2020, Volume 17, Issue 2

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Tatyana V. Shmeleva
Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University
Veliky Novgorod, Russia

Names of Monasteries in the Novgorod Onomasticon

Voprosy onomastiki, 2020, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp. 186–200 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2020.17.2.023

Received on 7 July 2019

Abstract: The paper analyzes a specific segment of the Novgorod onomasticon represented by the names of monasteries (ecclesionyms) and city names derived from them. The author gives an overview of similar studies on church names, including those based on Belarusian examples, noting that all the reviewed publications argue that ecclesionymy should be regarded as a special field of onomastic research. The present case focuses on the names of the Orthodox monasteries of Veliky Novgorod and its immediate surroundings analyzed in relation to their motivation. Specifically, some of them are coming from saints’ names (hagionyms) (e.g. Antoniev, Yuryev), some may refer to the names of episodes of the gospel history (e.g. the Nativity of the Virgin, the Resurrection), or replicate the names of icons (e.g. Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God). There is also a persistent difference between the official names of the monasteries and their colloquial variants in everyday discourse: the latter are mostly reduced to one word, while the former usually consist of several words. In terms of onomastic potential, the names of the monasteries of Veliky Novgorod are considered in three groups according to the monasteries’ location in the urban space: city monasteries giving names to streets and lanes within the city (Desyatinny, Lazarevsky, Rozvazha); monasteries outside the city that gave the names of suburban territories (which have become a part of the city and are now used as names of districts, e.g. Antonovo, Kolmovo), and monasteries outside the city that give names to roads and passages or (less commonly) to streets (Vyazhishchsky passage, Yuryevskoye and Syrkovskoye highways, Khutynskaya street). It is noted that Novgorod monasteries retain their onomastic potential up to this day, as new city objects appear to be named after them, such as Derevyanitsky bridge, Arkazhi neighbourhood, Antonovo cafe and hotel. In conclusion, the author outlines the prospects of using the obtained results in studying the ecclesionymy of other Russian cities, particularly the ancient ones.

Keywords: Russian language, urban onomastics, Veliky Novgorod, names of monasteries, derivative city names, ecclesionyms, hodonyms, names of districts, ergonyms.


The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Administration of the Novgorod Region in the framework of the research project No. 18-412-530002 “Onomastic Portrait of Veliky Novgorod: Dialectics of the Ancient and the Modern”.


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