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'''What's in a Name? The Etymology of Armenian Surnames'''
 
  
 +
Lecture (online)
  
Curiosity was my first motivation for exploring the subject of Armenian family names. However, I then came to appreciate the diverse nature of Armenian surnames, which appear to cover the gamut of our ancestors’ life activities in the Old Country. I found that many interesting and unusual names cannot be deciphered merely by looking them up in books, but also require a knowledge of the circumstances leading to the formation of such names. In many cases, direct contact with their owners is needed in order to get the insiders’ views. “With names like Chukhasuzian, Haviters, and Soghanyemezian, sometimes I think we Armenians, more than any other ethnic group, possess the most fascinating surnames.
+
I wish to emphasize, first and foremost, that I am not a linguist or philologist, and certainly not an expert on names or languages. I am simply an ordinary fellow who has taken an interest in Armenian surnames. Forty years ago, I started collecting names from church telephone directories and donor lists as a hobby; at first manually, then with the aid of a personal computer. I have collected well over 10,000 names to date. The task of collecting names has been made easier by publication of UNIARTS White Pages in California.
  
 +
Also, what greatly facilitated my work were the dictionaries that were provided me by my daughter, Lucine, and good friend, Cesar Chekijian. Of course, there were many friends who helped me in my work one way or another. Their names are listed at the end of this lecture online.
  
In the late 1970s, I was struck by how many Armenians didn’t know the meaning of their names. For those who were interested, it was a pleasure to conduct research and then pass on the results. I felt gratified in helping people learn more about their names.  
+
Curiosity was my first motivation for exploring the subject of Armenian family names. However, I then came to appreciate the diverse nature of Armenian surnames, which appear to cover the gamut of our ancestors’ life activities in the Old Country. I found that many interesting and unusual names cannot be deciphered merely by looking them up in books, but also require knowledge of the circumstances leading to the formation of such names. In many cases, direct contact with their owners is needed in order to get the insiders’ views. “With names like Chukhasuzian, Haviters, and Soghanyemezian, sometimes I think we Armenians, more than any other ethnic group, possess the most fascinating surnames.
  
 +
In the course of my investigations, I was struck by how many Armenians didn’t know the meaning of their names. When some of them learned of my hobby, they would ask me to find out the meaning of their surnames. I would try to comply with such requests as best as I could, and if I were successful, it would highly please the requestor. For my part, it was a distinct pleasure to conduct research and then pass on the results. I felt gratified in helping people learn more about their names.”
  
Now for my lecture:
+
Now for my lecture
  
'''What's in a Name?  The Etymology of Armenian Surnames'''
+
What's in a Name?  (The Etymology of Armenian Surnames)
  
 +
(Slide #1) – Mother Tongue
  
'''Intro''' - I am a non-expert (not a Linguist or Philologist) on names/ languages. 40 years ago I started collecting names from church directories and donor lists as a hobby. Manually.  Then on personal computer, which made alphabetizing, sorting and editing easier. 7000 names collected to date. The task of collecting names has been made easier by the publication of the Armenian Yellow Pages in California.  
+
Let’ start with the Indo-European language branch of the human language tree. A Mother Tongue, which is unknown, governs the Indo-European branch which includes Armenian.
  
Whenever I came across a particularly unusual name and I knew a person carrying that name, I would ask him what he knew about the provenance of that name. Those who were familiar with the origins of their name would oblige me by telling me what they knew. I had begun writing a column for ''the Armenian Weekly'' newspaper in 1989 but it wasn't until 2004 that I began to include in each week's column an Armenian surname, its definition and background. This resulted in many readers contacting me who wanted to know if I could tell them what their own family names meant, as they didn't know. If I was able to oblige, I did so. And so my ultimate aim evolved from deciphering names for my own pleasure to publishing the results for the interest and pleasure of my fellow Armenians.
+
(Slide #2) --Indo-European Branch
  
 +
Recent scholarship suggests that, contrary to what was believed to be true of the order of languages in the branch, Armenian has now been given a more prominent place.
  
My library has been enhanced by my daughter, Lucine Kasbarian, who furnished me with dictionaries (Albanian-English; Arabic-English; Armenian-English; Assyrian-English; Azerbaijani-English; Georgian-English; Greek-English; Kurdish-English; Persian-English; Turkish-English) and my good friend Cesar Chekijian, who furnished me with Dikran Avedisian's book of Armenian names (''Hayots Azkanuneri Pararan'' (Van Aryan Publishers, Yerevan, Armenia, 2000). I also consult ''The Bilingual Dictionary of Armenian Names'' by Ohannes Hannessian (Shirak Publishing House, Los Angeles, CA, 1990) and a book of Hebrew names, which comes in handy when working with names that have a Biblical background.
+
(Slide #3)--Anatolia
  
 +
Furthermore, it is now believed that the Indo-European model originated in Anatolia, and spread west to Europe, and east to India. Also, it is now believed that, the language spread, not by horseback, as previously assumed, but by farming.
  
'''Indo-European language tree:'''
+
There has been a great deal of interest in the formal adoption of an international language. Esperanto has been considered, but rejected as an artificial one that is deemed undesirable. English, which has become important in international relations, has also been rejected on grounds that it is too difficult to learn.
 
 
(Slide #1) –  Mother Tongue
 
  
(Slide #2) – Indo-European Branch
+
(Slide #4) -- Ough bough, cough, dough, rough, through
  
(Slide #3) – Anatolia
+
Just take a look at these five words that all end with the letters ough. They are all pronounced differently.
  
International language - Esperanto/English?
+
That eminent playwright and music critic, George Bernard Shaw, called English a ridiculous language. He said that he could take a word with the letters ghoti and make it spell fish.
  
(Slide #4) -- Ough – bough, cough, dough, rough, through
+
(Slide #5) -- Ghoti = fish (Shaw)
  
(Slide #5) -- Ghoti = fish (Shaw)
+
He would take the gh from rough for f, the o from women for i, and the ti from nation for sh. Result-- Fish.
  
(Slide #6) -- Margaret Mead; Sol Tax; anthropologists.  
+
(Slide #6) Margaret Mead, Sol Tax, anthropologists.
 
  
Interaction among languages is quite common in history.
+
Anthropologists Margaret Mead and Sol Tax have recommended that Armenian be adopted formally as the international language for two reasons. One is that adoption of the language of a large or prominent country such as England, France or Germany would give that country significant political power. The other is that the proposed language should be relatively easy to learn. Armenia fills the bill in both cases. It is a small country with a small population, and it is easy to learn. With some minor exceptions, the written alphabet provides a single sound for every letter and a single letter for every sound.  
  
French, Italian and Spanish are derived from Latin.
+
Interaction among languages is quite common in history, and all languages borrow from others. Latin borrows from Greek; French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese borrow from Latin; and English borrows from everybody.
  
English is Teutonic in structure, while its vocabulary is 75% French- Latin.
+
Certainly Armenian borrows from the language of other cultures with which contact has been made, notably Persian, Greek, Arabic and Turkish. A language that borrows from others is thereby enriched. Very often, to make a point, a good speaker will have recourse to a borrowed word in preference to a native one. Can it be denied that the most successful English word (if you can call it that) to pervade practically all other world languages is O.K.?
  
 
English has been influenced by the same languages that have influenced Armenian, notably Persian and Arabic.  
 
English has been influenced by the same languages that have influenced Armenian, notably Persian and Arabic.  
  
 +
Persian influence on English can be seen in the following:
 +
Cummerbund: kamarband (waistband)
 +
Orange: naranj (The letter n shifted from a naranj to an orange)
 +
Checkmate: shahmat (The king is dead). (Persian/Arabic)
  
'''Persian influence on English can be seen in the following:'''
+
Arabic influence on English can be seen in the following:
 +
Algebra: al jabra ( reduction of parts to a whole).
 +
Cipher: sifr (zero) Arabic numerals provide a flexibility that Roman numerals cannot. One wonders how the Romans, with their cumbersome numerical system, were able to divide their enemies, and multiply their conquests.
 +
Admiral: amir al bahr (lord of the sea). There’s nothing admirable about an admiral.
  
'''Cummerbund''' = kamarband (waistband)
+
The Turkish influence on English is negligible. All we come away with is Turkish bath, Turkish coffee, Turkish tobacco, Turkish towel, and Turkish delight, none of which are truly Turkish.
  
'''Orange''' = Naranj
+
Armenian has likewise been influenced by interaction with Persian, Arabic, and Turkish.
 +
Armenian use of Persian vocabulary includes, for example:
 +
Gav for gov (cow)
 +
Bakht for pakhd (fortune, luck)
 +
Dad for tad (justice, lawsuit)
  
'''Checkmate''' = Shahmat (The king is dead). (Persian/Arabic)
+
Mardo Soghomian, a former staff member of the Armenian Prelacy of NY, told me that the father of the last Shah of Iran commissioned his scholars to study the Armenian language because he knew there were 200 load words that Armenians borrowed from Persian which were no longer in use by the Persian people. The Shah wanted to restore those words to the Persian language."
  
 +
Krikor Pidedjian, esteemed Armenian Ethnomusicologist, had this to say about Aryan languages: "There is some question as to which language influenced which when it comes to Persian and Armenian. Many people assumed Armenians derived words from the Persians. However, there are just as many words that the Persians derived from the Armenians." One that comes to mind is the word vard for the rose flower. The primary word for rose in Persian is gul, and secondarily vard, which suggests that it came from the Armenian word for rose.
  
