Romanian Culture

Naming

  • Most Romanians have a personal given name and a family name that can be arranged in either order. For example, Mihai EMINESCU – [given name] [FAMILY NAME] or EMINESCU Mihai – [FAMILY NAME] [given name]. 
  • People typically use the given name before the family name in casual conversation – [given name] [FAMILY NAME].
  • The family name is typically used first in formal settings and official contexts – [FAMILY NAME] [given name].
  • It is customary for women to adopt their husband’s family name at marriage. 
  • Romanian given names often have Christian roots, reflecting a saint from Christian scripture. 
  • The most common Romanian given name is Maria. Other common names include Andrei, David, Alexandru, Gabriel (male) and Elena, Ioana, Andreea, Sofia (female).
  • Traditionally, Romanian family names were formed using patronymic conventions, using the endings -escu and -eanu. For example, if a man named Petre had a son, the child’s last name may be PETRESCU ('son of Petre').
  • Many modern Romanian family names were formed from such patronymics (e.g. EMINESCU ‘son of Emin’). However, this convention is no longer in practice. 
  • The dominant Western custom of inheriting family names is the norm. Therefore, a person named Mihai EMINESCU would have inherited and share the same family name from their father.

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