Vol. 71 No. 4 (2023): NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics

Вільні Люди ‘Free People’ and Надійний тил ‘Reliable Rear’: Names of Ukrainian Resistance and Support

Olena Kadochnikova
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Published 2023-12-20


  • volunteer organization,
  • ergonym,
  • toponym,
  • Russia,
  • war,
  • Ukraine,
  • socio-onomastics
  • ...More


During the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, Ukrainian society has demonstrated an unprecedented growth in volunteer activity (from 103rd position in the World Ranking of Charity to 10th in 2022), which specializes in aiding the Ukrainian military and civilians defending Ukrainian territories. This article presents the results of a study that analyzed the naming practices of volunteer organizations in Ukraine. The research was based on an original corpus of 300 names. The study revealed that the names of volunteer organizations are an important component of political language, because their function is to unite people and encourage action via the manifestation of shared cultural values and practices. The names of volunteer organizations may be viewed as cultural artifacts that codify common spontaneous social reactions to the current conflict. These ergonyms are grouped according to three main patterns: naming peculiarities relating to the participants of volunteer groups (both volunteers themselves as well as those supporting their activity), names given depending on the situation, and naming goals as a method of driving social transformation.



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