FOR ALL AGES

Top 113 Best Bulgarian Names For Your Baby That You'll Love

A photo taken from above of a baby girl wearing a pink tutu and a pink bow in her hair who is looking up towards the camera.

Image © Cristina Anne Costello, under a Creative Commons license.

When you first find out you are going to become a parent, picking the right name, or making a list of names that you love for the new addition to the family may well be at the forefront of your mind.

It is exciting but can also be overwhelming trying to find the perfect name when there is such a vast array of names to choose from. Don't worry though, we've put together a list of the top 113 best Bulgarian names to help give you some ideas and hopefully, help in your decision making.

Bulgaria is an Eastern European country bordered by Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. It has a coast on the Black Sea and is rich in history and culture. Bulgaria has existed since the seventh century, pre-dates the Roman Empire and is the only country in Europe whose name has not changed since its original establishment.

Bulgarian, which is a South Slavic language, is the predominant language of Bulgaria and the alphabet used is a version of Cyrillic which is used in many other world languages including Russian, Serbian and Belarusian.  

Bulgarian given names have a range of origins including Greek, Latin, Biblical, Slavic, and Protobulgarian. In Bulgaria, babies are often named after older relatives such as grandparents and will take their father's family name. In order to preserve the family link further, middle names, known as a patronymics, will often be formed from the father's first name with a gender-agreeing suffix (–ov/–ev for male names and –ova/–eva for female names) which literally means 'child of' or 'belonging to'. In addition, the first and middle names will often be switched around between generations. For example, if a man was named Ivan Stefanov Dolmatov and he had a male offspring, their name would be Stefan Ivanov Dolmatov (taking the father's name of Ivan and adding the male suffix of 'ov'). If the newborn was female, then her name might be Stefaniya Ivanova Dolmatov.

A stone lion in front of a building which is flying the Bulgarian flag in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
Image © Pixabay.

Bulgarian Boy Names

We first start our top 100+ Bulgarian names list off with a selection of male names which includes popular and traditional monikers as well as some more unique offerings.

1. Aleksandar - a form of Alexander which means 'defender of mankind'.

2. Asen - from the Asan dynasty of Bulgarian rulers.

3. Benesj - meaning 'blessed soul, one who is blessed by the almighty'.

4. Borislav - a combination of the Slavic 'borti' (battle) and 'slava' (glory).

5. Bozhidar - Bulgarian form of Bozidar, meaning 'divine gift'.

6. Bozidar - a variation of the Greek name Theodore, meaning 'divine gift'.

7. Chavdar - coming from a Persian word meaning 'leader, dignitary'.

8. Desislav - meaning 'finding glory' or 'searching for glory'.

9. Dobroslav - a combination of the Slavic words 'good' and 'glory'.

10. Dragomir - coming from the word 'dragu' meaning 'precious'.

11. Ilian - a Bulgarian and Romanian form of Elijah.

12. Ivan - one of the most popular names in Bulgaria and the name of six Russian rulers including Ivan the Terrible, the first Russian Tsar.

13. Kaloyan - derived from the Greek words 'kalos Ioannes' which mean 'handsome John', this was the nickname of a thirteenth-century emperor of Bulgaria.

14. Konstantin - meaning 'firm' or 'constant'.

15. Krasimir - meaning 'beautiful peace'.

16. Lyuben - Coming from the Slavic 'lyuby' which means love'.

17. Momchil - Coming from the Bulgarian word 'momche', which means 'boy'.

18. Nayden - meaning 'found'.

19. Radoslav - meaning 'glorious work' or 'eager glory'.

20. Rumen - a name for 'a boy whose cheeks are rudy, red'.

21. Stanko - a shorter named derived from Stanislav which means 'to stand with glory'.

22. Stoyan - meaning 'he who stands firmly',

23. Vassil - meaning 'kingly or princely'.

24. Veselin- meaning 'cheerful and happy soul'.

25. Vladislav - Coming from the Slavic 'vladeti' (rule) and 'slava' (glory).

26. Zhelyu - the name of the first non-communist President of Bulgaria.

Bulgarian Girl Names

If you are looking for a name for a baby girl then we have all manner of sweet, short, strong and elegant female Bulgarian names which we think you will love.

