Tarzan, Zorro, Jesus among Bulgarian Names

Society | August 4, 2006, Friday // 00:00

Bulgarian parents are showing creativity and innovation in giving curious names to their children, a 2006 register has shown.

A number of baby boys boast the heroic name of Zorro, others pay tribute to the jungle star Tarzan, media reported.

Biblical names are also common, with 38 boys named after Jesus and four after Christ, with 12 Mary Magdalenes and even one Virgin Mary.

The choices of music fans included Elvis, while football inspired some couples to name their babies Pele or Gundi, the latter after the icon of local Levski FC.

Cleopatra, Caesar, Romeo, Juliet, Dionis, and Apollo were among the other weird ideas, inspired by history, literature and mythology.

Among the most peculiar were also Kanarche (meaning canary-bird in Bulgaria) and Slavey (meaning nightingale).

Choosing a foreign name "is the fashion, a reaction of the young against the patriarchal tradition of naming babies after their grandparents," sociologist Mira Yanova said.

"Foreign names also aim to facilitate the kids' integration in a foreign country" since Bulgarian names are sometimes difficult to pronounce, Yanova added, as the country prepares to enter the EU in 2007.

Traditional names remain however preferred, such as Alexandar, Dimitar Georgy , Ivan and Martin for boys, and Alexandra, Maria and Victoria for girls.

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