Features of the old Bulgar language, preserved in the modern Bulgarian language
The Bulgar inscriptions discovered in the last decades reveal to us that some of the most characteristic features of the modern Bulgarian have their origin in the old Bulgar language. Two of the most frequent verb forms in modern Bulgarian – 'E' ('he/she/it IS') and 'BE' ('he/she/it WAS') coincide with the old Bulgar ones.
Similarly, the post-word definitive articles, which set modern Bulgarian apart from the rest of the Slavic languages, have their analogies in the lands to the east, previously inhabited by Bulgars. The diminutive suffixes -CHO, -CHE, -CA (-CHA), which are today common to the Bulgarian names (Trajcho, Trajche, Vancho, Vanche, Vancha, etc.), are also a Bulgar legacy. All this shows that the old Bulgar played a significant part in the formation of the modern Bulgarian language.
That is why even nowadays there are preserved a number of 'double' expressions, one word of which is Slavic, and the other – Bulgar in origin. For example: the expression SURVA, SURVA GODINA! ('Happy new Year!' - at Christmas), in which SURVA comes from the old Bulgar epithet SURV (fair, pure, holy), analogies of which are widely preserved in the East. The two most frequently said words at Easter – JAJCA (eggs) and KOZUNACI (Easter cakes), also have two sources – Slavic for JAJCA, and Bulgar for KOZUNACI. – The most tasty cakes made in the Caucasus, in the land of the former Kubrat Bulgars, are called KOZU and KAZINAKI, and the origin of these words becomes clear when we compare them to the Pamirian languages, in which KOZU (KHOZU) means 'sweet'.
At those times, when many people in Bulgaria spoke both old Bulgar and Slavic, there originated one very interesting tradition – to name some things in both languages. The Bulgarian folk songs contain many such 'double' expressions – for example, the expressions ZDRAV I CHITAV ('healthy and preserved'), the first word of which is Slavic, and the second - CHITAM is old Bulgar and corresponds to the Caucasian word CHIDAM ('preserved, not hurt'). Or to take the expression STARO-KHARO ('Old-Old'), in which next to the Slavic STARO stands KHARO – from KHAR, which in the lands of the former Kubrat Bulgars in the Caucasus even nowadays means 'old, broken down with age man'.
Almost all words designating the more important things in medieval Bulgaria had two variants – old Bulgar and Slavic. The inhabited buildings were called KSHTA ('house') and DOM ('house', Slavic). The grand buildings - PALAT ('palace') and DVOREC ('palace', Slavic). The nobles were called BOLJARI and VELMOZHI (Slavic), the clerics - KOLOBRI and ZHRECI (Slavic), the idols – KUMIRI and IDOLI, etc.
The Bulgar words were used by the Slavic inhabitants of the same territory, as well, and, naturally, there was created a single language. Saying KRASIV ('beautiful') a Bulgarian would use a Slavic word, but saying KHUBAV ('beautiful'), one would use an old Bulgar word. Similarly, LJUBOV ('a love') is a Slavic word but there was also another Bulgarian word for 'a love' – OBICH, from the Caucasians OBJUCH ('a kiss').
Here is a list of some of the most important 'double' Slavo-Bulgar words
in modern Bulgarian:
|A word of Slavic origin in modern Bulgarian||A word of Bulgar origin in modern Bulgarian||Cluster_user's ottoman parallels|
|KHLJAB||PITA||a bread – a loaf|
|ZL||LOSH||evil – bad|
|SLAB||MRSHAV, KHRBAV||thin, weak – thin (for people)|
|ZHLT||OKHREN||yellow – ochre|
|KRATK||KS||short – short (for objects)|
|TANC||KHORO||a dance||greek xoro, > turk. hora (xora)|
|BOEN DRUGAR||KHSH||an army comrade|
|POKRIVKA||KRPA||a cover, a table-cloth – a (piece of) cloth|
|PALICA||TOJAGA, SOPA, CHOMAGA||a stick||turk. c,omak
|DSKA||LETVA, SHIPKA (in Dobrudzha)||a board, plank – a lath|
|KRIVAK||GEGA||a (shepherd's) crook|
|LISTA||SHUMA||leaves – (dry) leaves|
|TREVA||BILKA, BILE||a grass – a herb|
|MENTA||DZHODZHEN, NANEGRNE||a peppermint||turk. na^ne < `ar. na`na`|
|GRNE||STOMNA, PAKHAR (liturg.)||a (earthen) pot, jar – a pitcher, an earthen jug|
|MOTIKA||CHAPA||a hoe, a mattock|
|ZAKHLUPCI||GAVANKA||a wooden bowl|
|POJAS||KOLAN||a belt||turk. kolan|
|OGRLICA||GERDAN||a necklace||turk. gerdanlIk =gerdan + lIk, gerdan (front part of the neck) (ottoman spelling gerda:n) < persian gerden|
|PROZOREC||PENDZHER||a window||turk. pencere < pers. pencer ("grill")|
|BRONZ||PIRINCH||a bronze||turk. pirinc, < pers. piring "brass"|
|DLAN||SHEPA||a palm (of the hand)|
|KAMK||PLOCHA||a stone – a (stone) plate|
|PISHTJA||SVIRJA||to shriek – to play (music)|