27. Ana – meaning compassion, grace and prayers.

28. Aneliya – the Bulgarian form of Angela, which means 'angel'.

29. Aneta – A derivation of Anna.

30. Bilyana – a South Slavic name meaning 'fair'.

31. Blaguna – meaning 'sweet', 'pleasant' or 'good'.

32. Boyana – meaning ‘battle’.

33. Boyka – meaning ‘warrior’ or ‘fighter’.

34. Branimira – feminine form of Branimir, meaning ‘peace, world’.

35. Darina – coming from the Slavic word 'dar' meaning ‘gift’.

36. Dobromira – meaning ‘good peace’ and of Slavic origin.

37. Elena – meaning ‘bright, shining light’.

38. Elisaveta – Bulgarian form of Elizabeth.

39. Emilia – meaning ‘to strive, excel or rival’.

40. Evdokiya - meaning 'good glory'.

41. Fania – meaning ‘free’.

42. Galya – a nickname of Galina, which is of Greek origin and means ‘serenity’.

43. Gergana – the Bulgarian female form of George.

44. Ginka – meaning ‘land-worker, farmer’.

45. Iliana – meaning ‘bright’ and of Greek origin.

46. Katerina - often associated with the Greek word 'katharos', which means ‘pure’.

47. Lyudmila – meaning ‘love for the people’.

48. Lyubova – derived from the Slavic word 'lyuby' which means ‘love’.

49. Mariya – the Bulgarian, Russian and Ukrainian form of Maria.

50. Mila – meaning ‘gracious’ or ‘dear’.

51. Mira - in South Slavic languages, this name means ‘peace’.

52. Nadya - a diminutive form of Nadyezhda, meaning ‘hope’.

53. Natalia – meaning ‘Christmas Day’.

54. Nedelya – meaning ‘Sunday’ in Bulgarian.

55. Nikolina – sourced from the masculine name Nikola meaning ‘victorious people’.

56. Ognyana - derived from the Bulgarian word 'ognen' and meaning ‘fiery’.

57. Rada – of Bulgarian origin and meaning ‘care, joy’.

58. Raina – pronounced RAY-nah, this name means ‘Queen’.

59. Simona – means ‘one who hears’.

60. Valentina - coming from the Latin word 'valens' which means ‘healthy, strong'.

61. Vasilka – the Bulgarian and Macedonian female form of Basil.

62. Yana – a name of Slavic origin which means ‘he answers’.

63. Zhivka – the female form of Zhivko, this name means ‘life’ or ‘alive’.

Close up image of a baby's feet, the baby is lying on its back on a bed with its feet pointing towards the camera.
Image © Picsea, under a Creative Commons license.

Bulgarian Names With Religious Meanings

A large percentage of people in Bulgaria belong to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church so it is perhaps unsurprising that there are many Bulgarian names, both male and female, that have a religious meaning to them. If you are of Christian faith or looking for a name that has a religious link, then you may love one of the names in this section.  