'''Arabic influence on English can be seen in the following:'''
+
Armenians, especially in their dialects, make use of Arabic vocabulary –Examples are:
 +
aman (tranquility, peacefulness)
 +
mashallah (beautiful! how strange!),
 +
Haji (pilgrim).
  
'''Algebra''' = al jabra = reduction of parts to a whole
+
Having lived for centuries with the Turks, who occupied the Armenian homeland, it would be remarkable if the Armenians had not adopted many Turkish terms in their everyday speech. Some Turkish words regularly used by Armenians, especially in the towns and cities with mixed populations, are:
 +
chojoukh.(child),
 +
chuplakh (naked),
 +
lahana.(cabbage)
  
'''Cipher''' = zero = sifr, (Roman vs. Arabic numerals) Divide/Multiply (enemies/conquests)
+
However, we tend to give the Turks too much credit for some common terms that most people are familiar with and use in their daily conversation. Examples are:
 +
Finjan (coffee cup)
 +
Jan (life, soul)
 +
Zurna (wind instrument)
  
'''Admiral''' = Amir al bahr = Lord of the sea. (Admirable?)
+
The original source of these words is Persian.
  
 +
We also have:
  
'''The Turkish influence on English is negligible.'''
+
Guzel (graceful)
All we come away with is Turkish Bath, Turkish Towel, Turkish Coffee, and Turkish Delight.
+
Kahve (coffee)
 +
Tanjara (saucepan, pot),  
  
  
'''Armenian has likewise been influenced by interaction with Persian and Arabic.'''
+
The original source of these words is Arabic.
  
'''Armenian use of Persian vocabulary''' – (English – Persian dictionary)
+
Lieutenant Colonel Harry Sachaklian, a career U.S. Air Force officer stationed in Turkey, told me that the only truly Turkish vocabulary consists of military terms. The rest is all borrowed. Now, that may be an overstatement, but there is a germ of truth in it.
 +
Turkish, after all, is a carrier language, the Turks having borrowed from all the cultures in their midst.
 +
My father, Hagop Der Kasbarian, advised me that it was the Armenians who beautified the Turkish language. So, here again, it becomes a question of who influenced whom.
  
List:   anginar,  azad, bakht, bulbul, dard, dushvar, dumbak, gav, haiwan, jins, jan, lubiyah, mard, nishan, pishgir, parishan, panir, pambah, paiman, turshi, tut, yar.
+
What is true of the general vocabulary is also true of surnames.
 +
Examples of Armenian names that contain Persian roots are:
  
Krikor Pidedjian, esteemed Armenian Ethnomusicologist, on Aryan languages: "There is some question as to which language influenced which when it comes to Persian and Armenian. Many people assumed Armenians derived words from the Persian. However, there are just as many words that the Persians derived from the Armenians."
+
Goulkhasian (best variety of rose)
 +
Shahbazian (royal falcon)
 +
Zargarian (jeweler).
  
Armenian staff member at the Armenian Prelacy of NY, Mardig Soghomian: "The father of the last Shah of Iran made a request to scholars. He commissioned them to study the Armenian language because he knew there were 200 load words that Armenians borrowed from Persian which were no longer in use by the Persian people. The Shah wanted to restore those words to the Persian language."
+
In 1969, when I attended a military comptrollership course at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana, there were two foreign service officers in our class, one Korean, and the other Iranian, whose name was Rezvanian. I introduced myself to him, and then began conversing in Armenian. I saw immediately that he did not understand me, so I apologized, and told him that I assumed he was Armenian because of his last name. He then told me that many ethnic Persians have names that end with IAN.
  
Persian names also end in IAN. Example: Rezvanian
+
Examples of names that contain Arabic roots are:  
  
'''Armenian use of Arabic vocabulary''' - (English-Arabic dictionary)
+
Habeshian (native of Abyssinia).
 +
Jelalian (majesty, glory).
 +
Maksoudian (design, intention).
  
List: mashallah (beautiful! how strange!), tabak, (plate, dish), tanjara (saucepan, pot), Haji (pilgrim) vs. Mukhsi (Mahdesi). (Maqdasi-y: Arab.) Mecca vs. Jerusalem. Saatjian vs. Zhamakordzian,
+
Examples of names that contain Turkish roots are:
  
'''Armenian has been heavily influenced by interaction with Turkish, especially in the formation of surnames.'''
+
Boyajian (painter, dyer, or artist.
 +
Deirmenjian (miller)
 +
Kazanjian (kettle, boiler or cauldron maker)
  
'''Armenian use of Turkish vocabulary''' - Preponderance of Armenian surnames possess a Turkish root:  
+
As with the general vocabulary, we tend to assume that many Armenian surnames reflect Turkish roots, when in fact a closer examination reveals that many of them are borrowed from Persian and Arabic which were a significant part of the Ottoman Turkish language,
 +
Examples are:
  
Sources: Lt. Col. H. Sachaklian, (Peynir, sheker); Hagop  Kasbarian -- CK Garabed's father
+
Najjarian (carpenter) from Arabic
 +
Nalbandian (blacksmith specializing in the shoeing of horses) from Persian
 +
Nakashian (engraver) from Arabic
  
'''The Armenians and the Jews'''
+
Because of the length of some Armenian surnames and the difficulty in their pronunciation, some Armenians have changed their family names. In some cases, it was done by removing the "ian" ending, and in others, by adapting to the customs of a new country. This practice has produced some surnames, which are very hard to recognize as being Armenian. Examples are:
 +
Asdvadzadourian changed to Chater, Haroutiunian to Arathoon, and Mgrdich to Mackertich among the Armenian merchants who settled in India.
  
There was a time when people were known by one name, and if necessary to distinguish one from others, would be referred to by trade, location, or parent affiliation. For example, Resartus the tailor, Isaac of York, Abou ben Adhem. Then, some time later, not too long ago, people adopted family or surnames, so we got Herman Miller, Hovsep Shamlian, Jack Johnson.
+
The Armenians and the Jews
  
An interesting parallel can be drawn between the Jews of Germany and the Armenians of Turkey. In both cases, sometime about the eighteenth century, the rulers of those countries mandated the adoption of family names in the language of the host countries. The difference is that whereas the German Jews were often permitted to select their names, the Turkish Armenians were often assigned names by local officials. Thus came about the adoption by Jews of beautiful names, such as: Morgenthau (morning dew), Schoenberg (beautiful mountain), Blumenthal (blooming dale), Mandelbaum (almond tree), Saperstein (sapphire stone). The Armenians, on the other hand, were often as not given uncomplimentary names, in derision. For example: Topalian (lame, crippled), Chirkinian (ugly), Dilsizian (mute, without a tongue), Chukhasuzian (without an overcoat), Jambazian (acrobat, swindler), Tekirian (marked with spots), Zulumian (cruel, oppressive).
+
There was a time when people were known by one name, and if necessary to distinguish one from others, would be referred to by trade, location, or parent affiliation. For example, Resartus the tailor, Isaac of York, Abou ben Adhem. Then, some time later, not too long ago, people adopted family or surnames, so we got Herman Miller, Hovsep Shamlian, Jack Johnson. An interesting parallel can be drawn between the Jews of Germany and the Armenians of Turkey. In both cases, sometime about the eighteenth century, the rulers of those countries mandated the adoption of family names in the language of the host countries. The difference is that whereas the German Jews were often permitted to select their names, the Turkish Armenians were often assigned names by local officials. Thus came about the adoption by Jews of beautiful names, such as: Morgenthau (morning dew), Schoenberg (beautiful mountain), Blumenthal (blooming dale), Mandelbaum (almond tree), Saperstein (sapphire stone). The Armenians, on the other hand, were often as not given uncomplimentary names, in derision. For example:  
 +
Chirkinian (ugly), Dilsizian (without a tongue), Jambazian (swindler), Karabouloudian (black cloud), Tekirian (marked with spots), Topalian (lame, crippled), Zulumian (cruel, oppressive).
  
'''Name Endings'''
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Armenian names may possess endings such as  ian, iantz, oghlu and ov, but their stems
 +
determine their basic meaning, Armenian surnames can be classed generally in seven categories, such as:
  
Armenian names may possess endings such as ian, iantz, oghlu and ov, but their stems reflect royal lineage, trade, geographic location, description, and proper name.
+
Aristocracy
  
'''Examples:'''
+
Armenians who are direct descendants of nobility, such as the "Nakharars", still carry their ancestral family name. These names usually have the ending "ouni". Examples: Arshagouni, Ardzrouni, Rshdouni.
  
'''Lineage:'''
+
Patronymic
 
Abahuni
 
Amaduni
 
Ardzruni (Armenian dynasty; Possessing eagles)
 
Arshaguni (Royal house of King Arshag)
 
Darduni
 
Kachaznuni (Valiant, son of the brave)
 
Marduni ?
 
Pakraduni (Created or given by god – Mihr)
 
Rshduni (Armenian dynasty)
 
  
'''Trade:'''
+
Many Armenian surnames originate from the first name of an ancestor. This practice is very common among all nations of the world. Examples:  
 +
Avedisian,
 +
Garabedian,
 +
Hagopian.
  
