Explaining Ukrainian Surnames Part Two

Explaining Ukrainian Surnames Part Two

This post continues the summary of Grey Gressa's article, "Origins and Meaning of Ukrainian Surnames"

Many Ukrainian surnames originates from the occupation or profession of an ancestor at the time when surnames began to be recorded, which covers a time period  of over five hundred years--1300-1800.  Please read the previous post from March 9, 2016, "Explaining Ukrainian Surnames Part One".
Part Three will cover suffixes and other grammatical structures that add meaning to surnames. 

Surnames from Occupations and Professions 

Surnames from Administrative and government terms

Starosta                                        village elder
Viitenk, vdichenko                       village mayor, also known as the Viit 
Pysar                                            scribe, official recorder
Desyantnik                                   foreman
Voyevoda                                     governor
Vozniak, Wozniak                        bailiff

Ukrainian Village

Surnames that indicate social class

Bachach                                 wealthy man
Kripak                                    serf
Panych                                   gentleman, noble
Holota                                    poor man/person
Shliakhta                                gentleman/gentry

Surnames from military terms

Hetman                                 Cossack leader/chief (still used during World War I)
Kozak                                   cossack, soldier who fought on horseback
Ulan                                       lancer 
Soldat                                   soldier
Zhovnir                                soldier  

Surnames from the arts

Spivak                                 singer
Malyar                                 painter
Kynzhnyk                            scribe, writer
Dudar                                  piper 

Painting by Ukrainian painter Ivan Honchar

Surnames relating to religion or the church

Palamar                             sacristan
Vladyka                            archbishop
Diak                                  clerk, cantor 
Tytar                                 church warden 

Surnames relating to economic life, the trades and rural occupations 

Melnyk                               miller
Tkach, Tkachuk                 weaver
Kylymnyk                          weaver or maker of rugs 
Vynnk                                 vinter, winemaker
Pyvovar                               brewer
Rudnyk                               miner
Hutniak                               glass maker
Bodnar, bodnaruk               cooper, a person who made barrels
Honchar                              pottter, maker of pottery and crockery 
Koval, kovalchuk               blacksmith
Kolodiy                               cartwright, built carts
Kolisnyk                             wheelmaker
Kravets, kravetsiv               tailor
kravchenko, kravchuk
kushnir                                 tanner 
Pekar                                    baker
Orach                                   plowman
Chaban, vivchar                   shepard
Kosar                                   made/grew hay
Kupets, kupechenko            merchant, shopkeeper
Kramar                                 shopkeeper
Shynkar                                innkeeper
Ptashnyk                               person who raises fowl
Rybalka                                fisherman
Bobrovnyk                           trapper
Shevchenko, shevts             shoemaker, cobbler
Volovyk, wolowyk              oxherder    

Mykola Pymenenko "Gathering Hay"

Surnames derived from Individual's Physical Characteristics

These names may have come from nick-names and some have had unflattering connotations.

Surnames from parts of the body

Nis                                                     nose
Zub                                                    teeth
Noha                                                  foot
oko                                                     eye

Scene from Shostakovich's opera, "The Nose", based on a story by Gogol.

Surnames from physical characteristics  of an ancestor

Kutsyi                                               short
Holynastyi, holinaty                         long-legged
Bezushko                                          missing an ear
Hlukh                                                deaf
Rudiak                                              red headed
Borodayko                                        Has a beard
Kryvonis                                           crooked nose
Dziuba, dzioba                                  beak-nose                                       
Horbatiuk                                          humpbacked
Sostak                                               Has six fingers
Balan                                                 blond
Bilyi, Bilyk                                       light complexion

painting by Mykola Hlushchenko

Surnames from character or psychological traits of an ancestor

Dobrun                                           a good and kind person
Duma                                              thoughtful 
Balaken                                           talkative
Zaderii                                            argumentative
Brekhun                                          a liar
Hulei                                               person who deceives 
Hladka                                             overweight, fat or stout
Hergot, hergota                                person who sound like quacking ducks
Svystun                                            person who whistles
Mandrusiak                                      person who wanders
Dervak                                             first born
Tretiak                                             third one, probably third child
Burchylo                                         unfriendly
zakhodho                                         a loner, rarely visits others 
Odynets                                           person who keeps to him/herself

Zhurba                                             sorrowful 
Plaksa                                              crier, crybaby
Zabudko                                          forgetful 

Author:  Pauline Noznick