64. Bogdana (f) – the feminine form of Bogdan which means ‘God given’.

65. Boryana (f) – meaning ‘heavenly, Godlike and celestial’.

66. Bozhidara (f) – feminine form of Bozhidar meaning ‘the divine gift, God’s gift’.

67. Darian (m) - meaning a 'gift sent from heaven on Earth'.

68. Gavrail (m) - the Bulgarian version of Gabriel, this name means 'God is my strength'.

69. Hristina (f) – of Bulgarian origin and meaning ‘follower of Christ’.

70. Hristofor (m) - meaning 'carrier of Christ' and a Bulgarian variant of Christopher.

71. Iakobina (f) Bulgarian variation of Jaclyn meaning 'God will add'.

72. Ivanka (f) – meaning ‘God is gracious’.

73. Natanail (m) - Bulgarian form of Nathanael which means 'God has given'.

74. Olga (f) – she was a tenth-century Saint whose name means ‘blessed, holy’.

75. Prodan (m) - meaning 'sold or pledged to a monastery'.

76. Teodor (m) - male equivalent to Teodora, meaning 'a gift of God'.

77. Teodora (f) – of Greek origin and meaning ‘gift of God’.

78. Timotei (m) - referring to 'a  person who honours the God'.

79. Todor (m) - meaning 'a beautiful and pleasant gift from God'.

80. Vyara (f) – meaning ‘faith’.

81. Zahari (m) - which means 'God has remembered'.

Bulgarian Names Inspired By Nature

As Bulgaria has not only beautiful scenery, such as the Rose Valley and the Balkan Mountains, but also a variety of rare animal and plant species, we thought that a section related to Bulgarian nature names would be apt. There can be a certain feeling of calm and beauty that comes with nature. If you are a family that loves being outside and exploring the world, then a nature based name for your new arrival might be the perfect fit.

82. Bisera (f)- derived from the South Slavic word 'biser' meaning ‘pearl’.

83. Denitsa (f) – derived from the name Danica, which is formed from the Slavic word ‘morning star, Venus’.  

84. Diana (f) – like the Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth.

85. Dimitur (f) - a version of Demeter meaning 'earth'.

86. Grozdan (m) - from the Bulgarian or Macedonian word 'grozde' meaning 'grapes'.

87. Iassen (m) - meaning 'ash tree'.

88. Iavor (m) - meaning 'sycamore'.

89. Iglika (f) - meaning 'primrose'.

90. Ivaylo (m) - meaning 'wolf'.

91. Kalina (f) – a nature inspired name which means ‘rowan tree’.

92. Kamen (m) - meaning 'stone'.

93. Marina (f) - from the Roman family name 'Marinus' which means ‘of the sea’ in Latin.

94. Mitre (m) - the short form of Dimitar and meaning 'earth'.

95. Nevena (f) – meaning ‘marigold flower’.

96. Penka (f) - meaning 'the one from an enclosed meadow'.

97. Petya (u) – meaning ‘the rock, the stone’.

98. Ralitsa (f) – meaning 'larkspur' in Bulgarian, which is a pretty perennial flower.

99. Rossitza (f) – derived from the Bulgarian 'rossa' which means ‘morning dew’.

100. Tsveta (f) – meaning ‘flower’ or 'blossom'.

101. Violeta (f) – a popular name in Eastern Europe which means ‘violet, purple flower’.

102. Yavor (m) - a name of Bulgarian origin which means 'maple tree'.

103. Zora (f) – this short but beautiful name means ‘dawn’.

Baby covered by a white blanket, lying on its back looking over its shoulder towards the camera.
Image © Michal Bar Haim, under a Creative Commons license.

Names Of Famous Bulgarians

There are so many world recognised people from Bulgaria from athletes to singers, creatives to rulers. If you like the idea of a baby name based on someone famous, then this list is for you.

104. Boris (m)- Boris I was the ruler of the first Bulgarian empire.

105. Dora (f) - after Dora Gabe, the renowned poet.

106. Georgi (m) - after Georgi Ivanov, Bulgaria's first astronaut.

107. Grigor (m) - after tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, currently ranked world number 23.

108. Hristo (m) -  after Hristo Stoichkov who is considered one of the best players in the world of his generation.

109. Lili (f) - after Lili Ivanova, often referred to as the 'Prima of Bulgarian popular music'.

110. Kubret (m) - after Kubret Pulev, a professional boxer who challenged for the unified world heavyweight title in 2014

111. Nina (f) - after Nina Dobrev, the Bulgarian-Canadian actress.

112. Stefka (f) - after Olympic athlete Stefka Kostadinova, the reigning world record holder for the women's high jump.

113. Yane (m) -  after Yane Sandanski, a national hero and revolutionary leader.

Author

Written By

Jade Scott

Jade is a Londoner by birth but now lives in Lincolnshire and loves the beautiful countryside that is just a step outside her door. Jade has been a primary school teacher for several years, she has an extensive knowledge of the curriculum, toys, games, activities, and learning opportunities for children aged between 3 and 11. She is always seeking out and uncovering new outdoor adventures and educational attractions for when her two wonderful nephews come to stay and loves finding a great deal on an event or a new attraction they haven’t been to before. Jade has a keen interest in science and crafts and loves finding experiments and activities for fun, messy, and engaging things to keep her nephews entertained at home on rainy days.

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