Dulgerian, Doghramajian, Marangozian, Najarian, Hiusenian (carpenter)
+
Occupation
Demirjian, Nalbandian, Tarpinian, Chilingirian, Vosgerichian, Kalayjian, Haddad (smith)
 
Kuyumjian, Jafargian (Javahirjian), Koharian (jeweler)
 
Darakjian vs. Sandrakordzian (comb-maker)
 
Tutunjian vs. Tombekjian (tobacconist): common tobacco vs. Persian tobacco for nargile (water-pipe)
 
Deirmenjian vs. Chaghatsbanian (miller)
 
  
'''Geographic location:'''
+
Some Armenian surnames are derived from a person’s profession or trade, or that of an ancestor. These names (most have Arabic, Persian or Turkish origins) were assigned by the taxation officers to help them identify individuals in their own language. Examples:
 +
Bakalian,(grocer)
 +
Najarian,(carpenter)
 +
Tashjian.(stonemason)
  
Lachinian, Marashian, Shamlian, Terjanian, Stamboulian, Bolsetsian.
+
Geographic origin
  
'''Description:'''
+
An Armenian who has migrated from a certain geographic region (city, town or village) in Armenia, was typically given a surname, which was based on his/her geographic origin. Examples:  
 +
Izmirlian,
 +
Marashian,
 +
Vanetsian.
  
Khachadourian (given by the cross), Aznavourian (titan, hero),
+
Physical trait
Melikian (king, prince), Melekian (angel), Manougian (youth), Mangasarian (small mountain),
 
Shahdanian = Shah (king) + dan (house) vs. danil/danel = to take, carry, bear (tolerate)
 
  
'''Proper names:'''
+
A significant number of names are derived from obvious physical characteristic features
 +
The names often are not flattering, but the category is too extensive to be ignored. Examples:  
 +
Bajaksouzian,
 +
Cholakian,
 +
Shashoyan.
  
Davidian, Garabedian, Sahagian, Mesrobian, Hagopian (Jackson).
+
General descriptive
Dadoyan: Thaddeus > Tad > Dad (Karabagh) (Location?)
 
  
'''Names that require "Detective work":'''
+
This is a catch-all category that contains names that do not fit the other categories,
 +
Examples:  
 +
Mampreyan ( fertile, fruitful)
 +
Yotnakhparian ( seven brothers)
 +
Servantsdiantz ( contemporary, up-to-date)
  
Name changes - Bohajian, Kahaumjian.
+
Special circumstances
  
'''Kerbeykian:'''  Kur = grey, buyuk = moustache
+
An interesting category of names is that where some unusual occurrence or circumstance gave rise to the name. Examples:  
 +
Chookaszian,  
 +
Haviters,
 +
Kherdian.
  
(actor) '''Akim Tamiroff''' - (Hovakim Tamirian) - Hovagim: Biblical name, demir: iron.
+
I will explain the meaning of these names later in the lecture.
  
'''Inchighoulian''' = what a giant! vs. inji + goul = pearl rose vs. inji + oghoul = pearl + son.
+
Some obscure  names can be deciphered fairly easily, such as Bohajian for Boyajian,  Kahaumjian for Kouyoumjian, Kerbeykian for Kurbuyukian, which means grey  moustache, and Akim Tamiroff, the name of the noted actor, where Akim is the diminutive for Hovakim, and Tamiroff is the Russian form of Demirjian.
  
'''Shareshian'''  = black silk , according to Nicholas Shareshian
+
There are other names that require extensive detective work in order to get at their meaning.
 +
Shareshian <ar;,;an is a case in point.
 +
According to Nicholas Shareshian, the father of a prominent Dikranagerdtsi family that resided in Union City, New Jersey, the name means black silk. Now, how do you get black silk from Shareshian?
 +
The Turkish word for silk is ipek.
 +
The Arabic and Persian words for silk are abrishoom, abrishim, and ibrishim.
 +
The Armenian word for silk is medaks, which, however, is borrowed from the Greek: word for silk, metaxi.
 +
Well, where do we go from here?
 +
In the course of my perusing an English-Armenian Dictionary published by Prof. Hagopian of Anatolia College, Merzifoun, Turkey, I came across the word for silk sieve, which was sharmagh (,arma[). Further investigation revealed that the Armenian word for silkworm is sheram (,;ram), and that sericulture is sheramapoodzootiun (,;ramabou/oujiun).
  
ipek = (T.) silk
+
Here, then, was an important clue. The shar portion of the  name was validated as meaning silk.
metaqs (medaks) = (Arm.) silk (from Greek: metaxi)
+
Now, what about esh?
aprisoum (abrishoom) = (T.) sewing silk (from Arab: ibrishim)
+
Esh (h,) is Armenian for donkey or ass. Nothing pertinent there.
iprisim (ibrishim) = (Arab.) silk thread (from Persian: abrishum)
+
Esh in Turkish can mean one of a pair; a husband, wife, or mate. Nothing there.
 +
Eshek is Turkish for donkeyor ass. Nothing there, either.
 +
Eshik in Turkish is a doorway threshold, or a violin bridge. In other words, that which is weight-bearing. No connection here, also.
  
seram (sheram) = (Arm.) silkworm
+
I, then, proceeded to check on the various words that were likely to yield the color black.
seramabou/oujiun (sheramapoodzootiun) = (Arm.) sericulture
+
The Armenian word for black is sev (s;w).
sarmaj (sharmagh) = (Arm.) silk-sieve Prof. Hagopian, Anatolia College, Merzifoun, turkey
+
The Turkish word for black is kara. However, ther is a secondary word for black used in Turkish, borrowed by Ottoman Turkish from Persian, and that word is siyah.
 +
Voila!
  
esh (esh) = (Arm.) donkey, ass.
 
esh = (T.) one of a pair; husband, wife, mate
 
eshek = (T.) donkey, ass.
 
eshik = (T.) doorway threshold, violin bridge.
 
 
sew (sev) = (Arm.) black
 
kara =(T.) black
 
 
siyah = (P.) black;  also (T.) black, dark.
 
siyah = (P.) black;  also (T.) black, dark.
  
It is possible that share (of silk in Arm.) plus siyah (black in P.) =
+
It is possible that share (of silk in Arm.)plus siyah (black in P.) =
 
Sharesiyah plus ian = Sharesiyahian, which was contracted to  
 
Sharesiyah plus ian = Sharesiyahian, which was contracted to  
 
Sharesian, subsequently became Shareshian.
 
Sharesian, subsequently became Shareshian.
  
'''Spelling and Country of Origin  (Slide #7)'''
+
Spelling and Country of Origin  (Slide #7)
  
Keshishian vs. Kechichian
+
Keshishian (English) vs. Kechichian (French)
 +
Harutunian (English) vs. Arutunyan (Russian)
 +
Ohanesian (English)  vs. Oganesyan (Russian)
 +
Note:
 +
Hopak (Ukrainian dance) vs. Gopak (Russian)
 +
Horowitz (English)  vs. Gorovetz (Pronounced by Rachmaninoff)
 +
Vapurdjian (Emglish) vs. Vapurciyan (Turkish)
  
Harutunian vs. Arutunian (yan)
 
  
Ohanesian vs. Oganesian (yan)  (Hopak vs. Gopak; Horowitx vs. Gorovetz)
+
Other Strange, Humorous and Unusual Names
  
Vapurdjian vs. Vapurciyan
+
Adjeledjian: (T) Someone always in a hurry
  
'''Intermission (Q & A)'''
+
Altiparmakian (T) One with six fingers. This can be taken literally, or figuratively. Literally: I, myself, in my youth, knew of a dishwasher who worked at the Bergenline Restaurant in Union City, N.J. who had six fingers on each hand. the sixth was a tiny finger adjoining the pinkie finger.
 +
Figuratively: The name would be applied to someone who was possessed of great dexterity, such as a musician who played a string instrument with great skill so as to make one believe that he had six fingers.
  
Other interesting or unusual names:
+
Arkun (T/A) According to Aram Arkun, currently the editor of AGBU’s Literary Quarterly ARARAT, this is his reply to my question about the derivation and meaning of his surname: “My Sepastatsi grandfather’s name was originally Yesai Karageuzian. He is said to have traced his genealogy back 400 years to Van, with clergy in the family tree. Unfortunately, the information is lost to us. My grandfather was a physician in the Turkish army during WW I. For obvious reasons he changed his name to Ismail Shevket. His last name was probably formally changed during the name law in the 1930s to Arkun.. My grandfather was an amateur philologist, and I perceive a correlation between Shevket and Arkun, which latter can be construed as both Armenian and Turkish. Shevket, in Turkish, means majesty, pomp. Arkun, in Armenian, is a form of arka, a term used to describe a king or royalty. Thus, Arkun (or Arkuni) would mean, of the royal court, or, belonging to the king. In Turkish, as far as I know, Arkun has two meanings: soft, gentle; the name of a Mongol Ilkhanid ruler Arghun (the gh sound changed to k in modern Turkish.) For the foregoing reasons, there is only one family group with the name Arkun. As an interesting aside, I would mention that during the 1930s name change law, those who had changed their names earlier now had to register their names. Others were forced to take on new names. For example, a couple on my mother’s side went together to the same registry official. One was given the name Karabulut, black cloud, and the other Siyahbulut, also black cloud, siyah having been borrowed from Persian. The official was apparently playing a cruel joke on the couple by assigning different last names with the same meaning. They had a great deal of difficulty in trying to get the same last name for both husband and wife.”
  
'''Adjeledjian''' (T): Someone always in a hurry
+
Arnavoudian (Al) Eddie Arnavoudian, who is a regular contributor to “Groung” on the Internet, has the following to say about his family name as it was handed down to him: My dad’s side of the family were from an area around Istanbul called Arnavoudkoy or something like that. The area was named after it was settled by emigrants from European Albania called Arnavouds. The Arnavouds were divided in their religion, one part Christian, the other Muslim. How they became Armenianised or why our family adopted this name if they were not actually Arnavouds will remain an eternal mystery.
  
'''Altiparmakian''' (T): One with six fingers. (Interestingly, this name was also given to string musicians who displayed remarkable musical aptitude)
+
Bajaksouzian; (T) Legless; Used to describe a short man.
  
