásonyi. Valacho-Turcica, 89-90; Tuna, 420. See also: L. Rásonyi. Contribution ŕ  l’histoire des premičres cristallisations d’Etat des Roumains. L’origine des Basaraba. Budapest, 1935, p. 9 [Extract from the Archivum Europae Centro-Orientalis - I (Etudes sur l’Europe Centre-Orientale dirigée par Ostmitteleuropäische Bibliothek, herausgegeben von E. Lukinich, N° 3),  pp. 221-253].

[16] Rásonyi. Tuna, 416.

[17] О. Прiцак. Половцi. - Украďнський iсторик (New York - Munich), 1-2 (37-38), 1973, 112-118  (see on p. 118).

[18] I.Conea, I. Donat. Contribution ŕ l’étude de la toponymie pétchénčgue-coman de la plaine roumaine de Bas-Danube. - In: Contribution Onomastiques. Publies ŕ l’occasion du VIe Congrčs international des sciences onomastiques ŕ Munich du 24 au 28 Aoűt 1956. Bucarest, 1958, 139-169 (see on pp. 154, 156); P. Diaconu. Les Coumans au Bas-Danube aux XIe et XIIe sičcles. Bucarest, 1978, p. 26.

[19] Conea, Donat. Contribution, 154; Diaconu. Les Coumans, 27.

[20] Cf. Gy. Györffy. Adatok a románok XIII. Századi történetéhez és a román állam kezdeteihez. - Történelmi Szemle, 1964, N° 3-4, 542-543.

[21] Diaconu. Les Coumans, 26.

[22] Conea, Donat. Contribution, 158.

[23] Conea, Donat. Contribution, 155, 156; Diaconu. Les Coumans, 26.

[24] Diaconu. Les Coumans, 26.

[25] Rásony. Tuna, 420.

[26] Diaconu. Les Coumans, 26.

[27] Conea, Donat. Contribution, 154, 157.

[28] Conea, Donat. Contribution, 154, 156; Diaconu. Les Coumans, 26.

[29] Diaconu. Les Coumans, 26.

[30] Conea, Donat. Contribution, 157; Diaconu. Les Coumans, 26.

[31] Rásonyi. Vallacho-Turcica, 89-90.

[32] I. Schütz. Des „comans noirs“ dans la poésie populaire albanaise. - AOH, 39, 1985, 193-203 (see on p. 198).

[33] Schütz. Des „comans noirs“, 200-201. The town, situated not far from the town of Dushmani, became to be wellknown after the archaeological excavations, started there in 1898, which offered the first material proofs of the Albanian civilisation from the 10th-11th centuries. According to István Schütz, this village could have been a Cumanian colony and the nearly Albanian communities were related probably hostility to it, whereas the newcomers gave to the neighbouring town the name Dushmani, ‘enemy’.

[34] Schütz. Les contacts, 293-294. One supposes, that the two villages were founded by Cumans in the time of their invasions.

[35] See A. Urošević.  O  isčezlom selo Kumanovo na Kosovo. Priština, 1956 (along Schütz. Les contacts, 294).

[36] Cf. В. Кънчов. Македония: етнография и статистика. Sofia, 1900, pp. 155, 265. See also Ст. Младенов. Печенези и узи-кумани в българската история. - In: Българска историческа библиотека, year IV, vol. I, Sofia, 1931, pp. 115-136 (see on p. 130).

[37] FTHB - 2 (1966), p. 19.

[38] Ibid, p. 39.

[39] Ibid, p. 93.

[40] Ibid, p. 417.

[41] Ibid, p. 443.

[42] Младенов. Op. cit., 130.

[43] This is a male name and has nothing to do with the word кума ‘a second wife by the new legal marriage (of the Moslems)’; respectively a female form of the Bulgarian word кум ‘godfather’.

[44] FTBH - 3 (1972), pp. 71, 72.

[45] Cf. B. Kossányi. Az úzok és kománok tőrténetéhez a XI-XII században. - Századok, 57-58, 1923-1924, 519-537; also in Turkish translation: B. Kossanyi. XI.-XII-nci Asırlarda Uz’lar ve Koman’ları dair. - Belleten, VIII, 29, 1944, 119-136 (see on p. 133-136). Cf. also G. Györffy. A kun és a komán népnév eredetének kérdéséhez. - Antiquitas Hungarica, 2, 1948, 158-176. According to Laszlo Rásonyi the „Kuns“ consisted at least of five components: (1) of the people qűn, who originally lived in the eastern part of the Gobi-desert; (2) of the people sârî, carried away with the former in his compulsory migrations to the West till the end of the 9th century; (3) of the Kipchaks (qďpčaq), originally a part of the Kimäk-confederation, who joined with these two peoples about the year 1020; finally (4) and (5) of the heterogeneous ethnic groups, consisted of Pechenegs and Uzoi (Oghuz), integrated by the Cumans in the West in their own tribal organisation during the second half of the 11th century. Cf. L. Rásonyi. Les noms toponymique du Kiskunság. - Acta Linguistica Acad. Sci. Hung., 7, 1956, 73-146 (see on p. 74-75).

