[ANSTHRLD] Name Construction Check - Katerinka Lilieva Ikonnikova

Lisa Theriot lisatheriot at ravenboymusic.com
Fri May 20 10:33:08 PDT 2011

[Katerinka Lilieva Ikonnikova.]

This name has several problems.

You are correct in your suspicion that the order should be <given
name><patronymic><family name>, so there's problem #1.

I still hate registering diminutives, especially in Russian, but that
ship has, alas, sailed.

Please be aware that though finding a name in one of Paul's articles is
a good start, it is by no means an automatic okay.  Looking at
Ikonnikov, it is one of many items in Paul's Dictionary that are suspect
in the extreme.  If you found a citation in an English legal document
for <Painter Jones> in 1602 you wouldn't think <Painter> was his first
name, but that some Mr. Jones who was paid to paint something was
entered into record by someone who didn't know Mr. Jones' first name.
There being no pattern of "occupational names as given names" in
Russian, I suspect that this entry is bogus.  I would not, on the other
hand, bet my last ruble against a record of "Katherine, daughter of
Painter Jones," so I would grumble less over Ekaterina Ikonnikova <valid
family name>.  It's still nothing like an actual name, but it's at least
a plausible description.  

Lilieva is also fraught.  Paul mentions in his article that he read
Unbegaun's discussions of botanical names (on pages 191-195 and pg.
225), but does not report what Unbegaun says, namely that the pattern of
botanical names extends only to food and medicinal plants.  Flower names
(pp. 193, 225) are found used exclusively by clergy (presumably for
their symbolic meanings), and Liliev is one such name (actually,
Unbegaun cites <Lile/ev>).  It is therefore virtually impossible that
Liliev is a period Russian family name (there were married clergy, but
they were expected to remain celibate after ordination, married or not).

Liliev IS an occasional modern Russian surname; the influx of cultures
(post-period) which used flower names (Estonian, Armenian) has caused it
to enter the naming pool.

There might be another option for your submitter.  Paul shows <Lil'ana>
as a masculine given name dated to 1470, which by the customary rules
should produce a patronymic <Lil'anin>.  I find that only in Bulgarian.
On the other hand, <Lilyanov> is a not uncommon modern Russian surname,
which leads me to surmise that <Lil'ana> was a diminutive form (or
genitive form, or...) of an underlying <Lil'an>, which would produce a
patronymic <Lil'anov> with the expected substitution of <y> for the soft
sign.  I think <(E)Katerin(k)a Lilyanova> involves far less speculation
than what you currently have, and it might make your submitter happy.
Her daddy can still paint icons for a living; it doesn't have to be in
her name to be in her persona story!

(Just to avoid the horrid English-speaker "ova" disease, the submitter
should pronounce that leel-YAN-oh-va, with the emphasis on the second


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