Armenian Names and Meanings – Throughout History and Showing Traits

Haghardzin Monastery 10th C. in Dilijan by the Bagratuni Dinasty
Haghardzin Monastery 10th C. in Dilijan by the Bagratuni Dinasty

If we take a glimpse at our history we will see that Armenians were freedom loving people starting with our forefather Haig, who escaped the arrogant ruling of Tyranid Bel, king of Babylon, and chose a wonderful land of thousand rivers, wild mountains, and vast fields where he settled down with his entire household of about 300. Haig was assertive and brave and won the battle against Bel near Lake Van where he built his own village Haigashen.

Mkrtum_Hovnatanian._Hayk_Nahapet
Mkrtum Hovnatanyan Hayk Nahapet

Armenian people are loyal to history, adore their lands and mountains, and show a huge amount of respect to the elderly and family members, their gods and God after becoming Christians and Mother Nature as well. All these are partly revealed in the names Armenians choose to name their children after. A commonly used name to start with for instance is Azad meaning freedom, Ari for brave, next comes Nayiri the old name of Armenia, Ararat the mountain, Arax, Arpi, Aris, Iris the rivers, Van, Moush, Ani, Garine the cities and, Dzaghig, Vart, Hasmig, Shoushan, Pardi for flowers and nature, in addition to Abaven, Khatchadour, Asdvadzadour related to God.
Ever since the beginning people showed respect to the Forefather and his family, soon Haig’s children became gods and later their names became the names of months, each dedicated to a god. Sometimes we meet people with their names such as Aramazt, Anahid, Masis, Vahakn and Varak. Armenians respected their mothers, grandmothers and wives, even had goddess Nane for motherhood who was the head of their household. Unlike other cultures Armenian men generally respected the females and were proud of them and added the particle “tousder” or “toukhd” or “anoush” to their own names to show she was their daughter or sister.
Later on after becoming Christians we see biblical names sometimes used with another name indicating where the person proudly came from, for instance Moses of Khoren, Hagop of Mdzpin etc. Some of our names have Greek, Latin or Persian roots due to long years of neighboring and mixed marriages between the royal families. Royal names are used today again showing how Armenians respect their kings and princes, such as Arshag, Vramshabouh, Aram, Dikran, Drtad, Khosrov etc.
Our Culture is rich and we are lucky to have had talented and dedicated poets and writers, largely priests and monks who have preserved and passed the stories of bravery of our long lost heroes through books of songs, poetry, and different artistic and historical material. Nowadays we see many choose Armenian names based on those of their parents or relatives, others of saints, in addition to a big segment who choose from among a long list of heroes of history and art.
We have gathered a bouquet of names with their most probable definitions to offer whoever is interested in the information to enjoy and why not choose from or recommend for our new generation babies. And we do appreciate any additions or corrections.

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