[46] Schütz. Des „comans noirs“, 198.

[47] Cf. J. Németh. Die Volksnamen „quman“ und „qun“. - KCsA, III (1941-1943), N° 1, 1941, 95-109. See more detailed by Menges. Op. cit., 8-11, 13-14.

[48] FTHB - 2, p. 309; cf. also FTHB - 3, p. 28.

[49] Заимов. Op. cit., 131, 132; Ковачев. Op. cit., 116.

[50] Cf. about it: А. И. Попов. Кыпчаки и Русь. - Ученые записки Ленинградского государственного университета. Серия исторических наук. Вып. 14, 1949, 94-119  (see on p. 119).

[51] Заимов. Op. cit., 83, 101.

[52] Rásonyi. Valacho-Turcica, 86; L. Rásonyi. Les anthroponymes comans de Hongrie. - AOH, 20, 1967, 135-149 (see on p. 140).

[53] So assumes Schütz. Les contacts, 296.

[54] Rásonyi. Vallacho-Turcica, 86.

[55] Ibid. Also Rásonyi. Contribution, 13; Tuna, 420.

[56] Schütz. Les contacts, 296. The author refers to Selami Pulaha. Nahija e Altun-ilisë  dhe  popullsia e sajë  në  fund të  shekullit  XV. Prishtinë. „Gjurmime albanologjike“ Seria e shkeucave historike, I - 1971, pp. 193-272 (p. 210, 219).

[57] Rásonyi. Valacho-Turcica, 86; Tuna, 420; Schütz. Les contacts,296-297.

[58] István Schütz supposes, that toponyms like Komarevo in Bulgaria, Comarnic in Rumania and Komarni nahiye in the land register of the Sanjak of Shkodra (1485) arose from the Cumanian name Koman, respectively Koman-an > Komanan > Komaran, whereat the change n > r (rhotacism) was realised probably under Valakhian (Arumanian?) influence. Cf. Schütz. Les contacts, 295-296.

[59] Moravcsik. Byzantino-Turcica, II: Index.

[60] Cf. the derivatives: šišuγ ‘swelling’; šiškin ‘swelled, swelling, bloated’; šiško ‘fatman; fat, thick’; šišal ‘thick sheep’; šišak, šišek, šišik ‘two years old lamb, begun to grow fat’, etc.

[61] See more details abot them by И. Божилов. Фамилията на Асеневци (1186-1460). Генеалогия и просопография. Sofia, 1985, pp. 119-136, 139-144, 149-178, 197-210, 224-233; И. Божилов. Българите във Византийската империя. Sofia, 1995, p. 361.

[62] Rásonyi. Valacho-Turcica, 92.

[63] Ibid. Cf. also Rásonyi. Contribution, 9, 15; Tuna, 420.

[64] Schütz. Les contacts, 295, 296.

[65] More than 40 items in the used source material.

[66] Schütz. Des „Comans noirs“, 200-202; Les contacts, 295, 297-298, 299-300.

[67] Попов. Кипчаки, 118.

[68] FTHB - 2, p. 100.

[69] Заимов. Op. cit., 9.

[70] Ковачев. Op. cit., 42.

[71] Before the appearance of the tribe Kay in the Northern coast area of the Black Sea the clan Terter-oba was amongst the ruling clans of the Kipchaks, having the highest rank by the so called ‘wild Polovtsians’. To it belonged presumably Tugorkan - the father-in-law of the Kievan prince Svyatopolk Izyaslavič, and from Tugorkan derived their descent in the 15th-16th centuries the princes Polovci-Rožinovski from Skvir - the only prince-dynasty, survived after the decline of the Kievan state. Cf. Прiцак. Половцi, 113-115; P. Golden. The Polovci Dikii. - Harvard Ukrainian Studies, 3-4, 1979-1980, 269-309.

[72] Rásony. Contribution, 8, 10; Tuna, 420.

[73] FTHB - 2, p. 245. The Ottoman kind of writing of the name allows the reading „Eltimir“, too. In a later register of Voynuks from the 16th century the appellation of the same village was recorded as „Aldimir“.

[74] FTHB - 3, p. 171. The person in question was recorded in the village Prevala (the region of Montana), i. e. in the area between Vratsa and Vidin, abounding with possible Cumanian names.

[75] So Заимов. Op. cit., 9, who takes this variant of the name to 16th century.

[76] FTHB - 2, p. 247.

[77] So L. Rásonyi. Kuman özel adları. - Türk Kültürü Araştırmaları, 3-6, 1966-1969, 71-144 (see on p. 82-83). The meaning ‘clever, reasonable’ of the word esen is connected semantically with the nickname Belgun of the tsar Asen, which derived probably from the Turk. bilgün ~ bilgin ‘knowing, wise’ (cf. by Ст. Младенов. Потеклото и съставът на среднобълг. Бhлгунь, прекор на царь Асhня I. - Списание на БАН, 45, 1933, 49-66).

