About Hungarian names

After editing this video I realised there are some things I would like to add. If there’s anything else you find interesting about Hungarian names, let us know in the comment section 🙂

10 most common Hungarian family names

  1. Nagy [ great, big ]
  2. Kovács [ blacksmith ]
  3. Tóth [ older word for Slovak ]
  4. Szabó [ tailor ]
  5. Horváth [ Croatian ]
  6. Varga [ shoemaker ]
  7. Kiss [ little ]
  8. Molnár [ miller ]
  9. Németh [ German ]
  10. Farkas [ wolf ]

You can see that they are either an adjective, an occupation or nationality. Nationalities are usually written with a +h letter in family names. Just the nationality or the language would be ‘horvát’ (Croatian), but in family names it’s Horváth. German = német, but if it’s a family name it can be Németh.

5 most common Hungarian male first names

  1. László (Leslie)
  2. István (Stephan)
  3. József (Joseph)
  4. János (John)
  5. Zoltán (no English version, it comes from the Turkish word sultan)

5 most common Hungarian female first names

  1. Mária (Maria)
  2. Anna (Anne)
  3. Katalin (Kate)
  4. Éva (Eve)
  5. Zsófia (Sophia)

Family name + first name

In Hungary family name is placed before given names, just like in Japan for example. Whenever I was abroad and they were asking what’s my first name, I just couldn’t get used to it, I’d always make a very confused face, thinking if they want to know my family name or given name. And then I was worried that they’ll think I’m that stupid I don’t even know what’s my name and I need time to think it over. And I always ended up explaining why I had to think, cause it’s different in my country. #TooMuchStress

How women’s name can change after marriage

Let’s have the same example as in the video. Tóth Krisztina [ Slovak Christina ] gets married to Kiss András [ Little Andrew ]. She can keep her name with her dad’s family name or she can choose from these options:

  • Kissné Tóth Krisztina
  • Kiss Andrásné
  • Kiss-Tóth Krisztina

I think the most common choice nowadays is using both family names like ‘Kiss-Tóth’. If you see the -né ending after someone’s name, it means that that person is married.

Children get the family name of the father.

Name days

In Hungary we celebrate name days. You can check it in the calendar when is your name’s day. It’s common to give chocolate or flowers as a present. It’s not such a big celebration as a birthday, just a nice message saying ‘Boldog névnapot!’ (Happy name day!) can be enough as well. It depends on personal preferences.

A little grammar

family name + -ék ending

Ex. Tóthék – if you say this then you refer to the whole Tóth family.

  • Ott vannak a Tóthék! – Tóth’s are there!
  • Megyünk a Tóthékhoz hétvégén – We’re visiting the Tóth family at the weekend.
  • Itt vagyunk Tóthéknál – We’re at the Tóth family’s house.
  • Találkoztunk Tóthékkal hétvégén – We met the Tóth family at the weekend.
  • Veszek ajándékot Tóthéknak – I’ll buy a present for the Tóth family.

You can also use this ending with given names. Ex. Dani – Daniék. It means Dani and the others.

Dani’s family, more friends, Dani’s girlfriend, Dani’s roommates. The person you’re talking to will have an idea who are you gonna meet. If you say ‘megyek Daniékhoz’ it means you’re going to Dani’s place, Dani’s house.

Ex. I have three good friends from university: Anna, Kata and Zsófi. And it’s always the four of us when we meet. If I tell my mom ‘ találkozom Annáékkal ‘ (I’m meeting Anna and the others), she will know it’s more people not only Anna and probably common friends.

  • Átmegyek Katiékhoz – I’m going over to Kati’s place
  • Találkozom Petiékkel – I’m meeting Pete and his friends / girlfriend / family