The Azerbaijan language is included in the Turkic group of languages, which also includes, amongst others Turkish, Tatar, Kazakh, Bashkir and Uigur.
In addition, the Arabic, Persian and Islamic cultures had influence on the Azerbaijani people.
There are three components to names in Azerbaijan – Surname, Name and Patronymic.
Female given names were associated with beauty, tenderness, kindness and sophistication, whereas male given names were associated with strength, courage and determination.
Middle names were formed in a different way, different to that of Russian and other Slavic languages. The Patronymic name of a person, that of his father does not change. Prefixes such as ovich, evich, owna, evna did not exist in Azerbaijani history, instead relate to the Soviet period. In modern times, these are used in official communications only.
The Patronymics have two forms – Ogly and Kyzy – the former means son and the latter means daughter. When the Red Army arrived in Azerbaijan in 1920, individuals were asked for their name as part of the registration process, as the name that we would associate with the surname, was essentially the name of the father, the Russians added the usual suffix to be found in Russian culture. About 80% of Azerbaijani’s have retained this, but gradually the Russian suffix is being removed.
Excluding the various endings, the pool of Russian surnames is relatively small, there are generally speaking 15 popular names and these account for 80% of the population.
- Abbasov, Aliev, Babaev,
- Gadzhiev, Guliev, Hasonov, Huseynov, Ibragimov, Ismailov
- Musaev, Mamedov, Orujov,
- Rasulov, Suleymonov, Veliev
With the name Mamedov being the most popular.
The following are a list of popular Azerbaijani Surnames
- Abievi, Agalarov, Alekperov, Amirov, Askerov
- Bahramov, Gambarov, Jafarov, Kasumov, Kerimov
- Khanlarov, Mehdryev, Safaror, Vagifor
With the name being a popular adaptive form of the Arabic name Aliakbar divided into two parts – Ali (great) and Akbar (oldest).
In ancient times, locals in their entire life had at least three names, all of them different from each other
- Children – a name given to them at birth, with a view of distinguishing one from another child.
- Adolescent – given to a teenager by fellow villagers and dependent on characteristic traits, spiritual qualities or external characteristics
- Name earnt in old age – names indicated by deeds, judgement, actions and behaviours over the whole life.
There are also prefixes added in a respectful manner, a degree of kinship, some of which might not be given through a connection to blood or marriage, but instead as a sign of respect.
To explore Azerbaijani surnames click HERE