Now, Look Here (Publicistics) — Part Three

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: We, The Silly People

Chapter 14 (v.1) - Nomen est numen! (to name is to define)

Submitted: May 06, 2018

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Submitted: May 06, 2018





(To name is to define!)

For a long time nobody in Bulgaria has whatever doubts that we are country of miracles, if you want only because in spite of the democracy we still exist, i.e. no matter that we are now a democratic state we are still far behind in regard of our living standard, compared with the situation under our 'Bai Tosho', and in the near 10-20 years 'from nowhere our eyes can see a hope coming' (as the poet has said). But there is nothing to wonder, for it turns out that everything was because of the ... names* of our politicians!
Well, judge for yourself: was it not clear that Sofianski will become mayor of Sofia, because it (the city) is, in fact, his, isn't it? But we have wasted our time on various elections and have spent a heap of money and nerves, while the people would have chosen him even five times, if this was possible, for the above reason. Or that Videnov, being 'viden' (what is eminent in Bulgarian) man, must stand at the head of the communists, sorry — socialists —, and he took the lead (and the consequences did not delay). Or also that Parvanov must be that man now — because who else if not Parvanov must be 'parvi' (or prav in Bulgarian, what is first), ah? ( Or maybe it will be better to introduce here the letter 'å', like that in your 'girl', and then the name will be Pårvanov, and the adjective pårvi or pråv. ) But this, will somebody object, are simply random coincidences. Well, then you count them on you fingers, when you think so, and when your fingers run out then continue with the toes, or take also the hands of your beloved and continue with her fingers (as well also move to her legs later), because two hands here will surely not suffice, and we will continue meanwhile with our survey.
Let us take, for example, Stoianov — a good name, and the man is also good, he is obviously chosen to 'stoi' (i.e. stand) on a high place, and because he is also Petar (Petår, more precisely), i.e. petronimus, what in Latin means earth or stone (where from the petrol has come), then the man has stood like a stone on his place (of President) and everyone sees and hears him at least three times in a day, what is more than even the talks about our former 'dad' or 'uncle' or 'bai' (Tosho /Todor Zhivkov) on the media. And he, this 'bai' /'uncle' was named Zhivkov, right? And because of this the man has 'zhivia' (i.e. lived) for quite a long time on the throne, and in general (and give God to everyone so much, for how our nation has begun to grow younger, when now people can not reach even 70 years and die, and the young ones only reach their 25 years and are already out of the country, then it can well happen that the average age by us will, maybe, come close to the Christ's 33 years).
Or look at the Zheliu (Zhelev), was it really not clear that he is 'zhelezen' (i.e. iron) man and will smash the communism to smithereens, right? But he was not so very 'steely' like Stalin and because of this he succeeded not to the end. This is so, but here is not only this, because he was also Zhelev, where we find the usual 'shele' (jelly), and this was a thing that his people have noticed and for this reason wanted to change him. They, surely, succeeded in this, but, after all, not earlier than the end of term, because along with this jelly there was also some iron, so that he withstood his mandate till its end, and now wishes to be chosen again, if only there will be found people willing to vote for him.
Ah, there was also one Sabev (Såbev), who ... had a grudge (and we say a 'tooth', which in Bulgarian is 'zab' /'zåb') against nearly everybody — against the communists, against the Holy Synod (for he was a priest), and as if also against the whole Bulgaria, because in the recent time is heard nothing about him and he could have moved to other 'humans' across the ocean to spread the word of God. But there is also one Trenchev (boss of Trade Unions), who, as could have been expected from his name, has blossomed like a 'trendafil' (what is a rose in Turkish and known as archaic word in Bulgarian) in our democratic garden , and how he has not fought for place around the state's dining table so he has already secured it, because they invite him often to have a 'chat' (or 'laf-moabet' in Turkish, talks during a drinking bout) on different labour matters.
Or let us take one clever man — one Solomon! He has abandoned his exact sciences (mathematical logic), because with them one can not earn much 'bread', and as far as he was also Passi, then he has made several 'passes', in order to pass us to the countries around the North Atlantic, no matter that, however great Bulgaria was in old times, it has never reached to the South Atlantic (to say nothing about the North one). But as far as the 'passing' was in his name then he simply will pass us to those states and his Solomonic eye will not even blink (how it happened, because he built even earlier the Atlantic Union in Bulgaria, and later become Prime Minister during the ruling of Tsarist party).
