Is this surname Romanian?

EleniK

New Member
English
Hello,
I just recently found out my paternal grandfather was a Vlach(Aromanian) from Bitola, Macedonia. This was a surprise as I thought he was Greek. HIs surname is Nouskas/Nouska. Is this a Aromanian surname? I have read that Aromanian and Romanian are very similar. A person on another forum said it was a Vlach name, but I found people with this name that are Greek? Thanks for your help.
 
  • danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Doesn't sound Romanian to me.

    I know few surnames of some Aromanians with ancestors that emigrated in Romania in 19th century.
    They sound Turkish or Greek to me:
    Hagi (yes, the football player Gheorghe Hagi)
    Caramitru (actor, the 'cara' part seems Turkish for "black")
    Caragiu (actor)
    Papahagi (linguist)
    Șaguna (a priest) - the Aromanian surnames ending in -a are quite frequent, while Romanian surnames ending in -a are extremely rare
    Djuvara (diplomat)

    I don't know Greek at all, but as hypothesis I guess that Aromanian surnames ending in -a (like Nouska) are in fact Greek surnames ending in -as (Nouskas) adapted to Aromanian pronunciation.

    A list of Aromanian personalities could be found here: Listă de personalități aromâne - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited:

    EleniK

    New Member
    English
    Doesn't sound Romanian to me.

    I know few surnames of some Aromanians with ancestors that emigrated in Romania in 19th century.
    They sound Turkish or Greek to me:
    Hagi (yes, the football player Gheorghe Hagi)
    Caramitru (actor, the 'cara' part seems Turkish for "black")
    Caragiu (actor)
    Papahagi (linguist)
    Șaguna (a priest) - the Aromanian surnames ending in -a are quite frequent, while Romanian surnames ending in -a are extremely rare
    Djuvara (diplomat)

    I don't know Greek at all, but as hypothesis I guess that Aromanian surnames ending in -a (like Nouska) are in fact Greek surnames ending in -as (Nouskas) adapted to Aromanian pronunciation.

    A list of Aromanian personalities could be found here: Listă de personalități aromâne - Wikipedia
    Thanks for your feedback. So you are saying that Nouska/Nouskas is probably Greek that was adopted/changed by Aromanians. Interesting. I have one more question. Are Aromanians they the same people as Romanian people? I couldn't find any definitive answers on their origins. Some say they are a mix of Roman and Balkan but not Slavic ancestry. Others say they are actually Greek that adopted a Romance language. I do know that my dad and his sister were very dark haired, olive skinned people. They didn't look Slavic at all. My dad could have looked Italian or Greek.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    After a little searching on Google, I found that Nouskas (Νουσκας) is a Greek surname. I also found a source saying that the name is of Turkish origin and its meaning is somehow related with amulets used against the 'evil eye'. Source: see νουσκάς.

    Also the name of this Greek village was "Nouska" until 1928. Probably they are related.
     
    Last edited:

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    I have one more question. Are Aromanians they the same people as Romanian people? I couldn't find any definitive answers on their origins. Some say they are a mix of Roman and Balkan but not Slavic ancestry. Others say they are actually Greek that adopted a Romance language. I do know that my dad and his sister were very dark haired, olive skinned people. They didn't look Slavic at all. My dad could have looked Italian or Greek.
    What a question...
    I have another rhetorical question:
    What is a Romanian?
    The only answer that I could think of is: a human with Romanian as mother language.
    Can we go further to ask ourselves if both parents of this guy should be Romanian native speakers?

    We may agree that is hard to define ethnicity based on ancestry.

    Romanian linguists cannot agree when the Romanian language appeared in Balkan Peninsula, as a Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin.
    Some say 7th century, others 8th and others 9th century. Let's take 7th century as reference.
    Linguists use the conventional name 'Common Romanian" or 'Proto-Romanian' to identify that language.

    Romanians and Aromanians of today are the descendants of the latinophone population that inhabited the Balkan Peninsula between 7th - 10th century, living North of Jireček Line - Wikipedia.
    If we go back in time, that latinophone population had as ancestors Thracian and Dacian people, but also Roman colonists which came from the entire Roman Empire.
    Can you imagine how this mixed population looked like?

    Aromanians are first mentioned by the Byzantine hystorian George Kedrenos - Wikipedia in 976 AD as a latinophone population near Lake Prespa and Kastoria (thus near today tripoint border of Albania, Macedonia and Greece).