'''Arkun''' (T/A): According to Aram Arkun, currently an editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, this is his reply to my question about the derivation and meaning of his surname:
+
Boynubouroukian (T) One with a twisted neck
  
“My Sepastatsi grandfather’s name was originally Yesai Karageuzian. He is said to have traced his genealogy back 400 years to Van, with clergy in the family tree. Unfortunately, the information is lost to us. My grandfather was a physician in the Turkish army during WW I. For obvious reasons he changed his name to Ismail Shevket. His last name was probably formally changed during the name law in the 1930s to Arkun.. My grandfather was an amateur philologist, and I perceive a correlation between Shevket and Arkun, which latter can be construed as both Armenian and Turkish. Shevket, in Turkish, means majesty, pomp. Arkun, in Armenian, is a form of arka, a term used to describe a king or royalty. Thus, Arkun (or Arkuni) would mean, of the royal court, or, belonging to the king. In Turkish, as far as I know, Arkun has two meanings: soft, gentle; the name of a Mongol Ilkhanid ruler Arghun (the gh sound changed to k in modern Turkish.) For the foregoing reasons, there is only one family group with the name Arkun. As an interesting aside, I would mention that during the 1930s name change law, those who had changed their names earlier now had to register their names. Others were forced to take on new names. For example, a couple on my mother’s side went together to the same registry official. One was given the name Karabulut, black cloud, and the other Siyahbulut, also black cloud, siyah having been borrowed from Persian. The official was apparently playing a cruel joke on the couple by assiging different last names with the same meaning. They had a great deal of difficulty in trying to get the same last name for both husband and wife.
+
Choukhasouzian:  (T) Without a winter overcoat.
 +
Now, chukha in Turkish is a kind of broadcloth used in the manufacture of heavy coats, and thus by extension synonymous with winter overcoat. The suffix suz means without. Thus: without an overcoat. I wasn’t sure if it meant that the bearer of the name could not afford an overcoat, or that he didn’t need one.
 +
It wasn’t until I was introduced by my brother-in-law Ardashes Hamparian to Levon Chookaszian, Professor of Art History at Yerevan State University, when he visited the U.S  that I was able to settle the matter. Levon advised that the name began with a forebear, in Sepastia, where he bravely went out in winter without an overcoat. Levon also stated that all the persons with that name and variations thereof are related, including Lily Chookasian, the famous opera singer.
  
'''Arnavoudian''' (Al): Eddie Arnavoudian, who is a regular contributor to “Groong Armenian News Network” on the Internet, has the following to say about his family name as it was handed down to him:
+
Hajakian: Once there lived a man named Hagop who was a supervisor at the stable of the Padishah of the land. His jovial disposition and assiduous attitude for his work had earned him an unswerving trust of his employer, his master, his king.  The people around him, the Turks, could not pronounce his Armenian name Hagop, instead they called him AKUH. One bright day the Padishah receiveda gift from some prince.  It was a most ravishing, gorgeous looking, a rare breed of an Arabian white horse.  Akuh, the horse keeper,  falls in love with this horse and decides to steal it and ride all the way to Jerusalem.  He disappears for seven years never to be heard from.
 +
 +
The Padishah, realizing that Akuh was more valuable to him than just a horse, issues a Firman (an edict) declaring that he has forgiven Akuh for his misdemeanor and that wherever this Akuh is he should return to the court and resume his work at the stable.
 +
 +
Lo and behold, Akuh returns home with a big welcome to spend the rest of his life as a contrite employee and determined to make up for his mistake.  The horse had passed away but in Jerusalem he becomes emblazoned with a cross tattooed on his wrist thus becoming a Hadji.  The Turks, therafter, call him HADJI AKUH.
 +
 +
Hadji Akuh was Yeghishe Hajakian’s great, great, great, great grandfather.
 +
Yeghishe  was born in Lebanon as Hadjiakuhian (son of Hadji Akuh).  It was too long, so he shortened it to Hajakian.
  
"My dad’s side of the family were from an area around Istanbul called Arnavoudkoy or something like that. The area was named after it was settled by emigrants from European Albania called Arnavouds. The Arnavouds were divided in their religion, one part Christian, the other Muslim. How they became Armenianised or why our family adopted this name if they were not actually Arnavouds will remain an eternal mystery."
+
Haviters: (T) Contrary nap (rug). In the city of Sepastia in Turkish Armenia, there lived and worked two master rug weavers. A wealthy resident of the city wished to have a rug woven and commissioned one of the weavers to do the job. The weaver commenced the work, but when halfway through, died of consumption. The wealthy man who had commissioned the work then approached the other weaver to complete the job. This other master weaver accepted the offer, but being a proud artisan, decided to complete the job his own way. So, instead of picking up where the other had left off, he commenced from the other side and when he had gone for enough, joined the two parts. In doing so he ended up creating a rug with the nap going in opposite directions. This became a source for his being named haviters, hav (khav in old Turkish) meaning nap, and ters meaning contrary. Previously, the family name had been Manougian.
 +
(Compliments of grandson Mircan Haviters of Farmingdale, NY,
 +
whose ancestors moved from Van to Sepastia 1030 years ago.)
  
'''Bajaksuzian''' (T): Legless; short  man
+
Jingabedoghlu (T) A certain family migrated to the U.S.A. from Istanbul, Turkey with this unique name. The original name of the family was Mgrdichian. However, the grandfather, who had a given name of Garabed, earned the name of Jin-Garabed because he was shrewdly intelligent; jinni in Arabian folklore being related to genius. Jin-Garabed was, in time, abbreviated to Jin-Gabed, and thus the family name became Jingabedoghlu, or son of Jingabed.
  
'''Boynubouroukian''' (T): One with a twisted neck
+
Kanayan  (T) Blood. From Khudaverdi in the Lake urmia region came 5 brothers to Igdir. They were a rough crowd, and became land barons; then became respectable.
 +
(Compliments of Mardig Kanayan, son of General Dro.)
  
'''Chekijian,''' a relative of author Puzant Granian: Chekich vs. cheki (500 lbs for measuring firewood – a horseload).  
+
Kavazanjian (A/P) Staff/cane maker or seller. [Minas Arakelian suggests that
 +
kavazan is derived from the Persian words gav for cow, and asa for rod or stick.  
 +
thus, a cow prod.
  
'''Chukhasuzian''' (T): Without a winter overcoat
+
This reminds me of a (Nasreddin Khoja  Tale. Someone who was skeptical of Khoja’s reputation as agreat teacher, decide to put him to the test by asking, “What do you calla baby caw?” to which Khoja replied, “We don’t call it anything. We wait for it to grow up and then call it a cow.”
  
'''Dilimetin''' (T): Firm, strong tongue; Trustworthy
+
Kherdian (T) Truncation of kherd-kach: break and run
 +
The Kherdian sub-clan traces back to a common ancestor. The name of the entire clan was Bakaian. One part of the clan became Kherdian as a result of the following event:
 +
Garabed Kherdian, was a carpenter by trade. One day a Turk from a neighboring village came to Khulakugh (a village near Kharpert City) and asked Grandfather Garabed to make and hang a door for him. When the job was completed, Grandfather Garabed went to see the Turk to get paid. The Turk told him that he did not have the money that day and that Grandfather should come back another day. Each time Grandfather went to see the Turk to get paid, he got the same answer. Finally, he was convinced that the Turk had no intention of paying him.
 +
So Garabed came up with a plan. Late one night, he along with his brothers and cousins went to this Turkish village. While everyone was sound asleep, they chopped down the door and fled. As they were fleeing, the Turks woke startled and started screaming “kherduh khashduh” which in Turkish dialect means “destroyed and fled.”
 +
(Compliments of Charles (Garabed) Hardy of Racine, Wisconsin).
  
'''Geuzugeutchugian''' (T): Small or deep-set eyes
+
Kherlopian (Ab/T) Hayir: good, lop: bolt (food)  One who swallows food by the
 +
mouthful; a gourmand.
  
'''Hajian''' (Mecca) vs. Mukhsian, Mahdesian, Mahdesi, Maqdis-y (Jerusalem)
+
Kulaksouzian (T) Literally, without an ear; figuratively, having no ear for music.
  
'''Iguidbashian (T) Iguid:''' Var.of Yighit: brave. Bash: head; leader of brave men; (formerly) man responsible for carrying out the regulations of a guild.
+
Mghtsavanchian (A) One who dreams nightmares. According to Angel Manoogian, there is a family in Florida by that name.)
  
'''Jafargian''' (T): From Javahirji: Jeweler, gemologist
+
Soghanyemezian (T) One who does not eat onions.
  
'''Jingabedoghlu''' (T): A certain family migrated to the U.S.A. from Istanbul, Turkey with this unique name. The original name of the family was Mgrdichian. However, the grandfather, who had a given name of Garabed, earned the name of Jin-Garabed because he was shrewdly intelligent; jinni in Arabian folklore being related to genius. Jin-Garabed was, in time, abbreviated to Jin-Gabed, and thus the family name became Jingabedoghlu, or son of Jingabed.
+
Srmakeshkhanlian (T) Owner/worker of a factory where gold/silver thread is drawn.
  
'''Kantzian''' (A): Treasure. However, really Khantzian (T) Native of village of Khan to Sepastia
+
Tahtaburunian  (T) Wooden nose or beak. (In the event the reader is skeptical of
 +
such a thing as an artificial nose, he is reminded of Tycho Brahe, 16th century
 +
Danish astronomer, who lost part of his nose in a duel, and was fitted with a
 +
golden one.)
 +
 +
Figuratively, it can be construed to mean someone who has no sense of smell, or
 +
even one with low self esteem, as nose was considered a symbol of pride.
  