And one, really, good man, has failed only because he was named Slabakov (he was a known actor), and have pulled down with him one viden-eminent person, because, well, how is it possible that a reasonable homo can decide to make coalition with some 'slabak' (or slab, what means weak), ah? Coalitions are made only with strong persons, for otherwise people will not respect them at all. And have you asked yourself sometime why one Attorney General must be named Tatarchev, ah? Well, because everyone is afraid of the Tatars, and when so then he respects (as much as this is possible under democratic conditions) the Attorney, as well as our laws, of course. It is not that we all, the Bulgarians, are, in one extent or another, Tatars, what is well seen in our debates in the Talking Shop, ouch, pardon me, — in the Parliament — but, maybe, exactly for this reason we choose such persons who are greater 'Tatars', than we are. Now we have on this post one Mr. Filchev, who is also good, because this means that he is very precise and exact (fin in Bulgarian, what is 'fine' because the word is Latin), i.e. filigreed in regard of applying of the laws, and this, that he is also Nikola, i.e. heir of the name of Greek goddess of victory, Nike, only makes him honour (among the criminal underworld). In general, for such persons is not so important that the people loved them, than that they were afraid of them, and these do their hard work.
And in order not to think that this naming is valid only for politicians, then look at one Asparuchov (known footballer from the past): would he have been such if he was not descendant of the brave warriors of Khan Asparuh (or Isperih — and the 'h' is pronounced —, from the First Bulgarian Kingdom already in the 7th century), who have raised 'steam' (what is 'para' in Bulgarian or 'par' in Russian, but the root is ancient Greek) everywhere where they passed, or have 'razpariali' (torn, split) any defence, however good it only was? Or also Christo Stoichkov (present-day's known footballer): would he remained to 'stoi'-stand for so long like the brightest star on our football horizon, if he was not also one Christ for Bulgarian football?
But it can't be that you do not know one Ganchev, right? ( Well, outside of Bulgaria he might not be known, but he has quite successfully tried to enter the politics ) He confuses us a little with his family (as well also with his first name, which in one passport was Georges, but read with 'zh', and in another one Georgi, and this time with 'g') but if you substitute in his family the leading 'g' with the similar 'h', or rather with the hard 'kh', how they write in on the West, then it is seen that he is one 'Khanchev', i.e. Khan of the Bulgarians! That is how must be looked at this person, and, nothing surprising, that it comes out exactly so, because this is written in his name and the names do not deceive.
Because when his candidacy put various 'ovchari' (shepherds, coming from Bulgarian ovtsa what is your sheep), i.e. Ovcharovs /Ovcharovtsis, you see well that they can not win elections. Yet not this is strange, that they do not win, but that they put their candidacy at all, because nobody in the world has succeeded going against his name! While some of us, whom the very fate were predestined to wield bosdugans (or buzdugan, mace or cudgel with spikes, this is Turkish word), like Dogans (Akhmed Dogan the leader then of the Turkish ethnic minority party in Bulgaria), for example, wield them for ten years quite successfully with one small party, which can not gather together even 10 percent of the seats in the Parliament.
Or we can take also one Simeon (our hereditary King, only not crowned). It may seem to be a good name, only that the English, when you say to them 'simian', understand something like the human, but not exactly, and most often an ape! They, surely, are cultured people, and will never say this to the person in the eye, but will think so. We also, here, do not say that this is true, we only fulfill our duty to him, id est not him to think that with this name he can become our King! For he can otherwise imagine this, looking at us, seeing how we only quarrel and show obvious need of somebody, who could unite us as nation, yet not around some parties and unions, but under one ancient institution, which has withstood the test of passed centuries. Only not under such name, but, probably, under some Dragan (where 'drag' is dear, i.e. that one felt simply glad to chose him), or around some Boil (where 'boia se' is to have fear, so that one will be afraid of him and listen to him), or also Petar /Peter (stony), or Stoian (stable), or Manol (with hard manus-hand), or Teofil (in Latin Theophilus, loving God), and so on.
