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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

Changes of Estonian First Names in the 19th Century

A Hussar
Tallinn university, Estonia

This paper reviews the main aspects of the development of Estonian first names in the 19th century. The purpose of this paper is to describe the stock of Estonian first names in the 19th century, the largest changes in this stock of names and the reasons for certain developments.
The 19th century marks a significant stage from the point of view of name usage in Estonia as well as in other countries. For the first time, the original versions (Johannes) of the earlier borrowed and adopted names (Jaan respectively) began to be used. At the end of the 19th century, new loan names that reached Estonians mainly through the German population residing in Estonia, were added. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, more artificially coined national romantic names based on the Estonian language, were given to children (Lembit, Õie).
In 1900, the name stock was largely modernized; mostly basic forms of the above mentioned loan names were given, i.e., entirely new foreign names, as well as new names of Estonian origin. However, differences between districts were rather large.

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