'''Kanayan''' (T): Blood. From Khudaverdi in the Lake urmia region came 5 brothers to Igdir. They were a
+
Tazian (T) Greyhound  Retriever for Turkish hunters. (Compliments of Zohrab Tazian).
rough crowd, and became land barons; then became respectable.(Mardig Kanayan, son of General Dro.)
 
  
'''Kavazanjian''' (A/T/A): Stick, staff, cane.P-gav + asa –prod/urge cow on path to meadow
+
Terlemezian: (T) One who does not sweat. (I can imagine Dajad Terlemezian, when given orders to dispose of Davo the Traitor, saying, “No sweat!”
(Nasreddin Khoja - baby cow)
+
Legend has it that an invading shah of Persia taxed the citizens of Van so severely that when they met every fresh demand of his he was prompted to say, “Don’t these people sweat?” According to Dajad, Terlemezian is a Turkification of Talamazi.
 +
His ancestors from Van were advisors to royalty, and the symbol of their sagacity was the long hair that they displayed. Thus they were referred to as talamazi, which, it is conjectured, was a truncation of talarmazi, where talar, in Armenian, is deemed as verdant, and maz as hair. In many cultures  long hair was a sign of nobility. The Parthians and Persiacs of high rank wore long flowing hair.
 +
(Compliments of Arpi Haroutunian, Dajad’s granddaughter.).
  
'''Kiledjian''' (T): (Kile: measure of capacity just over a bushel) – Weighmaster.
+
Tololian- Corruption of Tel Volor (thread spinner), a name bestowed on the great great grandmother of Khachig Totolian, professor of history at Wesleyan U., and the son of Minas Teoleolian, former editor of the Hairenik Daily. Before that, the family name was Sarkisyan. Totolian is a name unique to that family and Khachig is the last of the line.
  
'''Mghtsavanchian''' (A): Nightmare.(Family in Florida per Angel Manoogian)
+
Now, you might ask why people perpetuate strange, unusual or even uncomplimentary names. After all, it’s easy to just change them by adaptation. I’ve known Armenians who have done so: Fourounjian to Baker; Baghchajian to Gardner; Kaprielian to Gabriel; and Terzian to Taylor.Well, people often are attached to their names because it gives them a sense of continuity and tradition. There’s also the desire to honor their martyrs by perpetuating the memory of their identity as Armenian Christians. We should be grateful to our fellow Armenians for having retained them as eloquent historical testimony to the oppression suffered by the Armenians at the hands of the Turks. It’s fortunate for me that Armenians have hung on to their names; otherwise I wouldn’t be here talking to you today.
  
'''Oulouhojian''' (Wolohojian) T: ulu: high, great; Hoja: Moslem teacher, priest (Avak Kahana)
+
I’m reminded of a story in this regard:
 +
An American citizen of Armenian extraction wished to legally change his name, and in applying to the court of jurisdiction, appeared for a hearing before a judge. The judge addressed the applicant, “I understand you wish to change your name. What is it?” The applicant replied, “Jack Beshigtadhlian.” The judge replied, “I don;t blame you. What do you wish to change it to?” The applicant replied, “Joe Beshigtashlian.”
  
'''Soghanyemezian''' (T): One who does not eat onions
+
Until now, I had not published a book on Armenian surnames, but my daughter, Lucine, had a few pages on names in her book on Armenia. (Slide #8)  
  
'''Tazian''': – Greyhound (Retriever for Turkish hunters.)
+
Acknowledgments
 +
The author thanks the following named individuals for their kind and valuable assistance:
  
'''Terlemezian''' (T): One who does not sweat. Folklore has it that Armenian fedayee Dajad Terlemezian carried out his assignments without a sweat. Legend has it that an invading shah of Persia taxed the citizens of Van so severely that when they met every fresh demand of his, he was prompted to say, “Don’t these people sweat?” (Dajad Terlemezian's granddaughter, Arpi Haroutunian, says that: "Terlemezian is a Turkification of Talamazi: those with long-hair in the current sense of intellectual, who were also guards of the Armenian rulers of former times."
+
Mr. George Aghjayan
 +
Mr. Aram Arkun
 +
Mr. Eddie Arnavoudian
 +
Mr. Armen Aroyan
 +
Prof. George Bournoutian
 +
Ms. Arevig Caprielian
 +
Mr. Cesar Chekijian
 +
Prof. Levon Chookaszian
 +
Prof. Levon Chorbajian
 +
Ms. Joyce Chorbajian
 +
Mr. Zaven Dadekian
 +
Ms Arpie Dadoyan
 +
Mr Joseph Dagdigian
 +
Mr. Bedros Der Bedrisian
 +
Mr. Onnik Dinkjian
 +
Mr. Yeghishe Hajakian
 +
Mr. Charles Hardy
 +
Ms Arpi Haroutunian
 +
Mr. Mircan Haviters
 +
Mr. Appo Jabarian
 +
Mr. Hrach Kalsahakian
 +
Mr. Mardig Kanayan
 +
Mr. Aram Khatchadourian
 +
Mr. Stepan Karadian
 +
Mr. Antranig Kasbarian
 +
Ms. Lucine Kasbarian
 +
Mr. Armen Lucas
 +
Dr. Herand Markarian
 +
Mr. Ashot Merijanian
 +
Dr. Krikor Pidedjian
 +
Ms. Alice Sachaklian
 +
Mr. Emil Sanamyan
 +
Mr. Richard Shareshian
 +
Mr. Vahe Surenian
 +
Mr. Zohrab Tazian
 +
Prof. Khachig Tololyan
 +
Ms. Shakeh Torigian
 +
Mr. Jirayr Tutunjian
 +
Mr. Alfred Yeznaian
  
'''Tololian''': Corruption of Tel Volor (thread spinner), a name bestowed on the great great grandmother of Khachig Tololyan, professor of history at Wesleyan University, and the son of Minas Teoleolian, former editor of the Hairenik Daily. Before that, the family name was Sarkisyan. Totolian is a name unique to that family and Khachig is the last of the line.
+
Note: This lecture, with modifications, was delivered on the following dates, at the given locations:
 
+
St. Thomas Armenian Church Men’s Club 2001
'''Vapurciyan''': Vapur = steamship, vapurji = S.S. builder, owner, operator, crewmember.
+
Armenian American Health professionals Organization 2003
 
+
Armenian Presbyterian Church Ladies’ Guild 2004
'''Hajakian''':  (As told to me by Mr. Yeghishe Hajakian)
 
 
 
"Once there lived a man named Hagop who was a supervisor at the stable of the Padishah of the land. His jovial disposition and assiduous attitude for his work had earned him an unswerving trust of his employer, his master, his king.  The people around him, the Turks, could not pronounce his Armenian name Hagop, instead they called him AKUH.
 
 
One bright day the Padishah receives a gift from some prince.  It was a most ravishing, gorgeous looking, a rare breed of an Arabian white horse.  Akuh, the horse keeper,  falls in love with this horse and decides to steal it and ride all the way to Jerusalem.  He disappears for seven years never to be heard from.
 
 
The Padishah, realizing that Akuh was more valuable to him than just a horse, issues a Firman (an edict) declaring that he has forgiven Akuh for his misdemeanor and that wherever this Akuh is he should return to the court and resume his work at the stable.
 
 
Lo and behold, Akuh returns home with a big welcome to spend the rest of his life as a contrite employee and determined to make up for his mistake. The horse had passed away but in Jerusalem he becomes emblazoned with a cross tattooed on his wrist thus becoming a Hadji.  The Turks, therafter, call him HADJI AKUH."
 
 
Hadji Akuh was Yeghishe’s great, great, great, great, great grandfather.
 
 
Yeghishe was born in Lebanon as Hadjiakuian (son of Hadji Akuh).  It was too long, so he shortened it to Hajakian.
 
 
 
'''Haviters''' (T): Contrary nap (rug). In the city of Sepastia in Turkish Armenia, there lived and worked two master rug weavers. A wealthy resident of the city wished to have a rug woven and commissioned one of the weavers to do the job. The weaver commenced the work, but when halfway through, died of consumption. The wealthy man who had commissioned the work then approached the other weaver to complete the job. This other master weaver accepted the offer, but being a proud artisan, decided to complete the job his own way. So, instead of picking up where the other had left off, he commenced from the other side and when he had gone for enough, joined the two parts. In doing so he ended up creating a rug with the nap going in opposite directions. This became a source for his being named haviters, hav (khav in old Turkish) meaning nap, and ters meaning contrary. Previously, the family name had been Manougian.
 
(Background compliments of great grandson Mircan Haviters of Farmingdale, NY, whose ancestors moved from Van to Sepastia 1030 years ago.) (Armenian Heritage Cruise VIII)
 
 
 
Now, you might ask why people perpetuate strange, unusual or even uncomplimentary names. After all, it’s easy to just change them by adaptation. I’ve known Armenians who have done so: Fourounjian to Baker; Baghchajian to Gardner; Kaprielian to Gabriel; and Terzian to Taylor.
 
