Basque Names

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SEARCHING FOR OUR SEARCHING FOR OUR EUROPEAN ROOTS EUROPEAN ROOTS . . PERSONAL NAMES IN THE BASQUE PERSONAL NAMES IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY COUNTRY . . Our names. Ekialdea Our names. Ekialdea BHI BHI Izena duena bada” Izena duena bada” Lo que tiene nombre existe” Lo que tiene nombre existe” Whatever/Whoever has a name exists” Whatever/Whoever has a name exists”

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Transcript of Basque Names

PERSONAL NAMES IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY. Our names. Ekialdea BHIIzena duena bada Lo que tiene nombre existe Whatever/Whoever has a name exists


Personal namesA personal name is a name that belongs to a person. Family names and given names are prominent examples of personal names. It is not known when humans first began using names though the practice is certainly very old, probably extending far into prehistory. Our most ancient written texts and mythologies contain examples of names. Names almost always have an etymological meaning, implying that they were originally words. Although all cultures use names, naming customs vary greatly from people to people. In some cases they are very simple, such as those of many Indonesians who use just a single name. On the other hand, traditional Chinese naming practices were very complex. Chinese males were given different names at various points in their lives, in addition to a family name and sometimes a generation name.

Both in the Basque and Spanish tradition newborn babies get one or two names.Compound names are frequent but a person uses only one name for everyday life in spite of having two names in official papers (identity card, driving licence...) Parents can choose any name for their children as long as it is not derogatory for the child or has negative connotations. They can also decide to give their children the fathers surname first or the mother s. This is new since traditionally all people have their fathers surname, then the mothers and so on. We can all remember our first eight family names. Tracing their origin means going deep into the roots of the family. Example: Miren Uriarte Aranburu (mother) Jon Etxebarria Lasagabaster (father) Asier Etxebarria Uriarte Lasagabaster Aranburu (child) In official papers we all have our first full name and two surnames (nearly always first the fathers and then the mothers) Women dont change their names when they get married.

Names serve several purposes. Most importantly they help distinguish us from one another.Christian names were imposed for the distinction of persons, surnames for the difference of families. The Christian name is not merely the forename distinctive of the individual member of a family, but the name given to him at his "christening", i.e., his baptism. We call our first name nombre de pila (font name)

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Within names of The Basque Country we can include: Those of Basque origin found in Aquitanias graves from the first to the third centuries (Andere, Ilun), medieval (Eneko, Otsanda), literary (Aitor, Aitzol), mythological (Mari, Urtzi). Religious names (Adame, Joanes) with popular variations (Peru). Those related to Sanctuaries, especially devoted to the Virgin (Begoa, Estibaliz, Leire). Each name is connected with a province or area. Common names turned into personal names (Haizea/Wind, Haritz/Oak, Ibai/River, Lorea/Flower, Ur/Water, Oihana/Jungle) Toponyms, non religious names of different places such as mountains, villages (Ainhize, Aralar, Gorbeia). Historical and mythological (Grecolatin and foreign traditions): Hektor, Horazio, Ziro. They have been phonetically adapted. Short colloquial forms. (Pello, Patxi, Beat) Foreign names adapted to the Basque language: Katalina, Alexandra

Basque names are usually different for men and women but sometimes we have pairs of similar names with the a ending for women:Bizente/Bizenta, Joanes/Joana. Names ending in consonant, --i, --o, --u usually belong to men:Haritz, Ibai Names ending in a, --e and all those related to shrines belong to women: Iluntze, Loiola

Where do our names come from? Endika: It is a Basque name, in Spanishit means Enrique (Henry). It is a mans name which has German origin, it comes from Henry. Its day is the 13th of July because it is San Enriques day.

Iaki: It is a Basque name, Ignacio in

Spanish. It is a mans name which has Latin origin. Its day is the 31th of July, because it is San Ignacios day. Ignatius comes from Etruscan Egnatius and it is connected with ignis (fire, flame). Iaki is another variation proposed by Sabino Arana (politician,founder of the Basque Nationalist Party. He also wrote a well-known Dictionary of Basque Names) Those names were forbidden in 1938 as they were considered to be separatist, against the Spanish naming system.

Xabier: It is a Basque name, Javier in

Spanish . It is a mans name. In Basque it means new house.

Edurne: It is a Basque name, Nieves (snow)

in Spanish . It is a womans name which comes from edur, a dialectal variation of elurra (snow) and also it is the name of the Virgin's shrine homonym. Her day is the 5th of August, because it is the day of our Lady of the Snows. This name appeared in Sabino Aranas Names Collection with the ne ending for womens names he introduced.


