In my study entitled “The Psychology and Categories of Name Giving Among the Turkish Peoples” (Hungaro - Turcica, Budapest 1976, pp. 207-223) I divided Turkic personal names into six major groups, and within these groups further 14 categories of men’s names and a couple of women’s names were distinguished.
A very important semantic category of Turkic names is that of the theophoric names. In my Onomasticon Turcicum in preparation, more than sixty data are collected from different ages and different Turkic peoples for the name Tdngri - berdi “God - given” (in their corresponding forms), partly they are names of historical persons. The name of “God” could be substituted by different words, thus e. g. Ogan - berdi (A. v. Le Coq, Tiirkische Namen in Indien: Garbe- Festgabe, 1927), in the Islamic cultural sphere Allah - virdi (Abram- zon, Rozdenie kirgizskogo rebenka: Sbornik Muzeja Antropologii i fitnografii XII, 1949, p. 107) and Quday - berdi (Abramzon, 1. c.). The latter two names served as basis for Russian patronymika such as Allahberdiev (ein Chivaer in 1793: A. f. w. K. v. R. XVIII, p. 352), Quday - Berdiev (Turkmen name in 1880: Grodekov, Vojna IV. Priloienie, p. 39). The name Tdngri - berdi itself has a variant Tagri- birdi on Arabic soil, e. g. the great historian of the Mamelukes was called Abul Mahasin Ibn Tagrlbirdi (1411-1469). In the Arabic chronicle of this Ibn Tagribirdi, in the period between 1441 and 1469, sixteen such names are registered, and the same abundance of data is characteristic of another famous Mameluke historian Ibn Iyyas (1448-1528).
God can be also an indirect cause of conception: this view is reflected in names like Dljan - berdi “(the divine) Soul - given”. E. g. 1496/7: Dian - berdi (Ibn Iyyas II, pp. 322, 353; III, p. 212); another Dian - berdi from 1517 is the governor of Syria (Ibn Iyyas II, PP- 354.395 J IH> PP- 3, 338); 1543: yiiriik Baba Dian - berdi (T. Gok- bilgin, Rumeli, p. 175). Probably two Old Uyghur names can be divided into this category of names: 762: Kiin birmii t(ajrhan “Sungiven governor” (F. W. K. Muller, Zwei Pfahlinschriften aus den Turfanfunden, p. 23); Kiin bermii sangiin “Sun - given general” (W. Radlofif, Uigurische Sprachdenkmaler, p. 52).
The inclusion of the above two Old Uyghur names can be corroborated by the analogy a passage of the Secret History of the Mongols (§21): Alan - koa was made pregnant by a mythical man who descended to the yurt through the light - releasing hole in a beam of light. In the background ofTurkic totemism a similar psychological phenomenon can be observed which will be treated further below in connection with the Turkic name AlmiS.
The verbal form praeteritum definitum in the name Tangri- berdi can be substituted with the form praeteritum indefinitivum even in case of the same name, e. g. the name of a Mameluke occurs both as Tangri - berdi and Kangri - bermii.
The theophoric names are represented in great abundance among the Turkic peoples, probably they are more usual than among the Indoeuropean peoples. In this connection let me refer to R. Kleinpaul (Die deutschen Personnennamen: Sammlung Goschen, ’9°9, P- *3): “••• die Kinder werden als Geschenke Gottes ange- sehen... Kinder sind eine Gabe des Herrn und Leibesfrucht ist ein Geschenk, heisst es in Psalmen, ... Theodor besagt dasselbe im Griechischen: Gottes Gabe oder Gottes Geschenk (Swpov) ... Eine Ubersetzung ins Lateineische ist Deusdedit und Deodatus, eine ins Italienische: Diodati, eine ins Franzdsische: Dieudonne, eine ins Sanskrit: Devadatta. ..”.
Now let us turn to the subject proper of the present article. In 1976 I failed to define a category of names in precise terms, though this group is represented by numerous names. There are Turkic names containing only the verbal part of the theophoric names. Especially three verbs occur in this case: 1. “to give”: Berdi ~Verdi~ Virdi; Bermii ~ Fermi/, 2. “to get, take”: Aldi ~ Almii, 3. “to be, become”: BolmuS. The latter two verbs evidently refer to the lacking ablative form of God s name: “taken from God”, “become from God . All these Turkic names can rightly be regarded as remnants of theophoric names. There are analogous names in Slavic name giving: Bog(u)dan, Bogdan “God - given” and Dan “gift, present” (F. Miklosich, Die Bildung der slawischen Personen - und Ortsna- men, Heidelberg 1927, pp. 33, 54).
