Budapest - Etymology

Etymology

The name "Budapest" is the composition of the city names "Buda" and "Pest", since they were united (together with Óbuda) to become a single city in 1873. One of the first occurrences of the combined name "Buda-Pest" was in 1831 in the book "Világ" ("World" / "Light"), written by Count István Széchenyi.

The origins of the words "Buda" and "Pest" are obscure. According to chronicles from the Middle Ages the name "Buda" comes from the name of its founder, Bleda (Buda), the brother of the Hunnic ruler Attila. The theory that "Buda" was named after a person is also supported by modern scholars. An alternative explanation suggests that "Buda" derives from the Slavic word "вода, voda" ("water"), a translation of the Latin name "Aquincum", which was the main Roman settlement in the region.

There are also several theories about the origin of the name "Pest". One of the theories claims that the word "Pest" comes from the Roman times, since there was a fortress "Contra-Aquincum" in this region which was referred to as "Pession" ("Πέσσιον", iii.7.§2) by Ptolemaios. According to another theory, "Pest" originates from the Slavic word for cave "пещера, peshtera" or from the word for oven "пещ, pesht", in reference to a cave where fires burned or to a local limekiln. In the old-Hungarian language there was a similar word meaning oven/cave and the original old-German name of this region was also "Ofen". Later, the German "Ofen" referred to the Buda side.

Read more about this topic:  Budapest

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Famous quotes containing the word etymology:

    The universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to express the things of the mind and spirit. The order of ideas must follow the order of things.
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    Semantically, taste is rich and confusing, its etymology as odd and interesting as that of “style.” But while style—deriving from the stylus or pointed rod which Roman scribes used to make marks on wax tablets—suggests activity, taste is more passive.... Etymologically, the word we use derives from the Old French, meaning touch or feel, a sense that is preserved in the current Italian word for a keyboard, tastiera.
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