The Slavic Element Common Slavic was a single Indo European language spoken until the 10th century by the Slavs people. Today, the Slavic language was divided into many separate languages in eastern Europe which includes Slovak (aka Slovakian), Russian, Polish, Bosnian, Czech, Croatian, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Serbian, and many others. The Old Slavic etymological pieces, or name elements, can be found in numerous Polish Baby Names, Bulgarian Baby Names, Russian Baby Names, and Czech Baby Names. Slavic names are typically dithematic which means they contain 2 name elements. These elements are combined in various ways to create meaningful names for both males and females in Slavic languages. For instance, Boleslav is a dithematic name (2 elements) which is the combination from bole+ slav = “large glory”. Slavic element “meaning”/ from examples boh “god” Bohdan bog “god” Bogumil, Bogdan bor “battle” Czcibor, Borislav gost “foreigner, guest”/ fr Polish gosc, fr Russian gost Dobrogost, Milogost jaro “strong, fierce”/ fr Old Slavic jary Jaroslaw jar “fierce, strong” Jaromir mil “grace, kindness” Radomil, Dobromil mierz “great” fr Old Slavic mer Radzimierz mir “peace” fr Slavic mir Casimir rad “happy” Radoslaw, Radomil slaw “glory, fame”fr Polish slawa Jaroslaw, Boraslaw slav “glory, fame” fr Russian slava Miroslav vlad, wolod “rule” Vladislav, Vladimir woj “soldier, fighter” Wojciech Slavic Deities Ancient Slavic mythology contains many names for the Slavs gods and goddesses which have become characters in fairy tales told today by Russian and Polish families to their children. Name elements which refer to colors are often incorporated in distinguishing the various deities Bylebog (“white god” from the Slavic elements byle + bog) is portrayed as the giver of light, and helper for lost souls. Every summer and winter solstice, he fights with Chernobog (“black god” from the Slavic elements cherno + bog), the lord of darkness and destruction. Datan, Tawals, and Lawkaptim are 3 minor Polish gods in charge of guarding the fields. Dazhbog, like Helios, scatters sunshine, justice, and prosperity to the world from his chariot in the day sky. Dazhbog is a chief god, the sun god, akin to the Greek's Zeus. He is depicted with a canine head and horns. The hunt goddess, Devana, roams freely about the Carpathian forests. Rod (“kin”) is the god of light and fertility. Perun (taken from the root word meaning “to strike”) is the god of lightning and thunder. This Slavic god has been associated with St. Elijah, who in the Bible was translated to heaven in a chariot which rolled like thunder, and St. George, the famous dragon slayer and patron saint for domestic & wild animals. Morena is the death goddess, and Mora is the sea god. Mokosh (from the Slavic element mok “moist”) or Mati-Syra-Zemlya (“Moist Mother Earth”), as she is commonly referred to as, is the earth goddess and ruler over midwifery & fertility. Slavic Spirit Names Along with the Slavic deity names, numerous spirit names can be found in the legendary myths of these Eastern European tribes. A modern word, vukodlak, comes from the southern Slavic word “vampir” (vampire). The Istraian Slavs held the belief, every family had a vukodlak battling against their good spirit, or their kresnik. Rusalka (Rusalki-plural) were child spirits who drowned and died unbaptized. They are similar to mermaid myths and were associated with death cults in the 19th century. Vodyanoy was a male water spirit who attacked humans swimming on holy days or after dark. Sirin (taken from the Greek siren) represented beauty and happiness in the form of a flower, bird of paradise, with a little girl's face. Lugovik was a masculine spirit of the meadow. Domovoy originated with ancestor worship and was a household spirit present in all homes who guarded the family and its possessions. Dola was known as a personal protective spirit which determined each individual's fate. Divozenky literally “wild women” were mountain or wood spirits who stole household items and children who got lost in the forest.