The most common name of the above type in Turkic is Berdi. In my Onomasticon Turcicum approximately 240 Berdi names are registered from different ages and peoples. Because of lack of space it is impossible to enumerate all these names, I shall mention only the Hungarian family name Berde living among the Szekelys in Transsylvania. It was borrowed from a 11th-century Kipchak Turkic dialect, probably that of the Pechenegs into the Hungarian. As for the Hungarian Berdi > Berde development, see Etil fin Greek ’A-rivjAa;) > Hung. Etel-, Sehin (in Greek Sa^lvoc) “an early frontier town of Transsylvania having Onogur origin” > Hung. Sgeben (now Sibiu in Rumania).
For the name BermiS, in contrast with Tdngri - bermis and other composite forms, there are only a few names attested. E. g. the name of a Mameluke in 1366/67 Bermis (Ibn Iyyas I, p. 220). There is a Turkish village in Anatolia in Amasya ili called Vermif (Tiirkiye Miilki Idare Boliimleri ve Belediyeler, Ankara 1970, p. 61). This is evidently a place name having its origin in a personal name Vermif displaying a clear Oguz character.
The verbal form Bolmui “(he who) became” can be found in the Orkhon inscriptions, as part of the attribute of Bilga qagan’s name: Tangritag Tdngridd Bolmus Turk Bilga qagan “the Heavenlike and Heaven - born Turkish Bilga qagan” (I S 1: W. Thomsen, Inscriptions de 1’Orkhon dechiflrees, Helsingfors 1896, p. 114). In Old Uyghur from 762: Tdngridd BulmB inal “prince descended from God” (F. W. K. Muller, Zwei Pfahlinschriften, p. 23). There are some further data in Old Turkic. In Radloff’s Uigurische Spra h- denkmaler (p. 270) the name BumliS occurs several times. Here we have to do with the participle of the verb bul- “to get”. The meaning of this verb bul- may lead us to names formed of the verb al- “to get, to take”. The most common form is that of the praeteritum definitum, e. g.: Aldi (Radloff, Proben I/i, p. 93), Tat. Aldi, Aldi - bay (Mag- nickij, p. 26); Kazak Aldi - bay (name of four persons in Rumjancev, Materialy po obsledovaniju tuzemnogo i russkogo starozil’deskogo chozjajstva i zemlepol’zovanija v SemireCenskoj oblasti, Dzarkentskij uezd, pp. 88, 150; Kopalskij uezd, p. 204), Aldim - bay (form in ist P. Sg.: Dzark. uezd, p. 52), Aldi (Akmolinsk, obi., Atbasarsk. uezd), Aldike (Dzark. uezd, p. 12, Akmolinsk, obi., Petropavl. uezd, p. 90), Aldikey (AOP 2, Vernensk. uezd, p. 114), Aldi Girey in Caucasus (Dopolnenija k Aktam istorideskim XII, p. 273), 1708: Aldi Girey (Materialy po 1st. Kazak, p. 157), 1693: Aldi Girey (Akty ist. V, p. 4°3), 1594/95: knjaz’ Aldikova Asanova (Lit. Tat. Ill, p. 210), Aldik (ist P. PL: Akmolinsk, obi., Atbasarsk. uezd, p. 30), Aldi Er Kirgiz tribal chief (A. Temir, Mong. Gizli Tarihi, p. 239).
