Serbian Names Inspired by Nature

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Posted on: November 2nd, 2017by Ivana Stamenkovic

Like many other nations, Serbs also gave their children names inspired by nature. Many of these names are old and forgotten, but they've had their comeback during the last few years.

Serbian Names Inspired by Flowers

Bosiljka - It originates from the name of a popular ornamental plant 'bosiljak' (basil), which is considered to be an 'elixir of life.' It's a female name that was popular before, but it's quite rare now. The name derived from it is Bosa, which could also be a nickname.
Cveta, Cvetko - Cveta is a female and Cvetko is a male name. 'Cvet' in Serbian means flower.
Drena - It's a female name derived from the word 'dren' (a dogwood tree). This name represents strength and health (in Serbian you could say 'zdrav kao dren' when you refer to someone who has an excellent health).
Grozdana - Old Slavic female name derivated from the word 'grozd' (a cluster - bunch of grapes). A shorter form of this name would be Grozda. Famous Serbian writer who wrote many children fairytales is Grozdana Olujic.
Jorgovanka - This old Serbian female name derives from the name of a flower 'jorgovan' (a lilac). Although it has a beautiful symbolic, it isn't very popular in Serbia.
Koviljka - Another old Serbian female name which lost its popularity is Koviljka. The root of the name is in the word 'kovilje' (a feather grass). The shorter form of the name Koviljka is Kova.
Ljiljana - Ljiljana is Serbian equivalent to the English name Lily. A shorter form of Ljiljana is Ljilja, but it's mostly used as a nickname and not as a name. It was quite popular a few decades ago.
Nevena, Neven - Old Slavic female name Nevena was created after the name of a flower 'neven' (a marigold flower). This flower is very healing, so parents who gave this name wanted to invoke health. The name could also mean 'ne venuti' (don't wither or fade - to be forever young). There's also a male version of this name - Neven, but girl version is more popular.
Ru'a, Ru'ica - Ru'a means rose, and Ru'ica is a diminutive (a small rose).
Smiljana, Smiljan - Smiljana is a female and Smiljan is a male name. They found their origin in the name of a decorative flower 'smilje' (a dwarf everlast). Other versions of this name are Smilja or Smiljka for girls and Smiljan or Smiljko for boys.

Serbian Names Inspired by Trees

Jela, Jelica, Jelka - All these female names are derived from the name of a fir-tree, signifying height, lavishness, and elegance. Another possibility is that these names originate from the name Jelena (Helena, Elena).

Serbian Names Inspired by Animals

Golub - It would be weird if you'd call someone a 'pigeon,' but that's exactly what this name means. Pigeons (well, mostly doves) are a symbol of fidelity and peace. It's a male name that isn't quite common today.
Lav - This is a male name popular in many other cultures, as well - you must have heard for Leo or Leon. It symbolizes pride, strength, and courage. Lav is usually considered for a Russian name, but actually, it's Greek. This name is returning its popularity since most parents nowadays give short names to their children.
Srna - It's a name of an animal ('roe deer') used as a female name. It symbolizes tenderness and elegance.
Vuk - This is an old Serbian name, and it's a name of an animal ('wolf'). Before, when many children were dying from an illness, parents gave their child the name Vuk, believing that the boy who has this name will have the strength to fight and banish the evil forces. Although this symbolic is mostly forgotten, the name continues to have its popularity, as well as some of the names that have been derived from it (male names - Vukaa'in, Vukota, Vukan... female names - Vukosava, Vuka ).

Serbian Names Inspired by Fruits

Dunja - This female name is also a name of a fruit - quince. It's a Persian fruit, and it symbolizes beauty and health. The fruit blooms in May and June, so it's mostly given to the girls who are born in these two months. You'll find this name in many verses, stories, and legends.
Jagoda - Jagoda is the name of another fruit - strawberry. And it's also a female name popular in Serbia, Croatia, and Poland. Who wouldn't want his little girl to be as sweet as this soft red fruit?
Vi'nja - Vi'nja is a female name of domestic origin. The name of a plant and fruit (cherry) was taken for a personal name. It symbolizes blushing.

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