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A modern Belarusian name of a person consists of three parts: given name, patronymic, and family name (surname), according to the Eastern Slavic naming customs, similar to Russian names and Ukrainian names.

Belarusian given names

As with most cultures, a person has a given name chosen by the parents. First names in East-Slavic languages mostly originate from three sources: Orthodox church tradition (which is itself of Greek origin), Catholic church tradition (which is itself of Latin origin) and native pre-Christian Slavic origin lexicons. Most names have several diminutive forms.

Belarusian family names (surnames)

In Belarus and most of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, surnames first appeared during the late Middle Ages. They initially denoted the differences between various people living in the same town or village and bearing the same name. The conventions were similar to those of English surnames, using occupations, patronymic descent, geographic origins, or personal characteristics.

Belarusian surnames, like those in most of Europe, are hereditary and generally patrilineal, i.e., passed from the father on to his children.

Depending on the region, Belarusian surnames could have a different form and different ending.

One very large group of surnames end with the common Slavonic suffixes -vič (wicz) and -ič (icz) (Daškievič, Šuškievič, Vajciuškievič, Mackievič, Mickievič, Misilevič) or -cki and -ski (feminine form -ckaja and -skaja: Navicki, Kalinoŭski, Pilecki, Rusiecki, Sadoŭski, Caŭłoŭski, Bialaŭski).

One common suffix in surnames is -čuk (Ramančuk, Kačuk, Kavalčuk) or its simplified versions -iuk and -juk (Maliuk, Masiuk).

Another group includes surnames with the suffix -ka, corresponding to the suffix -ko found in Ukrainian names (Łukašenka, Jakavienka, Haponienka), -onak, -jonak (-ionak), -enak (Malašonak, Manionak).

Another suffix is -jenia (-ienia) (Majsienia, Astapienia, Jurčenia, Hierasimienia).

See also

References