Last but not least let us turn to the name Almis. Two significant historical persons bore this name. The one is Almos (read: Almoi), father of ArpAd who conquered the Carpathian Basin in 895 96 A. D., the first prince known by name in the line of the Hungarian kings. It was L. Ligeti who made the theophoric origin of this name probable (Magyar Nyelv 1978, pp. 258-274). He proved that the Hungarian name Almos (Almui in the 12th - century Hungarian Gesta Ungarorum) cannot be derived from Hungarian atom (read: alom) “dream” as proposed by Anonymus’ folk - etymology, but it must come from a Turkic Almii. Old Hungarian Almui is a regular equivalent of Turkic Almii. It must be borne in mind that the figure of Almos is an organic part of the Turul legend in Anonymus’ Gesta: "... Vgek ... qui duxit sibi uxorem in Dentumoger filiam Eune- dubeliani ducis, nomine Emesu, de qua genuit filium, qui agno- minatus est Almus. Sed ab eventu divino est nominatus Almus, quia matri eius prcgnanti per sompnium apparuit divina visio in forma asturis, que quasi veniens earn gravidavit et innotuit ei ...” (Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum I, Budapestini 1937, p. 38). In translation: “Cgyek ... who married the daughter of prince Euned- belia, called Emesu, in Dentiimogyer. From her he begot his son who was called Almos. But he was called Almos owing to a divine event, as a divine vision in the form of a falcon appeared to his pregnant mother in her dream, and as if descending upon her it made her pregnant”.
The legendary falcon whose old Hungarian name was torn/ (< Turkic togrul) must be regarded as a totem or ongun. In the above passage of the chronicle it is the means of the divine conception. Consequently the Turkic name Almii (> Hung. Almos) must be interpreted as remnant of a theophoric name meaning “taken /received from God”. Sometimes the onguns took over the function of a tamga/damga, i. e. tribal badge. The word damga has a more general meaning “stamp”, consequently not every ongun became damga. Damgas were stamped on the animals of the nomadic Turkic tribes to make distinction possible between the livestock of different tribes. Sometimes the tribal damgas were minted on coins, as e. g. the damga of the Qayi tribe or that of the Salgurides (two vertical lines, with an arrow-head on the second one). The damga of the Aq - qoyunlu tribe was represented on coins, stamps of documents and on flags (Faruk Sumer, Oguzlar, Ankara 1972, pp. 206207). In RaSideddin, the 24 Oghuz tribes have different onguns and different damgas. Kasgari enumerated 22 damgas of the Oghuz tribes (ed. Besim Atalay, I, pp. 55-58).
In Mameluke Egypt, where the Mameluke layer was preponderantly of Tatar - Cuman origin, the ongun animals became a constant element of coats - of - arms, as e. g. the sonkur “falcon”, the Aq - qui “white bird”: in the Near East” a sort of falcon”, in Inner Asia “swan”, the Aq - buga “white bull”, etc. (see E. G. Mayer, Saracenic Heraldry, London 1932).
The old Hungarian ongun turul “falcon” also became a coat- of- arms, first that of the kings of the Arpad house, then that of the Hungarians in general.
More than a generation later than ArpAd’s father Almos lived, the prince of the Volga Bulghars was called Almii. His name is mentioned by the Arabic traveller Ibn Fadlan in 922 A. D. Ibn Fadlan’s report was taken over by Ibn Rusta, then by the Persian Gardizi in a distorted form (see Barthold: Enzyclopadie des Islam I, p. 820). Although it is a Bulghar name in question, the i sound is not represented by I typical for Bulghar, because lambdacism was not prevalent in the Bulghar (here Onogur) language at that time.
There are several later data for Almii in the Turkic languages, let me quote some of them:
Tatar Almiiev from 1724 (with the Russian -ev suffix forming patronymika Materialy po istorii BaJkirii III, p. 277), Tatar Almii (Magnickij); Kazak Aimes - Batir, a leader of the Botbay sub - group (TynySpaev, Materialy, p. 65), Almii (Rumjancev, Materialy, Diar- kendskij uezd, p. 50), Aimes (Rumjancev, Materialy, Kopalskij uezd, p. 218; Vernenskij uezd, p. 114); Telengit Almis fudoviSde (Kalafev: Zivaja Starina VI, p. 499)1 Alt. Almis-han (Nikiforov, pp. 36, 212); Turkmen Almff (Materialy po istorii Turkmenii I, p. 163).
What I wrote in my article, mentioned at the beginning of this paper, concerning the personal names of the Mamelukes can well be applied to some theophoric names and their remnants respectively. In giving the latter names to persons the impact of fashionable Mameluke names must have been significant. This holds true especially for names such as Tangri - berdi and Berdi.