Then let us take Blagovest (Sendov, mathematician, was earlier Chairman of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and later, in his old age, moved to politics), is one such name that at once says you that he is a clever and reasonable man, because he carries only 'blagi vesty' (i.e. good news) and, although he is officially member of no party, he lived well during the totalitarian years, and now also lives not bad; while his brother (who is also mathematician), because he is only some 'dar ot boga' (gift from God) for his parents, or Bozhidar (bozhi is from God and dar is a present), continues to remain unknown to the general public, due to the fact that not those people have engendered him. As well also Kostov (economist, from UDF) informs us right away that he engages himself only with things that can be sold (the English to cost comes from German kosten, and is also Latin), or who have costuema-costing price, as is said (or, maybe, it has to be said now 'kostovena' price?). He, really, does exactly so, sells everything that can be sold, and to anyone who gives more, even if it goes about a whole country, because in the world of capital everything is sold, countries too. And also with this Ivan as first name, what comes from the Russian 'iva' (what is a willow), what says that he has flexible back (and the willow is flexible) and bends to where the wind blows, so that not to be harmed by bad climatic conditions, he has all chances to endure another ten years on the political arena, so that you see how very indicative are the names. ( And don't discard, please, this hypothesis of mine about the name Ivan, because I think the same idea is hidden also in the ... ivory; don't be confused with the fact that Ivan is biblical name, because it does not sound like John, nor like Yonah, nor also like your Ivanhoe, because we pronounce is as is written, 'ivan', and there is this piercing cry 'iii', and it curves, modulates. )
Then there is one Blaga Dimitrova (a feminine writer), and why has she so rapidly been moved in the dead track? Well, because she was too 'blaga' (gentle, gracious) and is also a women, which has 'dumala' (thought in Russian) too much! From the 'dim' (a smoke, in Bulgarian, or also similarly in Russian) was formed the Russian duma and from here comes the name Dimitar (Dimitår, in Bulgarian, or Dmitriy in Russian), which was not much honoured in Bulgaria already from the times of 'Gosho' (i.e. Gergi) Dimitrov (our, as well international, eminent communist leader). We are not like the ancient Greeks, for to be impressed by some words — to us give actions and thrillers — and because of this also the newspaper 'Duma' (of BSP, Bulgarian socialists-communists) was barely able to collect cents in order to be issued, while some other newspapers like 'Hours' (24 Hours, 168 Hours), 'Trud'-labour, and 'Standart'-standard, are read so that even 'smoke rises', as we like to say. And one more Dimitrov has also become not specially famous, though this not because of his family of thinker, but because his mother and father have given him the name Filip /Phillip (fervent UDF leader, i.e. destroyer of communism, only without whatever creativity, of course), and it is the same as Russian filin, what means — I beg his pardon — simply an owl. Yeah, though a party that puts 'owls' at the head, even if it is not party but coalition, will not reach too far, at least until it does not change them with others.
While at the same time Alexanders are not deprived of chances for success, because their name is derived in the easiest way from German 'alles', what means 'all' and, sure thing, was known to the ancient Romans already in the times of Mr. Macedonian. These are all persons who want to have everything and in such case they choose to stay at the head, either of an army, or of a Parliament, or of Government, or of something else of the kind. There is also Mr. Karakachanov (the youngest politician, maybe), who has set himself similar goal, but: where to with this family, boy? Who nowadays respects the karakachans (practically extinguished nomadic tribe in Bulgaria that lives in the mountains and breeds cattle), or who will respect them in the future? It is clear that the man is pretty green (he is Leader of the Green Party) and because of this makes this errors. When he matures and reddens enough, or maybe becomes blue (i.e. goes to UDF) like an eggplant, and if he changes his family, then, with this Alexander in front, maybe 'his parachute will open' (idiomatic for to succeed in Bulgarian), yet for the moment the 'all' is quite away from him. And another man with the same name — Tomov — will also hardly succeed much, because the Doubting Thomas is a name known since biblical times, and it is seen that he is neither with the red, no dares to become blue enough. This is one very unstable, at least for a politician, name. If he decides to change it to, say, Lomov, what comes from the breaking and smashing (lomatj, with soft ending 't', in Russian) then he will see how the tings will become at once better, because people honour those who break outdated norms (even if they have nothing better to offer). Or then to Tomboliev — then people maybe will choose him, for everybody likes to play in tombolas or lotteries, and it may happen that they will suddenly win something for themselves, with his help.
