Armenian identity

  • by Western Armenia, November 24, 2023 in History

A name is not only a means of addressing, but often also a means of emphasizing national characteristics. Armenian names were created out of love for nature, relations between nations, liberation movements and wars. Hayk is the first among Armenian names. And it was after this legendary hero that the Armenian state was later called Hayk, Armenia and Armenians.

According to Moveses Khorenatsi, Hayk was the 5th generation of Noah, who defeated Bel and laid the foundations of the Armenian state. Armenak, Aramayis, Aram, Aran are among the names related to Hayk. Predominantly were the names of historical heroes. However, after the adoption of Christianity, new Biblical names began to spread. Over the years, the list of names is supplemented with new ones, and many of the old personal names are forgotten. In Armenian names, there was a clear separation between male and female personal names. Men were mostly named after gods, winners and kings, and women were named not only after goddesses and Christian virgins, but also after flowers, natural phenomena, and precious stones. Along with their names, surnames were also important in the life of Armenians. In ancient times, the surname was used to know whose son or heir a given person is. The meaning of surnames has remained the same over the centuries, only its composition has changed. 99% of Armenian surnames are formed by the combination of the patriarchal name of the tribe and the particle -yan. However, patriarchal names were not always attached to -yan. Often, surnames were formed according to the profession, for example, Nerkararian, Medical doctor, Darbinyan, etc. Surnames with the particle -uni, whose roots are much older, are also very rare.