Church Slavonic: Meaning of the Cyrillic letter names

Before the revolutionary reforms the Azbuka letters all had a name (at least in Russian - what's the situation with Bg./Md./Srb.?), which, as it seems for some of them, had a meaning in the language they first were used in. I've tried to figure some of them out, could you help with the rest?

Az
Buki
Vedi
Glagol' -Speak?
Dobro -Good
Yest' -There is
Z'elo
Zhivite -Live
Zeml'ia -Earth
Izhe
Phita
I
Kako
L'iudi -People
Myslite -Think
Nash -Ours

Ksi
On
Pokoj -Rest
Rci
Slovo -Word
Tverdo -Hard

Uk
Fert
Her'
Psi
Omega

Ci
Cherv' -Worm

Sha
Jat'
Shcha
Jer
Jery
Jer'
Ju
Ja

The bold ones are, obviously, borrowed from Greek.
 
  • werrr

    Senior Member
    Before the revolutionary reforms the Azbuka letters all had a name (at least in Russian - what's the situation with Bg./Md./Srb.?),...
    I think they still have :eek:.
    ...which, as it seems for some of them, had a meaning in the language they first were used in. I've tried to figure some of them out, could you help with the rest?
    Almost all are of old Slavic origin (Church Slavonic?). The names were used for the early Cyrillic alphabet and also for the Glagolitic alphabet. The legend says there was a mnemotechnic poem (song?) made of these names.

    My guess (for Old Church Slavonic):
    ază - I
    buky - letter, writing
    vědě - see, know
    glagoli - say, speak (sound, resonate) ... today's Czech word "hlahol" means "hubbub", "clangour" (der Hall, der Schall, der Klang)
    dobro - good
    est' - be
    živěte - live
    dzělo - very
    zeml'ja - earth, land
    iže - who, which
    i - and, even (or some form of "he")
    kako - how, how is it that
    ljidije - people
    myslite - think
    naš' - our, of us
    onă - that
    pokoji - rest, peace
    r'cy - say, tell
    slovo - word
    tvr'do - hard
    otă - by, from, of
    červ' - worm (subsequently "red")
     

    Anatoli

    Senior Member
    русский (Russian)
    Before the revolutionary reforms the Azbuka letters all had a name (at least in Russian - what's the situation with Bg./Md./Srb.?), which, as it seems for some of them, had a meaning in the language they first were used in. I've tried to figure some of them out, could you help with the rest?
    Phita
    Ksi
    Psi
    Omega


    The bold ones are, obviously, borrowed from Greek.
    übermönch, you are correct, they are all of Greek origin and none of them survived in the current cyrillic alphabet. Maybe Greeks can help explain the meaning?
     
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