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Etymological list of provinces of Bulgaria: Wikis


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This is a list of the origins of the names of provinces of Bulgaria.

County name Language of origin First attested Meaning Cognates
Blagoevgrad Province Bulgarian 1950[1] Named after the city of Blagoevgrad (old name Gorna Dzhumaya), itself a recent construct from Blagoev + the Slavic suffix -grad, "Blagoev's city". Blagoev is from the personal name Blagoy, from the Slavic root blag, "gentle", "kind". Named after socialist politician Dimitar Blagoev.
Burgas Province Greek through Turkish Current form since 1727[2] Named after the city of Burgas, from Greek Πύργος (Pyrgos, "tower") through Ottoman Turkish Burgaz[2] Pyrgos, Lüleburgaz, Kumburgaz, Yarımburgaz, Kemerburgaz
Dobrich Province Bulgarian 1882[3] Named after the city of Dobrich, after the 14th-century Dobrujan ruler Dobrotitsa,[3] from the Slavic root dobr, "good"[4]
Gabrovo Province Bulgarian 1430[5] Named after the city of Gabrovo, probably from the Slavic word gabar ("hornbeam") + the Slavic suffix -ovo[5]
Haskovo Province Arabic through Turkish and Bulgarian 15th century[6] Named after the city of Haskovo (old name Hasköy) from Arabic حس has ("possession") + the Slavic suffix -ovo[6]
Kardzhali Province Turkish Ottoman rule Named after the city of Kardzhali, after the 14th-century Turkish conqueror Kırca Ali[7]
Kyustendil Province Turkish and Latin 1559[8] Named after the city of Kyustendil (old name Velbazhd), from Ottoman Turkish Kösten ("Constantine", from Latin constans, "steadfast"), named after local feudal ruler Constantine Dragaš[8] Constanţa (Köstence)
Lovech Province Bulgarian mid-11th century[9] Named after the city of Lovech, possibly from the Slavic root lov, "hunting" + the Slavic suffix -ech
Montana Province Latin Antiquity Named after the city of the same name, renamed after the ancient Roman city of Municipio Montanensium, from Latin mons, "mountain," in 1993, and formerly named Mihailovgrad, Ferdinand, and Kutlovitsa Montana
Pazardzhik Province Arabic through Turkish Ottoman rule Named after the city of Pazardzhik, formerly Tatar Pazarcık from Ottoman Turkish pazar (ultimately from Arabic بازار bāzār, "market") + the Turkic diminutive suffix -cık, "small Tatar market [town]"
Pernik Province Bulgarian or Greek through Bulgarian 12th century[10] Named after the city of Pernik, probably from the name of the Slavic god Perun + the Slavic suffix -nik or -ik or from Greek petros (πετρος, "stone") through medieval Bulgarian Petarnik[11]
Pleven Province Bulgarian Hungarian charter of 1270[12] Named after the city of Pleven, from the Slavic root plev ("weed") + the Slavic suffix or ending -en Pljevlja
Plovdiv Province Greek through Thracian and Bulgarian 15th century [13] Named after the city of Plovdiv, from Thracian Pulpudeva through medieval Bulgarian Paldin (Пълдин), Plavdin (Плъвдив). Pulpudeva is thought to be a Thracian version of Greek Φιλιππούπολις Philippopolis, "city of Philip", after Philip II of Macedon, named so 342 BCE[14][15]
Razgrad Province Bulgarian 1573[16] Named after the city of Razgrad, probably from the name of the ethnographic group of the hartsoi and/or the Slavic god Hors + the Slavic suffix -grad through medieval Bulgarian Hrasgrad[16] Hârşova [1]
Rousse Province unknown, possibly Bulgarian 1380s[17] Named after the city of Rousse (more accurately Ruse), probably from the root *ru- ("river", "stream") or *h₁reudʰ-ó- ("red" or "blonde"). Other suggestions include Russian settlement, a derivation from Russocastrom, an unattested tribe of Getae (riusi) or the pagan practice of Rusalii[17]
Shumen Province Bulgarian or Hebrew through Greek and Bulgarian 12th century[18] Named after the city of Shumen, either from the Slavic word shuma ("forest" or "verdure") + the Slavic suffix or ending -en or from Simeonis, after Simeon I of Bulgaria (itself from Hebrew שִׁמְעוֹן, Shim'on, "harkening", "listening" through Greek Συμεών)[18] Šumadija? Šumava?[18]
Silistra Province Unknown, possibly Thracian through Greek early 13th century[19] Named after the city of Silistra (old name Drastar, from Celtic Durostorum), possibly from the Ancient Greek name of the Danube, Ίστρος Istrus,[19] itself borrowed from Thracian.[20]
Sliven Province Bulgarian 17th century[citation needed] Named after the city of Sliven, from the Slavic word sliv ("confluence") + the Slavic suffix or ending -en[21]
Smolyan Province Bulgarian after 1878[22] Named after the city of Smolyan, itself after the local Slavic tribe of the Smolyani, probably cognate to the Slavic word smola ("resin")[22] Smolany, Smolany Dąb, Smolany Sadek, Smolensk, etc.
Sofia Greek Vitosha Charter of Ivan Shishman, late 14th century[23] From Greek Sophia (Σoφíα, "wisdom"), after the Hagia Sophia Church[24] Sophia
Sofia Province see above see above Named after the city of Sofia, see above see above
Stara Zagora Province Bulgarian 1871[25] Named after the city of Stara Zagora, from the Slavic root star ("old") and the name of the medieval region of Zagore ("beyond the [Balkan] mountains" in Slavic), a calque of the Ottoman Turkish adaptation, Eski Zağra, "Old Zagora"[25] Nova Zagora, Zagora, Zagori, Zagorje, Záhorie, Zagorsk
Targovishte Province Bulgarian 1934[26] Named after the city of Targovishte, from the Slavic root targ ("marketplace") + the Slavic placename suffix -ishte, "market town" (a calque of the Ottoman Turkish Eski Cuma, "old market") Târgovişte, Trgovište
Varna Province Unknown, possibly