Or there was one young boy — Emil — who never succeeded to come to terms with the 'komshuluk' ('komshiia' is a neighbour in Turkish) in our country and went to the States and now lives there not bad and does not complain. But it turned out that the snag was in his family Koshlukov, what is as if shortened from Komshulukov, and if it was some other then he, probably, would have remained in Bulgaria and would have built the democracy as thousands of other politicians, because his first name was Emil, what is a very 'milo' (i.e. nice) name, isn't it? Or take also one Reneta, who has a very nice name — like a juicy apple (a sort of apples, I suppose) —, and if it was not this Indzhova after it, which makes a heap of Bulgarians to put ahead of it the letter 'm' (and 'mindzha' is Turkish or Gypsy jargon for, I beg your pardon, vagina), she would have entered already in real Governments, not only in such that last 'from the morning till the noon' as the saying by us goes (i.e. temporary, for a month, I think).
And now look at Mrs. Mihailova: one may say that she has run after the 'mihalia' (the expression 'run after the mihalia' means to 'chase the wind' and I suppose it is distorted from mistral) with this family of her, yet as far as she is Ekaterina /Katharina /Catherine, what means that she can well 'kateri' (climb up, this is something Greek because they have many word beginning on kata- there) — just like a squirrel (which for this reason is 'katerichka' in Bulgarian) — has already climbed high enough, and it will be nothing surprising if she will put her candidacy also for President, because the climbing is in her blood. Similar things with another dame with the same family — Nadezhda. When one hears this name one can not fail to be delighted, because she may as well warrant one's hopes (a 'hope' is exactly 'nadezhda' in Bulgarian, Russian, and others Slavonic languages), and even become Minister (for we, anyway, live only with hopes — 10 years earlier we hoped that when there arise many parties, or companies, the things will begin at once to go smoothly hereafter, but it turned out that the point wasn't in their number, but in their quality and magnitude; now, on the contrary, we hope that their number will at last decrease, in order for them to become larger, like by the totalitarianism).
And what can be said about Mr. Simeonov, who, except that is like a monkey (according to his family, of course), but is five times more such, because is named Petko (and five is 'pet' in Bulgarian, also Friday, as fifth day of the week, is petak /petåk)? A good man, but the name is bad, and when so then he is not suitable for politician, no matter that is liberal (i.e. of the Liberal Party). And there is also Mr. Beron, who was born to earn ('bera' in Bulgarian is to gather, and here come all English berries, and the root was Sanskrit, some bhas) the fruits of his labour, but when you connect him with this stone (Petar, and the stone is Latin) in front and it turns that he can at the best 'earn' some stone on the head. In fact, with this family, even if his parents have christened him Gosho, he could have, still, reached something big is his life, but who was there to tell this to them in their time? The communists have looked with contempt at such 'nonsense', according to them, like nomenology, and you see now the deplorable results for our democracy.
Or let us look for a while to the farmers, or rather to the peasant parties. Milan is a very good name, as we have already said (mil-nice), but what are doing here these 'drenki' (cornels in English) after it (meant that his family is Drenchev), ah? Maybe this is allusion that he is a big thorn ('draka' in Bulgarian) and it is better to have nothing in common with him, or else this is again blunder, but this time of his great-great-grandfather? By some of the others occur one more time the name Gosho, what, after all, sounds bad (what is 'losho' in Bulgarian and it rhymes here)! And the not unknown lady Anastasia, suffers mainly because people can not grasp who she really is, Ana or Stanka, and such instability on the political arena can not bring her the adoration of the populace, right? And in addition to this her family Moser sounds for us even more enigmatic and also frightening, because it reminds us about some Mausers, and we are peaceful nation, due to the fact that the Turks have thought us this for five centuries of yoke, where the Serbs, as you see, because their hands always 'sarbiat' ('sårbiat', are itching in English) to begin to fight with somebody (you know that there is such belief when your hands are itching that you want to do something), have barely waited that the democracy gave them this possibility and began at once to combat.
