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Mithrilian
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Quote:
When Russians got forcibly baptized into Christianity, they had to switch from meaningful pagan names to Greek and Hebrew names (John, Paul, Peter, Maria), which held no significance to them. So, for each name they derived a family nickname. It bore some resemblance to the original Christian name, but at the same time was endowed with mystical powers that protected the child and steered him or her in the right direction in life. So, each such name is a gerund indicating some task or profession.
 
Parents who wanted their daughters to become good cooks, named them Varvara (Barbara) and privately called them Varya, which means cooking. Boys who were to live off the land and plow the fields like their fathers and forefathers were named Pavel (Paul), which became Pasha (plowing). The parents of little Marias usually called them Masha, which means waving and refers to the task of winnowing grain, while some, greedy for fast cash, called the girls Manya, which practically predestined them for the street, as that nickname means enticing.

http://transformation.ru/russia/?show=11
 


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, . , . , "" "" "goodness me" . " ". , , , , "goodness me" "god"-ness? -. , .


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