(1) Proto-Slavic, or

(2) Proto-Indo-European (PIE), or

(3) Iranian

Theophanes Confessor (8th century) [27] Named after the city of Varna,

(1) possible Proto-Slavic etymology: varn ("black"), non-metathesized group CorC, later vran; or from Bulgarian var ("lime"), [27]

(2) possible PIE etymology: PIE root we-r- (water); cognate: Varuna

(3) possible Iranian etymology: var ("camp", "fortress")

(1) Warnow/Warnemünde, Varniai, Vranje?

(2) Varanasi? (3) Varosha, Hungarian Vár?

Veliko Tarnovo Province Bulgarian or Latin through Bulgarian 1180s[28] Named after the city of Veliko Tarnovo, from the Slavic root velik ("great") and the root tarn ("thorn") or from Latin turis ("tower") or tres naves ("three ships", referring to the three hills) + the Slavic suffix -ovo[29] Tarnów, Trnava
Vidin Province Celtic through Bulgarian Antiquity or Middle Ages, current form since 1570[30] Named after the city of Vidin, possibly from the ancient Celtic[31] name Bononia + the Slavic placename suffix -in, through medieval Bulgarian Bdin, Badin[30] Bologna
Vratsa Province Bulgarian 16th century[citation needed] Named after the city of Vratsa, named after the Vratitsa Pass nearby, from the Slavic word vrata ("gate") + the Slavic diminutive placename suffix -itsa, "little gate"[32] Vrata, Mehedinţi
Yambol Greek through Bulgarian and Turkish Ottoman rule [33] Named after the city of Yambol, from Greek Διόςπόλις Diospolis ("city of Zeus" or "city of God") through medieval Bulgarian Dabilin and Ottoman Turkish Yanbolu[33]


  1. ^ "За града" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Град Бургас" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  3. ^ a b Петрински, Иван (2008). "Българският език: възродителен процес за имената на месеците" (in Bulgarian). Истинската история на България. София: Ciela. pp. p. 163. ISBN 978-954-28-0286-0. 
  4. ^ Vasmer query
  5. ^ a b "История на Габрово" (in Bulgarian). Zone Bulgaria. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  6. ^ a b "Името Хасково" (in Bulgarian). Haskovo Online.,bg/. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  7. ^ "Как е получил град Кърджали името си?" (in Bulgarian). Община Кърджали.,10. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  8. ^ a b Матанов, Христо (1986). "Феодални княжества и владетели през последните десетилетия на XIV век" (in Bulgarian). Югозападните български земи през XIV век. София: Наука и изкуство. pp. p. 126. 
  9. ^ "История" (in Bulgarian). Община Ловеч. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  10. ^ "История на средновековната крепост по археологични данни" (in Bulgarian). Община Перник. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  11. ^ "ПЕРНИК: Българското Рио де Жанейро" (in Bulgarian). Български дипломатически преглед. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  12. ^ "История на Плевен" (in Bulgarian). Община Плевен. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  13. ^ "Тепетата на Пловдив" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  14. ^ "Пловдив" (in Bulgarian). Мила Родино. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  15. ^ "История на града" (in Bulgarian). Община Пловдив. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  16. ^ a b Калоянов, Анчо (2002). "Названието на етнографската група хърцои и култа към бог Хърс" (in Bulgarian). Старобългарското езичество. Варна: ЕИ "LiterNet". ISBN ISBN 954-304-009-5. 
  17. ^ a b "История на Русе" (in Bulgarian). Регионален исторически музей — Русе. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  18. ^ a b c "Шумен" (in Bulgarian). Шумен.net. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  19. ^ a b "Болгарские алфавиты" (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  20. ^ Katičić, Radislav (1976). Ancient Languages of the Balkans, Part One. Paris: Mouton. pp. p. 144. 
  21. ^ "За Сливен" (in Bulgarian). БНС – Сливен. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  22. ^ a b "гр. Смолян" (in Bulgarian). BGGLOBE. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  23. ^ "Витошката Мала света гора" (in Bulgarian). Арх & Арт. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  24. ^ "София" (in Bulgarian). Мила Родино. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  25. ^ a b "Стара Загора" (in Bulgarian). Верея Тур. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  26. ^ "Търговище" (in Bulgarian). Bulgaria Inside. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  27. ^ a b "Имената на днешната Варна" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  28. ^ "Търново — политически, религиозен и културен център на Второто българско царство" (in Bulgarian). DiscoveryBG. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  29. ^ "История" (in Bulgarian). Официален сайт на Велико Търново. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  30. ^ a b "Видин" (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  31. ^ "Видин" (in Bulgarian). BG-Tourinfo. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  32. ^ "Враца — кратка справка" (in Bulgarian). PureBulgaria. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  33. ^ a b "Туризъм" (in Bulgarian). Област Ямбол. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 

See also



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