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Patronymic suffix / Sufixul patronimic -escu

Discussion in 'Română (Romanian)' started by seitt, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. seitt Senior Member

    Turkey
    English/Welsh
    (...) I wonder if -escu could be related to the Modern (and Ancient?) Greek diminutive suffix -ίσκος (-iscos).
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  2. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    Romanian
    You are right again :) According to this article from National Geographic România, the origin of the sufix -escu should be traced back to the Latin -iscus (cf. Domniţa Tomescu, the author of Numele de persoană la români. Perspectivă istorică) and from there to the Greek -iscos.

    The same article explains that a place/village would be named after the the people who founded it: Diaconești would be the name of a village settled by one Negoiță Diaconu, where the adjective suffix -ești defines possession. By the third generation some families started to call themselves Diaconescu (cf. N. A. Constantinescu, the author of Dicționar onomastic românesc). Both Diaconu and Diaconescu are rather common Romanian family names.

    Finally, the same article concludes that -escu is a Romanian brand (sic!) similar to the Slavic -ov or -ski, the Irish O' or the Italian di.

    Best,
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  3. seitt Senior Member

    Turkey
    English/Welsh
    Thank you so much, this is truly fascinating.

    Re “Diaconești”, was it formerly a plural form or a singular? My Romanian grammar is rusty, but wouldn't it be the plural of “Diaconescu”? I understand that the ending was originally adjectival, as you say, but maybe formations with it quickly became nouns?

    Is your capital, București, another example of this phenomenon?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  4. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    Romanian
    According to the Nat Geo article, the settler's last name was Diaconu (deacon in English). Indeed the plural form for Diaconescu would be Diaconești (same as for Ionescu -> Ionești), but I don't know which one came first... For now I'd assume that the author of the article has done his research.

    The legend I know tells that Bucur the shepherd was the first settler of the city of București as you pointed out, so we have consistency here :)

    Later,
    .
     
  5. irinet

    irinet Senior Member

    Bucharest
    Romanian
    'Bucureşti, Romaneşti, Antoneşti' infer possession. There was a Bucur and a Romanescu, and a Antonescu, owners of the land. All the others could as well be named as belonging to / related to Bucur, Antonescu, Ionescu, etc., that is "all of Ionescu's and Romanescu's. So, I'd say that the egg was the first. The suffix in plural of these toponymic variants are well-motivated in coming later.
    Both Latin and Greek borrowings are valid.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
  6. seitt Senior Member

    Turkey
    English/Welsh
    Many thanks for the truly excellent help.
     

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