Cypriot Culture

Naming

Greek Cypriots

  • Greek Cypriots generally use the same naming conventions as those in Greece. This is a first name, followed by a patronymic name and family name, e.g. Nikos Christoforou KYPIANOS.
  • A person’s patronymic name is their father’s personal name. Some may use the suffix ‘-ou’, meaning ‘of’. For example, ‘Christoforou’ means ‘son of Christophoros’.
  • Some people may have a second personal name as well as a patronymic name.
  • Women typically take their husband’s family name at marriage. When women and female children take a male's family name as their own, it may be altered into a feminine form, e.g. Mr KYPRIANOS and Mrs KYPRIANOU.
  • Women also traditionally change their patronymic to reflect their husband’s first name.
  • Family names are often abbreviated. For example, one might have the surname PAPPAS, instead of PAPACHRISTODOULOPOULOS.
  • Many Greeks are named after their grandparents, who are usually named after an Orthodox Christian saint.
  • It is common for the first-born son to be named after their grandfather.
  • According to the 2011 census, the most common Greek Cypriot female names are Maria, Eleni, Androula, Georgia, Panagiota, Anna and Christina, while the most common men's names are Andreas, Giorgos, Kostas, Christos, Nicholas, Michalis and Panagiotis.1

 

Turkish Cypriots

  • Most Turkish Cypriots follow traditional Turkish naming practices.
  • This naming format is similar to Western names: a personal name followed by a surname (e.g. Ahmet ERSOY).
  • Some people may use their husband or father’s personal name as their surname instead of a family name. Therefore, many men will have different surnames from their wives and children. For example, a father named Ahmet ERSOY may have a wife named Munevver AHMET and a son named Halil AHMET that both have his personal name as their last name.

 

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1 Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus, 2015
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