  
Well, people often are attached to their names because it gives them a sense of continuity and tradition. There’s also the desire to honor their martyrs by perpetuating the memory of their identity as Armenian Christians. We should be grateful to our fellow Armenians for having retained them as eloquent historical testimony to the oppression suffered by the Armenians at the hands of the Turks. It’s fortunate for me that Armenians have hung on to their names; otherwise I wouldn’t be here talking to you today.
+
Armenian Cultural Association of America AHC 2006
 
+
Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs Ladies’ Guild 2006
An Armenian appears in court in connection with an application he made for a legal name change. The presiding judge asks, "What is your current name?" The applicant replies, "Joe Beshigtashlian." The judge says, "I don't blame you for wishing to change your name. What name do you wish to change it to?" The applicant replies, "Jack Beshigtashlian."
+
St. Leon Armenian Church Men’s Fellowship 2007
+
American Armenian Social Club of Ocean County 2008
I have not published anything on Armenian names, but my daughter, Lucine, has a few passages on names in her book about Armenia. (Slide #8)
+
Hamazkayin Eastern Region and St. Illuminatpr’s Armenian Cathedral 2018
 
 
I wish to publicly thank the Organizing Committee including Messrs Bandazian and DerBedrosian, and all those who have been helpful in sharing their knowledge with me. The following individuals in particular provided me with a great deal of assistance and I am indebted to them: Mr. Cesar Chekijian; Ms. Arpie Dadoyan; Mr. Onnik Dinkjian; Mr. Aram Khachadourian; Dr. Herand Markarian; Mr. Ashot Merijanian; Mr. Vahe Surenian; Mr. Jirair Tutunjian; and Mr. Alfred Yeznaian.
 
 
 
Note: This lecture, with modifications, was delivered on the following dates, at the given locations:
 
  
St. Thomas 2001
+
To carry out his work, CK Garabed routinely consults dictionaries (Arabic, Armenian, Aramaic, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Greek, Kurdish, Persian, Turkish), Tigran Avetisyan’s book of Armenian names (Hayots Azkanuneri Pararan) Aryan Publishers, Yerevan, Armenia, 2000); and many other works.
AAHPO 2003
 
APCLG 2004
 
ACAA 2006
 
HMLG 2006
 
St. Leon 2007
 
AASCO 2008
 

Revision as of 23:25, 23 October 2018

Lecture (online)

I wish to emphasize, first and foremost, that I am not a linguist or philologist, and certainly not an expert on names or languages. I am simply an ordinary fellow who has taken an interest in Armenian surnames. Forty years ago, I started collecting names from church telephone directories and donor lists as a hobby; at first manually, then with the aid of a personal computer. I have collected well over 10,000 names to date. The task of collecting names has been made easier by publication of UNIARTS White Pages in California.

Also, what greatly facilitated my work were the dictionaries that were provided me by my daughter, Lucine, and good friend, Cesar Chekijian. Of course, there were many friends who helped me in my work one way or another. Their names are listed at the end of this lecture online.

Curiosity was my first motivation for exploring the subject of Armenian family names. However, I then came to appreciate the diverse nature of Armenian surnames, which appear to cover the gamut of our ancestors’ life activities in the Old Country. I found that many interesting and unusual names cannot be deciphered merely by looking them up in books, but also require knowledge of the circumstances leading to the formation of such names. In many cases, direct contact with their owners is needed in order to get the insiders’ views. “With names like Chukhasuzian, Haviters, and Soghanyemezian, sometimes I think we Armenians, more than any other ethnic group, possess the most fascinating surnames.”

In the course of my investigations, I was struck by how many Armenians didn’t know the meaning of their names. When some of them learned of my hobby, they would ask me to find out the meaning of their surnames. I would try to comply with such requests as best as I could, and if I were successful, it would highly please the requestor. For my part, it was a distinct pleasure to conduct research and then pass on the results. I felt gratified in helping people learn more about their names.”

Now for my lecture –

What's in a Name? (The Etymology of Armenian Surnames)

(Slide #1) – Mother Tongue

Let’ start with the Indo-European language branch of the human language tree. A Mother Tongue, which is unknown, governs the Indo-European branch which includes Armenian.

(Slide #2) --Indo-European Branch

Recent scholarship suggests that, contrary to what was believed to be true of the order of languages in the branch, Armenian has now been given a more prominent place.

(Slide #3)--Anatolia

Furthermore, it is now believed that the Indo-European model originated in Anatolia, and spread west to Europe, and east to India. Also, it is now believed that, the language spread, not by horseback, as previously assumed, but by farming.

There has been a great deal of interest in the formal adoption of an international language. Esperanto has been considered, but rejected as an artificial one that is deemed undesirable. English, which has become important in international relations, has also been rejected on grounds that it is too difficult to learn.

(Slide #4) -- Ough – bough, cough, dough, rough, through

Just take a look at these five words that all end with the letters ough. They are all pronounced differently.

That eminent playwright and music critic, George Bernard Shaw, called English a ridiculous language. He said that he could take a word with the letters ghoti and make it spell fish.

(Slide #5) -- Ghoti = fish (Shaw)

He would take the gh from rough for f, the o from women for i, and the ti from nation for sh. Result-- Fish.

(Slide #6) – Margaret Mead, Sol Tax, anthropologists.

Anthropologists Margaret Mead and Sol Tax have recommended that Armenian be adopted formally as the international language for two reasons. One is that adoption of the language of a large or prominent country such as England, France or Germany would give that country significant political power. The other is that the proposed language should be relatively easy to learn. Armenia fills the bill in both cases. It is a small country with a small population, and it is easy to learn. With some minor exceptions, the written alphabet provides a single sound for every letter and a single letter for every sound.

Interaction among languages is quite common in history, and all languages borrow from others. Latin borrows from Greek; French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese borrow from Latin; and English borrows from everybody.

Certainly Armenian borrows from the language of other cultures with which contact has been made, notably Persian, Greek, Arabic and Turkish. A language that borrows from others is thereby enriched. Very often, to make a point, a good speaker will have recourse to a borrowed word in preference to a native one. Can it be denied that the most successful English word (if you can call it that) to pervade practically all other world languages is O.K.?

English has been influenced by the same languages that have influenced Armenian, notably Persian and Arabic.

Persian influence on English can be seen in the following: Cummerbund: kamarband (waistband) Orange: naranj (The letter n shifted from a naranj to an orange) Checkmate: shahmat (The king is dead). (Persian/Arabic)

Arabic influence on English can be seen in the following: Algebra: al jabra ( reduction of parts to a whole). Cipher: sifr (zero) Arabic numerals provide a flexibility that Roman numerals cannot. One wonders how the Romans, with their cumbersome numerical system, were able to divide their enemies, and multiply their conquests. Admiral: amir al bahr (lord of the sea). There’s nothing admirable about an admiral.

The Turkish influence on English is negligible. All we come away with is Turkish bath, Turkish coffee, Turkish tobacco, Turkish towel, and Turkish delight, none of which are truly Turkish.

Armenian has likewise been influenced by interaction with Persian, Arabic, and Turkish. Armenian use of Persian vocabulary includes, for example: Gav for gov (cow) Bakht for pakhd (fortune, luck) Dad for tad (justice, lawsuit)

Mardo Soghomian, a former staff member of the Armenian Prelacy of NY, told me that the father of the last Shah of Iran commissioned his scholars to study the Armenian language because he knew there were 200 load words that Armenians borrowed from Persian which were no longer in use by the Persian people. The Shah wanted to restore those words to the Persian language."

Krikor Pidedjian, esteemed Armenian Ethnomusicologist, had this to say about Aryan languages: "There is some question as to which language influenced which when it comes to Persian and Armenian. Many people assumed Armenians derived words from the Persians. However, there are just as many words that the Persians derived from the Armenians." One that comes to mind is the word vard for the rose flower. The primary word for rose in Persian is gul, and secondarily vard, which suggests that it came from the Armenian word for rose.

Armenians, especially in their dialects, make use of Arabic vocabulary –Examples are: aman (tranquility, peacefulness) mashallah (beautiful! how strange!), Haji (pilgrim).

Having lived for centuries with the Turks, who occupied the Armenian homeland, it would be remarkable if the Armenians had not adopted many Turkish terms in their everyday speech. Some Turkish words regularly used by Armenians, especially in the towns and cities with mixed populations, are: chojoukh.(child), chuplakh (naked), lahana.(cabbage)

However, we tend to give the Turks too much credit for some common terms that most people are familiar with and use in their daily conversation. Examples are: Finjan (coffee cup) Jan (life, soul) Zurna (wind instrument)

The original source of these words is Persian.

We also have:

Guzel (graceful) Kahve (coffee) Tanjara (saucepan, pot),


The original source of these words is Arabic.

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Sachaklian, a career U.S. Air Force officer stationed in Turkey, told me that the only truly Turkish vocabulary consists of military terms. The rest is all borrowed. Now, that may be an overstatement, but there is a germ of truth in it. Turkish, after all, is a carrier language, the Turks having borrowed from all the cultures in their midst. My father, Hagop Der Kasbarian, advised me that it was the Armenians who beautified the Turkish language. So, here again, it becomes a question of who influenced whom.

What is true of the general vocabulary is also true of surnames. Examples of Armenian names that contain Persian roots are:

Goulkhasian (best variety of rose) Shahbazian (royal falcon) Zargarian (jeweler).

In 1969, when I attended a military comptrollership course at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana, there were two foreign service officers in our class, one Korean, and the other Iranian, whose name was Rezvanian. I introduced myself to him, and then began conversing in Armenian. I saw immediately that he did not understand me, so I apologized, and told him that I assumed he was Armenian because of his last name. He then told me that many ethnic Persians have names that end with IAN.

Examples of names that contain Arabic roots are:

Habeshian (native of Abyssinia). Jelalian (majesty, glory). Maksoudian (design, intention).

