Tótok & szlovakok

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Witiza

Member
Spanish-Spain
Hello everyone,

what's the difference between a tót and a szlovak in Hungarian?

Kössz!
 
  • francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    As to the meaning - nothing. Tót in Hungarian was used to call the Slavs inside the Hungarian kingdom, later the Slovenes and the Slovaks, from about the 17th-18th century only the Slovaks.

    It's an exonym, etymologically connexed to Deutsch, Dutch, Teuton, Tedesco, etc. The original meaning of the corresponding Indo Eupean stem was "people","folk". From the foundation of Czechoslovakia (1918) the term Szlovák (autoetnonym of Slovaks) is used instead, as the term tót is/was considered derogatory by some Slovaks.
     

    Witiza

    Member
    Spanish-Spain
    Therefore, the Hungarian family name "Tóth" means "slav" (as Horvath, Német mean Croatian and German)?
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Therefore, the Hungarian family name "Tóth" means "slav" (as Horvath, Német mean Croatian and German)?
    Yes, but I think rather Slovene/Slovak (later only Slovak) than Slav in general, as for other Slavic people/nations (that already represented a "political nation" or something like this ...) specific ethnonyms were in use (horvát, lengyel, orosz, cseh, rác ...).

    In other words, the common usage of family names in Hungary begins in the 13th-14th century and it became officially compulsory only in 1787, so I think that the family name Tót(h) does not go back to the times when it could have meant whatever Slav.

    For curiosity, something similar happened with the word olasz (also family name), which today means exclusively Italian, but in the past it meant "Romance speaking people/person", not only from Italy. See e.g. the place name Olasz .
     
    Last edited:

    franknagy

    Senior Member
    "Tót" is an old Hungarian word denoting the Slavic inhabitants of the Uplands, used until 1920. Since Trianon, you must use "Szlovák" the word how this people names himself, if you want to remain politically correct and you do not want to hurt our Northern neighbors.
    The word "tót" however must not be replaced in proverbs like:
    • "Fogadd be a tótot, kiver a házadból!"
    • "Úgy kellett nekem, mint üveges tótnak a hanyattesés."
    • "Szétcsapott köztük, mint tót az oláh juhai között."
    The usage of "oláh" and "román" is the same.
     
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