    From this 10th century until today the Romanians, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians and Istro-Romanians lived in separated areas, while the rest of the Vlach population was assimilated by the Slavs.

    Without having historical sources we may guess that during Middle Ages the Aromanians (or Vlachs) could have assimilated some Greeks or Slavs
    and (with higher probability) a big number of Aromanians were assimilated by the Greeks and Slavs.

    But a theory like the one developed in Greece during 19th century, that (all of or most of) Aromanians are descendants of Greeks that were assimilated by Vlachs many centuries ago, while the Vlachs who assimilated them have been totally assimilated by others (probably by Slavs) is based on nothing:
    - I don't think there was a single Middle Age historian interested in researching the assimilation of Balkan people during his lifetime, so that he could record in some documents such phenomenon (while such assimilation process must have happened during many generations)
     

    EleniK

    New Member
    English
    After a little searching on Google, I found that Nouskas (Νουσκας) is a Greek surname. I also found a source saying that the name is of Turkish origin and its meaning is somehow related with amulets used against the 'evil eye'. Source: see νουσκάς.

    Also the name of this Greek village was "Nouska" until 1928. Probably they are related.

    That's what I was wondering. I found some people with that name and they were Greek. I didn't know it was of Turkish origin. I wonder why my grandfather had a Greek surname but was Aromanian. Maybe he was Greek and Aromanian. I don't think I will ever know. Thanks.

    What a question...
    I have another rhetorical question:
    What is a Romanian?
    The only answer that I could think of is: a human with Romanian as mother language.
    Can we go further to ask ourselves if both parents of this guy should be Romanian native speakers?

    We may agree that is hard to define ethnicity based on ancestry.

    Romanian linguists cannot agree when the Romanian language appeared in Balkan Peninsula, as a Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin.
    Some say 7th century, others 8th and others 9th century. Let's take 7th century as reference.
    Linguists use the conventional name 'Common Romanian" or 'Proto-Romanian' to identify that language.

    Romanians and Aromanians of today are the descendants of the latinophone population that inhabited the Balkan Peninsula between 7th - 10th century, living North of Jireček Line - Wikipedia.
    If we go back in time, that latinophone population had as ancestors Thracian and Dacian people, but also Roman colonists which came from the entire Roman Empire.
    Can you imagine how this mixed population looked like?

    Aromanians are first mentioned by the Byzantine hystorian George Kedrenos - Wikipedia in 976 AD as a latinophone population near Lake Prespa and Kastoria (thus near today tripoint border of Albania, Macedonia and Greece).

    From this 10th century until today the Romanians, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians and Istro-Romanians lived in separated areas, while the rest of the Vlach population was assimilated by the Slavs.

    Without having historical sources we may guess that during Middle Ages the Aromanians (or Vlachs) could have assimilated some Greeks or Slavs
    and (with higher probability) a big number of Aromanians were assimilated by the Greeks and Slavs.

    But a theory like the one developed in Greece during 19th century, that (all of or most of) Aromanians are descendants of Greeks that were assimilated by Vlachs many centuries ago, while the Vlachs who assimilated them have been totally assimilated by others (probably by Slavs) is based on nothing:
    - I don't think there was a single Middle Age historian interested in researching the assimilation of Balkan people during his lifetime, so that he could record in some documents such phenomenon (while such assimilation process must have happened during many generations)

    You have been very helpful to me. Thank you. I couldn't find much information about the Aromanians except that their language was related to Romanian. Until a month ago I thought I was all Greek. I imagine most of the population in the Balkans is quite mixed and looks that way.
     

    Caktus

    Member
    Romania - Romanian
    I did a search on google and I found a few Romanians with the surname Nusca or Nuşcă.
     

    danielstan

    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    I did the same search on google and investigated few Romanians with Nusca surname (5 persons).
    I realized these people have created some accounts on Facebook or other sites with their names spelled without diacritics.
    Examples: Nusca Minzaleanu (real name: Nușcă Mînzăleanu), Mihai Nusca appears in the title of a link, but inside the page is spelled Mihai Nușcă.
     

    EleniK

    New Member
    English
    I did the same search on google and investigated few Romanians with Nusca surname (5 persons).
    I realized these people have created some accounts on Facebook or other sites with their names spelled without diacritics.
    Examples: Nusca Minzaleanu (real name: Nușcă Mînzăleanu), Mihai Nusca appears in the title of a link, but inside the page is spelled Mihai Nușcă.
    Interesting. so is Nusca a given name or surname? What does it mean in Romanian?
     
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