Examples of names that contain Turkish roots are:

Boyajian (painter, dyer, or artist. Deirmenjian (miller) Kazanjian (kettle, boiler or cauldron maker)

As with the general vocabulary, we tend to assume that many Armenian surnames reflect Turkish roots, when in fact a closer examination reveals that many of them are borrowed from Persian and Arabic which were a significant part of the Ottoman Turkish language, Examples are:

Najjarian (carpenter) from Arabic Nalbandian (blacksmith specializing in the shoeing of horses) from Persian Nakashian (engraver) from Arabic

Because of the length of some Armenian surnames and the difficulty in their pronunciation, some Armenians have changed their family names. In some cases, it was done by removing the "ian" ending, and in others, by adapting to the customs of a new country. This practice has produced some surnames, which are very hard to recognize as being Armenian. Examples are: Asdvadzadourian changed to Chater, Haroutiunian to Arathoon, and Mgrdich to Mackertich among the Armenian merchants who settled in India.

The Armenians and the Jews

There was a time when people were known by one name, and if necessary to distinguish one from others, would be referred to by trade, location, or parent affiliation. For example, Resartus the tailor, Isaac of York, Abou ben Adhem. Then, some time later, not too long ago, people adopted family or surnames, so we got Herman Miller, Hovsep Shamlian, Jack Johnson. An interesting parallel can be drawn between the Jews of Germany and the Armenians of Turkey. In both cases, sometime about the eighteenth century, the rulers of those countries mandated the adoption of family names in the language of the host countries. The difference is that whereas the German Jews were often permitted to select their names, the Turkish Armenians were often assigned names by local officials. Thus came about the adoption by Jews of beautiful names, such as: Morgenthau (morning dew), Schoenberg (beautiful mountain), Blumenthal (blooming dale), Mandelbaum (almond tree), Saperstein (sapphire stone). The Armenians, on the other hand, were often as not given uncomplimentary names, in derision. For example: Chirkinian (ugly), Dilsizian (without a tongue), Jambazian (swindler), Karabouloudian (black cloud), Tekirian (marked with spots), Topalian (lame, crippled), Zulumian (cruel, oppressive).

Armenian names may possess endings such as ian, iantz, oghlu and ov, but their stems determine their basic meaning, Armenian surnames can be classed generally in seven categories, such as:

Aristocracy

Armenians who are direct descendants of nobility, such as the "Nakharars", still carry their ancestral family name. These names usually have the ending "ouni". Examples: Arshagouni, Ardzrouni, Rshdouni.

Patronymic

Many Armenian surnames originate from the first name of an ancestor. This practice is very common among all nations of the world. Examples: Avedisian, Garabedian, Hagopian.

Occupation

Some Armenian surnames are derived from a person’s profession or trade, or that of an ancestor. These names (most have Arabic, Persian or Turkish origins) were assigned by the taxation officers to help them identify individuals in their own language. Examples: Bakalian,(grocer) Najarian,(carpenter) Tashjian.(stonemason)

Geographic origin

An Armenian who has migrated from a certain geographic region (city, town or village) in Armenia, was typically given a surname, which was based on his/her geographic origin. Examples: Izmirlian, Marashian, Vanetsian.

Physical trait

A significant number of names are derived from obvious physical characteristic features The names often are not flattering, but the category is too extensive to be ignored. Examples: Bajaksouzian, Cholakian, Shashoyan.

General descriptive

This is a catch-all category that contains names that do not fit the other categories, Examples: Mampreyan ( fertile, fruitful) Yotnakhparian ( seven brothers) Servantsdiantz ( contemporary, up-to-date)

Special circumstances

An interesting category of names is that where some unusual occurrence or circumstance gave rise to the name. Examples: Chookaszian, Haviters, Kherdian.

I will explain the meaning of these names later in the lecture.

Some obscure names can be deciphered fairly easily, such as Bohajian for Boyajian, Kahaumjian for Kouyoumjian, Kerbeykian for Kurbuyukian, which means grey moustache, and Akim Tamiroff, the name of the noted actor, where Akim is the diminutive for Hovakim, and Tamiroff is the Russian form of Demirjian.

There are other names that require extensive detective work in order to get at their meaning. Shareshian <ar;,;an is a case in point. According to Nicholas Shareshian, the father of a prominent Dikranagerdtsi family that resided in Union City, New Jersey, the name means black silk. Now, how do you get black silk from Shareshian? The Turkish word for silk is ipek. The Arabic and Persian words for silk are abrishoom, abrishim, and ibrishim. The Armenian word for silk is medaks, which, however, is borrowed from the Greek: word for silk, metaxi. Well, where do we go from here? In the course of my perusing an English-Armenian Dictionary published by Prof. Hagopian of Anatolia College, Merzifoun, Turkey, I came across the word for silk sieve, which was sharmagh (,arma[). Further investigation revealed that the Armenian word for silkworm is sheram (,;ram), and that sericulture is sheramapoodzootiun (,;ramabou/oujiun).

Here, then, was an important clue. The shar portion of the name was validated as meaning silk. Now, what about esh? Esh (h,) is Armenian for donkey or ass. Nothing pertinent there. Esh in Turkish can mean one of a pair; a husband, wife, or mate. Nothing there. Eshek is Turkish for donkeyor ass. Nothing there, either. Eshik in Turkish is a doorway threshold, or a violin bridge. In other words, that which is weight-bearing. No connection here, also.

I, then, proceeded to check on the various words that were likely to yield the color black. The Armenian word for black is sev (s;w). The Turkish word for black is kara. However, ther is a secondary word for black used in Turkish, borrowed by Ottoman Turkish from Persian, and that word is siyah. Voila!

siyah = (P.) black; also (T.) black, dark.

It is possible that share (of silk in Arm.)plus siyah (black in P.) = Sharesiyah plus ian = Sharesiyahian, which was contracted to Sharesian, subsequently became Shareshian.

Spelling and Country of Origin (Slide #7)

Keshishian (English) vs. Kechichian (French) Harutunian (English) vs. Arutunyan (Russian) Ohanesian (English) vs. Oganesyan (Russian) Note: Hopak (Ukrainian dance) vs. Gopak (Russian) Horowitz (English) vs. Gorovetz (Pronounced by Rachmaninoff) Vapurdjian (Emglish) vs. Vapurciyan (Turkish)


Other Strange, Humorous and Unusual Names

Adjeledjian: (T) Someone always in a hurry

Altiparmakian (T) One with six fingers. This can be taken literally, or figuratively. Literally: I, myself, in my youth, knew of a dishwasher who worked at the Bergenline Restaurant in Union City, N.J. who had six fingers on each hand. the sixth was a tiny finger adjoining the pinkie finger. Figuratively: The name would be applied to someone who was possessed of great dexterity, such as a musician who played a string instrument with great skill so as to make one believe that he had six fingers.

Arkun (T/A) According to Aram Arkun, currently the editor of AGBU’s Literary Quarterly ARARAT, this is his reply to my question about the derivation and meaning of his surname: “My Sepastatsi grandfather’s name was originally Yesai Karageuzian. He is said to have traced his genealogy back 400 years to Van, with clergy in the family tree. Unfortunately, the information is lost to us. My grandfather was a physician in the Turkish army during WW I. For obvious reasons he changed his name to Ismail Shevket. His last name was probably formally changed during the name law in the 1930s to Arkun.. My grandfather was an amateur philologist, and I perceive a correlation between Shevket and Arkun, which latter can be construed as both Armenian and Turkish. Shevket, in Turkish, means majesty, pomp. Arkun, in Armenian, is a form of arka, a term used to describe a king or royalty. Thus, Arkun (or Arkuni) would mean, of the royal court, or, belonging to the king. In Turkish, as far as I know, Arkun has two meanings: soft, gentle; the name of a Mongol Ilkhanid ruler Arghun (the gh sound changed to k in modern Turkish.) For the foregoing reasons, there is only one family group with the name Arkun. As an interesting aside, I would mention that during the 1930s name change law, those who had changed their names earlier now had to register their names. Others were forced to take on new names. For example, a couple on my mother’s side went together to the same registry official. One was given the name Karabulut, black cloud, and the other Siyahbulut, also black cloud, siyah having been borrowed from Persian. The official was apparently playing a cruel joke on the couple by assigning different last names with the same meaning. They had a great deal of difficulty in trying to get the same last name for both husband and wife.”

Arnavoudian (Al) Eddie Arnavoudian, who is a regular contributor to “Groung” on the Internet, has the following to say about his family name as it was handed down to him: My dad’s side of the family were from an area around Istanbul called Arnavoudkoy or something like that. The area was named after it was settled by emigrants from European Albania called Arnavouds. The Arnavouds were divided in their religion, one part Christian, the other Muslim. How they became Armenianised or why our family adopted this name if they were not actually Arnavouds will remain an eternal mystery.

Bajaksouzian; (T) Legless; Used to describe a short man.

Boynubouroukian (T) One with a twisted neck

Choukhasouzian: (T) Without a winter overcoat. Now, chukha in Turkish is a kind of broadcloth used in the manufacture of heavy coats, and thus by extension synonymous with winter overcoat. The suffix suz means without. Thus: without an overcoat. I wasn’t sure if it meant that the bearer of the name could not afford an overcoat, or that he didn’t need one. It wasn’t until I was introduced by my brother-in-law Ardashes Hamparian to Levon Chookaszian, Professor of Art History at Yerevan State University, when he visited the U.S that I was able to settle the matter. Levon advised that the name began with a forebear, in Sepastia, where he bravely went out in winter without an overcoat. Levon also stated that all the persons with that name and variations thereof are related, including Lily Chookasian, the famous opera singer.

