name  why  world


Question by  benicio (257)

Why do so many East European women's last names always end in "ova?"


Answer by  tschebyshev (252)

Most cultures in the world do not feel the need to alter surnames to differentiate the genders, but for some reason, east europeans feel that this is necessary. I wonder if it is becoming passe as the world modernizes.


Answer by  shalom (271)

I like it because you can tell if the person is a woman or a man before meeting him or her and pre-determine how you will act towards them.


Answer by  somerset (801)

The ending denotes belonging to. So a women belongs to her father or husband. It could be taken in a positive way, women were protected by the men, but today it probably might have a more negative connotation, such as belonging to somebody like a piece of property.

Reply by manny (185):
Yep, you're right. Ova is possessive, as in the husband possesses the wife. I find that wrong.  add a comment

Answer by  jlaird (190)

The ova ending means of. So it's like the woman is of the man's last name, as in belonging to. It's an old Slavic practice that probably won't be changing anytime soon.

Reply by wrestler88 (192):
The -ina and -ska endings, however, aren't possessive.  add a comment

Answer by  Anonymous

In Croatia, we are East European but we don't do this silly practice. In Croatia, women are people too.


Answer by  greysquirrel (239)

Russians and Ukrainians have different rules about how they change a woman's last name than other Slavic countries. Slovakia for example, only uses -ova and -ska endings.

Reply by notorious (249):
Names that end in -ich get an -ova ending. So, for example, Balic's wife or daughter is Balicova.  add a comment

Answer by  altos (224)

Names ending in -o however, don't get any change in the ending of their name. They're treated like their male counterparts.

Reply by apple (447):
I wonder if East European men whose last names end in -o are more desirable to East European women.  add a comment
Reply by mangosteen (272):
to apple: you are presuming that east european men are desirable to begin with.  add a comment

Answer by  sunny83 (157)

It's the most common ending given to women, but it's not the only. For names ending in -sky, the women change it to -ska (e.g., Kozlovsky's wife or daughter is Kozlovska). For names ending in -in, change it to -ina. So, Kuzmin becomes Kuzmina.

Reply by hefito (226):
Also, names ending in -v get an "a" added on. For example, Federov's wife or daughter is Federova.  add a comment
posted by Anonymous
Thanks sunny83! I always wondered what the difference between a ska and an ova was!!  add a comment
posted by Anonymous
I don't get it??? I'm female, my last names is (for instance) Davis, and if I get married then I'll become Davisova, Davisky, Daviska? Or if his last name is Bocchini, that'll make me Bocchinova, Bocchinski, Bochinska. And who or what determines the ending as ova's, ski's, or ska's?  add a comment
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