2017, Volume 14, Issue 1

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Ksenia V. Osipova
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

North Russian Dialectal Nicknames Derived from Names of Food: An Ethnolinguistic Аpproach

Voprosy onomastiki, 2017, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp. 87–109
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2017.14.1.005

Received 6 October 2016

Abstract: The article deals with traditional collective and individual nicknames attested in Arkhangelsk and Vologda regions, as well as in the north-east of Kostroma region. The “internal form” and motivation of names, as explained by dialect speakers, enable the author to give an account of North Russian peasants’ idea of culinary traditions, to present their stereotypical view of their own and others’ food, the gastronomical preferences of different social and territorial groups. Such an approach also allows to identify social situations involving food and to elicit motives and meanings associated with food in those situations. Most of the analysed collective nicknames initially pointed to territorial differences in food habits and indicated to the dominance of specific dishes (kashekhlioby, tiuriki, shtenniki, etc.), specific ingredients (gorokhoviki, kartovniki, miakinniki, etc.) or some particular traditions of cooking (kislaya kambala, kislushniki, vydenniki, etc.). The analysis of the latter group of nicknames leads to conclude that some anthroponyms may have preserved the memory of the neighborhood of Russian and Finno-Ugric groups. Individual nicknames often referred to the idea of food norms and their violation. Both collective and individual nicknames may also have been used as markers of the wealth of their bearers: for example, many “poor” nicknames were attributed to peasants of Pinezhsky and Verkhnetoyemsky Districts (krokhobory, musyonniki, sukharniki, etc.), whilst the population of Mezen was believed to be relatively rich. The author shows that the motivation of a number of nicknames acquired additional storylines that continued in folk toponymy and folklore. Among such constantly repeating motives the author mentions stories about food theft, souring and spoiling of food, spilling of drinks or food, kneading a river with flour or oatmeal.

Key words: Russian language, North Russian dialects, individual nicknames, collective nicknames, anthroponomy, motivation, ethnolinguistics


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