Hiello (thick Russian accent) Mr. Bond….I have been expecting you….
That being said, I’m not from Russia. And I also thought that there was no possibility that I had any sort of Russian ancestry…until I inquired into the origins of my name…
Uncertain Ancestry…Greek Gods…Infamous folks…all themes that popped up during my research.
Even though Romania can be classified as a Eastern-European country, ethnically, Romanians tend to be closer to Italians than the other, more Slavic countries. However, Vladimir is definitely a Slavic name and uncommon even back at home. The fact that I’ve met less than 5 people in my life who have the same name made me feel unique.
During my online snooping, I’ve found the following explanations on what the name Vladimir means:
Max Vasmer in his Etymological Dictionary of Russian Language explains the name as meaning “regal”. Folk etymology interprets the meaning as “person of the people” or “the one with peace on one side”.
Also, according to the website behindthename.com: “Means “to rule with greatness”, derived from the Slavic element volod “rule” combined with mer “great, famous”. The second element has also been associated with mir meaning “peace” or “world”.”
Some rather infamous characters sported this first name (or variants)…such as…
When asking my parents on why I was given this name, my mom replied, rather unceremoniously, that she and my godparents (who in Orthodox Christianity contribute to naming children) really liked the name and “thought it sounded manly”. Case closed.
They also told me about my middle name, Dionisie, as well: one of my grandparents carried that name as well; also, on the third of October when I was born is a celebration for Saint Dionisie.
According to Behindthename.com, Dionisie is a Romanian form of Dionysius, which originates from Dionysos which, “In Greek mythology Dionysos was the god of wine, revelry, fertility and dance.” Awwwww yeaaaaaaaaah.
Upon inquiring about my last name, Stroe, two possible explanations popped up: Stroe is a relatively common last name in the northern part of the country where we currently live (but we’re not from there originally)…buuut it’s also a common name within the more southern part of the country (where I was born) where about 1000 years ago a large group of Russians, the Lipovans, settled.
Was my great-great-great………great grandfather Russian?…maybe!
I have to say…asking about my name raised more questions than it answered…