But as far as it is time to finish then let us make also our proposition for the ideal politician, from the viewpoint of science nomenology, which we have mentioned above. There are, naturally, many variants, and they depend on the political climate in the moment, on the sex of the person, on the external features and the character of him or her, but, still, let us propose several names. For example, what is bad with one Alexandar Stoichev as President or Prime Minister, because he will ustoiava-withstand all attacks (mainly of his people, because those of the others, as a rule, are slighter)? Or also Miroslav Krastev (Kråstev), who for this reason is so christened ('krasten /'kråsten' in Bulgarian), because will become famous ('slaven') all around the world ('mir')? Though the name can also be Dimo Kratski — both, short name, and easy to be remembered, and which has sucked into itself the quintessence of democracy, so that, in whatever party he does not enter, he will move upward, until comes at the head of the entire country, because he was born to be democrat and will remain it (unless he makes the error to change his name). Or also Slavi Bozhkov, ah? He will always slavi-glorify God, or he alone will be the slava-glory of God, what is good seen on the example of our Ivan Slavkov, who was famous under the totalitarianism (he become son in law of Todor Zhivkov), and now people think he is nearly a god (what in Bulgarian and other Slavonic languages is 'bog', and the word was of Persian origin, baga), because stands at the head of BOK (what is Bulgarian Olympic Committee)! And could you imagine what would have been if he was named Bozhan Slavkov? Ah, then there would have been no need to held elections for President, right?
Prosecutors and judges, on the other hand, must stake on the brute force and perseverance, on the fear, power, health, quickness, et cetera. And for the women, because the political arena starts to become more and more their field of career, what is easily explainable with the fact that the women are, as a rule, more mediocre personalities, who must listen to what the others say to them and make this in a sweet, pleasant, and non-confronting way, what is entirely justified also for the politicians, as resonators of the voice of people (even if they sometimes turn to resound ... hollow), we can propose the following names: Milena Govorliyska, Slavka Balgaranova, Ivanka Hubcheva ('hubav' is like German hübsch and means nice, agreeable), Padka (or also Radostina — 'radost' is joy, happiness) Emilova, Svobòda Iskrenova ('iskren' is honest) or Rumiana ('rumen' is rosy, ruddy) Stoianova (quite neutral names and suitable for all Cabinets), Stanka Liubenova (where is possible also masculine variation as, for example, Liuben Stoianov; 'liubim' means beloved), Nartasha Matseva (no Russophobe will reject her — for the reason that 'matse' is like German Mietze and means a girl), Zheny Miroliubska (the family means that she loves the world), Lili Dimova (evokes associations about smell of liuliak-lilac and smoke of domestic hearth), Petrana Blazheva, Eleonora Moneva (or the lonely Eleanor — both neutral and a little exciting), and many others.

June 2000

P.S. The question with the names is, obviously, very important for a politician, or generally for some star in whatever field, and for this reason many choose pseudonyms for themselves that would say something (subconsciously or without realizing this) to the people. For the passed nearly ten years can be added also: Stanishev (leader of the 'social-communists'), who, it is absolutely clear, has always dreamed to 'stane shef' (become boss, exactly so), because such was the message of his parents to him; the perky Volen Siderov (leader of our, however sad it is, fascists — but there is nothing to fear, because he has never gathered more than 6-7% of the votes), who probably hopes that his electors will appraise how free-thinking he is (because 'volno' means free), as well also will make association with one hayduk Sider, about whom in the old days were sung songs; the shyly blinking (to blink is 'migam' in Bulgarian) Miglena (from the Tsarist party, which now has almost ceased to exist),but also Kuneva and with pretty skillful hands ('kunka' in Bulgarian is children jargon for a hand), so that was able to move anywhere; and surely also others.





  • * And as far as these names is expected to say nothing to the readers in English I will add in ordinary parentheses a pair of words about the people, which words are absent in Bulgarian original. I have "sinned" in this sense also in some places in other materials earlier, without adding of explicit footnotes.



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