[78] Cf. the Lavrentien chronicle under the year 6540 (= 1082): „Осень умре Половечьскый князь“ [‘Osen’ died, the Polovtsian prince’] in Полное Собрание Русских Летописей (PSRL), vol. I, p. 205.

[79] Cf. the Hypatian chronicle under 6615 (= 1107): „и поя Володимер за Юргя Аепину дщерь Осенову внуку [‘and took Volodimer for Yurgi (Georg) the Aepa’s daughter, the Osen’s granddaughter’] (PSRL, II, 282-283).

[80] Прiцак.  Половцi, 115.

[81] The form Osenev is found in the Lavrentiev chronicle (see PSRL, I, 275, 290). After the death of Osen (or Asen) this residence was re-named into Sharukan’ according to the appellation of Sharukan, Sharagan (from *šaraqan ‘dragon’ or from saryγ [šary-] qān Šaru-khan’, i. e. ‘Khan of the [people] Šārī’ or ‘Yellow [central] lord’). He led the clan Ol’berlyu (Olbery, Alp-eri), arrived about 1110 from Central Asia and displaced into the second plan the Assenidian dynasty Kay. The other name of the town, Cheshuev (Cheshyuev, Cheshlyuev from the Russ. чешуя ‘scale’) is connected also with Sharukan.

[82] See Поучение Владимира Мономаха under 6604 (= 1096): „идохом к Беле Вежи и ... избиша 900 Половець и два князя яща Багубарсова брата Асиня и Сакзя“ [‘they went to Sarkel and ... killed off 900 Polovtsians and two princes, Asin and Sak(i)z, who were brothers of Beg-u Bars’] (PSRL, II, 248-249).

[83] Moravcsik. Byzantino-Turcica, II, 73-75; Index.

[84] Cf. Ф. И. Успенский. Болгарскиа Асеневичи на византийской службе. - Известия Русского Археологического Института в Константинопле, 13, 1908, 1-16; see also: Божилов. Фамилията Божилов. Българите.

[85] П. Мутафчиев. Происходот на Асеневци. - Македонски преглед, IV, 4, 1928, 1-42  (see on p. 12, note 4); M. Lăzărescu-Zobian. Cumania as the Name of Thirteenth Century Moldavia and Eastern Wallachia: Some Aspects of Kipchak-Rumanian Relations. - In: Journal of Turkish Studies, 8, 1984 (= Turks, Hungarians and Kipchaks. A Festschrift in Honor of Tibor Halasi-Kun), pp. 265-272 (see on p. 270).

[86] FTHB - 1 (1964), p. 42.

[87] FTHB - 3, p. 400.

[88] FTHB - 2, p. 55.

[89] An another explanation of the name (from Dhu Borğan, Dhu Bruğan ‘masters of Burdjan’) was proposed by M.-M. Alexandrescu-Dersca. L’Origine du nom de la Dobroudja. - In: Contribution Onomastique. Publies ŕ l’occasion du VIe Congrčs international des sciences onomastiques ŕ Munich du 24 au 28 Aoűt 1956. Bucarest, 1956, 97-114.

[90] Rásonyi. Valacho-Turcica, 74; Contribution, 11.

[91] Cf. K. Kadlec. Valaši a valašské právo v zemích slovanských a uherských..- In: Úvoden podávajícím přehled theorii o vzniku rumunského národa. Praha 1916, 451  (quoted after Lăzărescu-Zobian. Cumania, 269).

[92] Cf. Panaitescu. Documentele Ţării Româneşti, t. I, 1938, 145  (quoted after Lăzărescu-Zobian. Cumania, 269).

[93] Заимов. Op. cit., 14, 18.

[94] Cf. the Hypatian chronicle under 6563 (= 1055) приходи Блуш с половци и створи Всеволод мир с ними и возвратишася въсвояси [‘came Bluš with Polovtsians and made Vsevolod peace with them and they returned where they had come from’] (PSRL, I, 162; II, 150).

[95] Conea, Donat. Contribution, 154.

[96] FTHB - 3, p 127.

[97] Rásonyi. Contribution, 11; Tuna, 42; Les anthroponymes, 137; Попов. Кипчаки, 118.

[98] FTHB - 2, p. 471.

[99] FTHB - 1, p. 194.

[100] Rásonyi. Contribution, 11;  Tuna, 420;  Lăzărescu-Zobian. Cumania, 270.

[101] J. Sauvaget. Noms et surnoms de Mamelouks. - JA, 238, 1, 1950, 31-58 (cf. entries nos. 29, 49, 50, 65, 144).

[102] Cf. O. Pritsak. Non-‘Wild’ Polovtsians. - In: To Honor Roman Jakobson. Essays on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, 11 October 1966, Vols. 1-3. The Hague-Paris: Mouton, 1967, vol. II, pp. 1615-1623 (see on p. 1620).

[103] In these regions are to be expected the successors of Cumanian fragmentary groups.

[104] 30 per cent from all proper names in Pernik about the middle of the 15th century shows an eastern, Cumanian or Pechenegian origin. Especially saturated with such forms was once the village Studena.

[105] So for instance the villages Bistritsa, Trebich, Belitsa, Kostinbrod etc.