It is a Hebrew name, also it is the name of the Catholic Virgin. It is a womans name. This persons name is the chosen by God, she is loved by God. It is a very popular name in the Catholic religion.For many years during the Dictatorship it was only possible to have a traditional Basque name preceded by Maria

Aurora: It means dawn; its a Spanish word.This name in Basque is Goizane. Amaiur: Its a village of Baztan. There was a castle there where people from Nafarroa fought for their king. Oiane: It means jungle.

Spanish or Basque names Most of our names are Basque names,like Endika, Iaki, Edurne and Xabier. But their origin is foreign. Latin, German

Hebrew. But a lot of people in the world have that name.

Mara isnt Spanish or Basque.It is

The most popular Basque names are Iker for boys and Ane for girls. According to statistics, the most common ones are:

1. Iker 2. Jon 3. Unai 4. Asier 5. Ander 6. Mikel 7. Eneko 8. Aimar 9. Aitor 10. Oier 11. Markel 12. Ibai 13. Julen 14. Xabier 15. Unax


1. Ane 2. Irati 3. Leire 4. Naroa 5. Paula 6. Nerea 7. Uxue 8. Izaro 9. June 10. Lucia 11. Nahia 12. Maria 13. Naia 14. Maialen 15. Maider


Our favourite Basque names For girls: Onintza, Miren, Irati, Estitxu, Leire, Arrate,Garazi, Amaia, Uxue, Edurne, Nerea, Amaiur, Itsaso, Oihane, Usoa, Jone, Larraitz, Enara, Nora, Amets, Haizea For boys: Enaitz, Endika, Asier, Mikel, Hodei, Egoitz, Aitor, Ekaitz, Iker, Jon, Aingeru, Ander, Gaizka, Garikoitz, Aiert, Oier, Bikendi, Iaki

The most used names in Basque Country

In the Basque Country its very common

to use Basque names.Some years ago they were forbidden. The last years, that tradition has also started as fashionable in some other places all over the country (Spain). In the Basque Country the most used names are : For girls: Ane, Leire, Irati and Nerea For boys: Iker, Jon, Mikel and Unai

In Spain the most used Basque names are: For girls: Miren, Nerea, Amaia and Arrate For boys: Eneko, Unai, Mikel and Jon Ander There are more names that are from othercountries and we use a lot here, because we think that they are exotic. For example Arabian names: Eyassi, Yasmina, Dana


In Spain and in the Basque Country our way to choose names is the same.Some years ago parents used traditional family names, especially for the oldest son (his fathers or grandfathers name for generations).The name of the saint of the day a baby was born was also a custom in all families. Nowadays religion isnt very important for names, so Basque tradition gets more important. Also the meaning of a name and the sound of it.

BY: Miren




Arrate A.

Milagros Inma -Jenni Javi Miguel Vicenta Ramn Maria Dolores -Arrate Pili Joaquin Donato Maria Francisco Grandparents

Angel Edurne -Miren -Asier -Mikel Delfina -Amaia Jon Miren Itziar -Nerea Julen Manuel Luis Angel Dolores Gregorio Marita Angel Emilia

Esteban Felisa Vicente Pili Bonifacio Carmen

CONCLUSIONSWe can easily see that the names our ancestors used are very different from our own names. They were more related to religion and Spanish traditions. In our generation all names are Basque. The others are now out of fashion and if we hear them we would know they belong to old people.

The change can be seen in our parents names: Itziar/Edurne/Jon are Basque, but very traditional old Basque names. Our names are both Basque traditional and modern Basque names. Names can also be associated to migration. People going to other places either keep their own names or accept the new ones in the new place.Mirens grandparents came from Miranda (in a nearby province) and Jennis grandmother came from Morocco. In both cases they were looking for better jobs and their origin cant be traced in their children or grandchildrens names

Some fashionable names come from TV or the world of stars and celebrities (Jenni). This means we live in one big single world. It is clear we can be recognised as belonging to our place just when we say our names but we also belong to an age range. Names are personal and at the same time a reflection of our time.

Nowadays the names that we all use are of Basque origin for various reasons: we are not as religious as our parents and grandparents used to be, we are more conscious of our Basque roots and we watch TV and get in touch with other different people and other fashionable names. All studentsnames are Basque and we are proud of this change of attitude. We are looking forward to meeting our email partners and speak about our names. Sure it will be very interesting !!.