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Q: Were all occupational names given literally the occupation of the person given the name?
A: Occupational bynames fill a very large category in Medieval Russian onomastics. While non-patronymic bynames are rare in period, occupational ones are among the most common of category within this group. [ Today, they hold a significant place in any study of modern surnames. The resources that are available for the study of occupational bynames are, as a rule, less than useful for SCA
documentation purposes. Unbegaun devoted an entire chapter to them, but organized them by linguistic structure. Tumanova reproduced Unbegaun's list (without ascertaining which were period and which were not) in English alphabetical order. Yet, for the SCA, the most useful way to organize the names is by type of occupation so that a person can choose a name based upon the type of occupation they wish to have. Naturally, any sort of organization will have its own failings, but I have created several distinct categories (and sub-categories) that should make finding a name much easier. Writing about occupational names themselves is a fairly lengthy project and out of the modest ambitions of this article. Unbegaun (110), for example, was always much more struck by the class nature of such names: "It is natural that surnames derived from occupational names should have been borne at the beginning by the middle classes - merchants and artisans. In exceptional cases, however, even as early as the sixteenth century, representatives of the gentry bore occupational surnames." And, while it is probably true that such things are important, we know far too little about such trends to be able to draw such conclusions with certainty. As a final note, we should be careful about how we use lists of occupational names. Unbegaun notes that it would be a mistake to literally translate these names. While it is perhaps true that these bynames were originally associated with people of a specific profession, that association would have died out over time and the names would take on a life of their own. Their original "meaning" would be lost (even in period). ]
cjam_1977|Points 290|
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Asked 3/27/2013 7:13:11 AM
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Her favorite pastime is entertaining friends. Gerund phrase: Noun function:
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Updated 10/20/2015 6:39:15 AM
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Her favorite pastime is entertaining friends.
Gerund phrase: entertaining friends
Noun function: predicate nominative
Added 10/20/2015 6:39:15 AM
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