Hajakian: Once there lived a man named Hagop who was a supervisor at the stable of the Padishah of the land. His jovial disposition and assiduous attitude for his work had earned him an unswerving trust of his employer, his master, his king. The people around him, the Turks, could not pronounce his Armenian name Hagop, instead they called him AKUH. One bright day the Padishah receiveda gift from some prince. It was a most ravishing, gorgeous looking, a rare breed of an Arabian white horse. Akuh, the horse keeper, falls in love with this horse and decides to steal it and ride all the way to Jerusalem. He disappears for seven years never to be heard from.

The Padishah, realizing that Akuh was more valuable to him than just a horse, issues a Firman (an edict) declaring that he has forgiven Akuh for his misdemeanor and that wherever this Akuh is he should return to the court and resume his work at the stable.

Lo and behold, Akuh returns home with a big welcome to spend the rest of his life as a contrite employee and determined to make up for his mistake. The horse had passed away but in Jerusalem he becomes emblazoned with a cross tattooed on his wrist thus becoming a Hadji. The Turks, therafter, call him HADJI AKUH.

Hadji Akuh was Yeghishe Hajakian’s great, great, great, great grandfather. Yeghishe was born in Lebanon as Hadjiakuhian (son of Hadji Akuh). It was too long, so he shortened it to Hajakian.

Haviters: (T) Contrary nap (rug). In the city of Sepastia in Turkish Armenia, there lived and worked two master rug weavers. A wealthy resident of the city wished to have a rug woven and commissioned one of the weavers to do the job. The weaver commenced the work, but when halfway through, died of consumption. The wealthy man who had commissioned the work then approached the other weaver to complete the job. This other master weaver accepted the offer, but being a proud artisan, decided to complete the job his own way. So, instead of picking up where the other had left off, he commenced from the other side and when he had gone for enough, joined the two parts. In doing so he ended up creating a rug with the nap going in opposite directions. This became a source for his being named haviters, hav (khav in old Turkish) meaning nap, and ters meaning contrary. Previously, the family name had been Manougian. (Compliments of grandson Mircan Haviters of Farmingdale, NY, whose ancestors moved from Van to Sepastia 1030 years ago.)

Jingabedoghlu (T) A certain family migrated to the U.S.A. from Istanbul, Turkey with this unique name. The original name of the family was Mgrdichian. However, the grandfather, who had a given name of Garabed, earned the name of Jin-Garabed because he was shrewdly intelligent; jinni in Arabian folklore being related to genius. Jin-Garabed was, in time, abbreviated to Jin-Gabed, and thus the family name became Jingabedoghlu, or son of Jingabed.

Kanayan (T) Blood. From Khudaverdi in the Lake urmia region came 5 brothers to Igdir. They were a rough crowd, and became land barons; then became respectable. (Compliments of Mardig Kanayan, son of General Dro.)

Kavazanjian (A/P) Staff/cane maker or seller. [Minas Arakelian suggests that kavazan is derived from the Persian words gav for cow, and asa for rod or stick. thus, a cow prod.

This reminds me of a (Nasreddin Khoja Tale. Someone who was skeptical of Khoja’s reputation as agreat teacher, decide to put him to the test by asking, “What do you calla baby caw?” to which Khoja replied, “We don’t call it anything. We wait for it to grow up and then call it a cow.”

Kherdian (T) Truncation of kherd-kach: break and run The Kherdian sub-clan traces back to a common ancestor. The name of the entire clan was Bakaian. One part of the clan became Kherdian as a result of the following event: Garabed Kherdian, was a carpenter by trade. One day a Turk from a neighboring village came to Khulakugh (a village near Kharpert City) and asked Grandfather Garabed to make and hang a door for him. When the job was completed, Grandfather Garabed went to see the Turk to get paid. The Turk told him that he did not have the money that day and that Grandfather should come back another day. Each time Grandfather went to see the Turk to get paid, he got the same answer. Finally, he was convinced that the Turk had no intention of paying him. So Garabed came up with a plan. Late one night, he along with his brothers and cousins went to this Turkish village. While everyone was sound asleep, they chopped down the door and fled. As they were fleeing, the Turks woke startled and started screaming “kherduh khashduh” which in Turkish dialect means “destroyed and fled.”

(Compliments of Charles (Garabed) Hardy of Racine, Wisconsin).

Kherlopian (Ab/T) Hayir: good, lop: bolt (food) One who swallows food by the mouthful; a gourmand.

Kulaksouzian (T) Literally, without an ear; figuratively, having no ear for music.

Mghtsavanchian (A) One who dreams nightmares. According to Angel Manoogian, there is a family in Florida by that name.)

Soghanyemezian (T) One who does not eat onions.

Srmakeshkhanlian (T) Owner/worker of a factory where gold/silver thread is drawn.

Tahtaburunian (T) Wooden nose or beak. (In the event the reader is skeptical of such a thing as an artificial nose, he is reminded of Tycho Brahe, 16th century Danish astronomer, who lost part of his nose in a duel, and was fitted with a golden one.)

Figuratively, it can be construed to mean someone who has no sense of smell, or even one with low self esteem, as nose was considered a symbol of pride.

Tazian (T) Greyhound Retriever for Turkish hunters. (Compliments of Zohrab Tazian).

Terlemezian: (T) One who does not sweat. (I can imagine Dajad Terlemezian, when given orders to dispose of Davo the Traitor, saying, “No sweat!” Legend has it that an invading shah of Persia taxed the citizens of Van so severely that when they met every fresh demand of his he was prompted to say, “Don’t these people sweat?” According to Dajad, Terlemezian is a Turkification of Talamazi. His ancestors from Van were advisors to royalty, and the symbol of their sagacity was the long hair that they displayed. Thus they were referred to as talamazi, which, it is conjectured, was a truncation of talarmazi, where talar, in Armenian, is deemed as verdant, and maz as hair. In many cultures long hair was a sign of nobility. The Parthians and Persiacs of high rank wore long flowing hair. (Compliments of Arpi Haroutunian, Dajad’s granddaughter.).

Tololian- Corruption of Tel Volor (thread spinner), a name bestowed on the great great grandmother of Khachig Totolian, professor of history at Wesleyan U., and the son of Minas Teoleolian, former editor of the Hairenik Daily. Before that, the family name was Sarkisyan. Totolian is a name unique to that family and Khachig is the last of the line.

Now, you might ask why people perpetuate strange, unusual or even uncomplimentary names. After all, it’s easy to just change them by adaptation. I’ve known Armenians who have done so: Fourounjian to Baker; Baghchajian to Gardner; Kaprielian to Gabriel; and Terzian to Taylor.Well, people often are attached to their names because it gives them a sense of continuity and tradition. There’s also the desire to honor their martyrs by perpetuating the memory of their identity as Armenian Christians. We should be grateful to our fellow Armenians for having retained them as eloquent historical testimony to the oppression suffered by the Armenians at the hands of the Turks. It’s fortunate for me that Armenians have hung on to their names; otherwise I wouldn’t be here talking to you today.

I’m reminded of a story in this regard: An American citizen of Armenian extraction wished to legally change his name, and in applying to the court of jurisdiction, appeared for a hearing before a judge. The judge addressed the applicant, “I understand you wish to change your name. What is it?” The applicant replied, “Jack Beshigtadhlian.” The judge replied, “I don;t blame you. What do you wish to change it to?” The applicant replied, “Joe Beshigtashlian.”

Until now, I had not published a book on Armenian surnames, but my daughter, Lucine, had a few pages on names in her book on Armenia. (Slide #8)

Acknowledgments The author thanks the following named individuals for their kind and valuable assistance:

Mr. George Aghjayan Mr. Aram Arkun Mr. Eddie Arnavoudian Mr. Armen Aroyan Prof. George Bournoutian Ms. Arevig Caprielian Mr. Cesar Chekijian Prof. Levon Chookaszian Prof. Levon Chorbajian Ms. Joyce Chorbajian Mr. Zaven Dadekian Ms Arpie Dadoyan Mr Joseph Dagdigian Mr. Bedros Der Bedrisian Mr. Onnik Dinkjian Mr. Yeghishe Hajakian Mr. Charles Hardy Ms Arpi Haroutunian Mr. Mircan Haviters Mr. Appo Jabarian Mr. Hrach Kalsahakian Mr. Mardig Kanayan Mr. Aram Khatchadourian Mr. Stepan Karadian Mr. Antranig Kasbarian Ms. Lucine Kasbarian Mr. Armen Lucas Dr. Herand Markarian Mr. Ashot Merijanian Dr. Krikor Pidedjian Ms. Alice Sachaklian Mr. Emil Sanamyan Mr. Richard Shareshian Mr. Vahe Surenian Mr. Zohrab Tazian Prof. Khachig Tololyan Ms. Shakeh Torigian Mr. Jirayr Tutunjian Mr. Alfred Yeznaian

Note: This lecture, with modifications, was delivered on the following dates, at the given locations: St. Thomas Armenian Church Men’s Club 2001 Armenian American Health professionals Organization 2003 Armenian Presbyterian Church Ladies’ Guild 2004

Armenian Cultural Association of America AHC 2006 Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs Ladies’ Guild 2006 St. Leon Armenian Church Men’s Fellowship 2007 American Armenian Social Club of Ocean County 2008 Hamazkayin Eastern Region and St. Illuminatpr’s Armenian Cathedral 2018

To carry out his work, CK Garabed routinely consults dictionaries (Arabic, Armenian, Aramaic, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Greek, Kurdish, Persian, Turkish), Tigran Avetisyan’s book of Armenian names (Hayots Azkanuneri Pararan) Aryan Publishers, Yerevan, Armenia, 2000); and many other works.