Unit 1

Cultural Point

I. Hungarian names.

Hungarian names has the family name [családnév] first and the given name [keresztnév] last, e.g. Kiss Péter, meaning Peter Small. The family names often have a meaning: a profession, a nationality or even an animal name. The following Hungarian last names (which come first in Hungarian!) are fairly common: Nagy [Big], Kovács [Smith], Tóth [an old term for Slovak], Szabó [Tailor], Horváth [Croatian], Farkas [Wolf], Sas [Eagle], Fazekas [Potter], Pásztor [Shephard], Lengyel [Polish], Németh [German], Török [Turkish].

Common first (given) names (in Hungarian last names):

férfi [male]

női [female]

István [Steven]

László [Ladislau]

József [Joseph]

János [John]

Sándor [Alexander]

Ferenc [Francis]

Mária [Mary]

Erzsébet {Elisabeth]

Ilona [Helen]

Katalin [Catherin]

Éva [Eve]

Klára [Claire]

Less common first (given) names:

férfi [male]

női [female]

Balázs

Csongor*

Donát

Bence

Zalán

Sára

Tünde*

Virág [flower]

Helga

Piroska

* Csongor and Tünde are the names that appear in the title of one of the great Hungarian 19th century literary pieces Csongor és Tünde written by Mihály Vörösmarty. It is a romantic dramatic poem that narrates the quest of Csongor and affirms the romantic notion that love is the supreme value for which only it is worth living.

* see the note for Csongor