by Tamas Farkas from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Surnames of ethnonymic origin in the Hungarian language
Surnames originating from ethnonyms form a characteristic part of the Hungarian surname stock, in comparison with surname corpuses of other European nations. Among the 10 most frequent surnames in Hungary, 3 are of this type: Tóth (= Slavic, Slovak), Horvát (= Croat), Német (= German). These names make up at most 0.5% of the surname stock, yet their proportion could be estimated at about 7–8%. An analysis is presented here of the composition of the stock of these Hungarian surnames; the background and motivations for their creation; a historical perspective on the changes in their category; and the characteristics of their geographical distribution.
Keywords: ethnonym, family name, etymology, name geography, Hungarian.