How Katinka Hosszú got her name

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Katinka Hosszú’s father who is in Rio talked to Hungarian National Sports Magazine about his daughter's career in sports. In the interview, István Hosszú revealed why his daughter was named Katinka, which is not a very common name in Hungary - it is not among the first 200 most popular names, yet!

Katinka has a huge fan base in Hungary; after winning the Olympic championship title and considering her outstanding performance in Rio the popularity of this name may increase in the future.

First, the parents wanted to call their newborn baby girl “Katalin” (Catherine), but they didn’t really like that name. Next, they considered calling her “Kata”, which is a variation of “Katalin”; they did like that name, but it lacked rhythm and dynamism.

After some deliberation, they decided to call her “Katinka”; mostly, because this name sounded more dynamic and it was also beautiful.

The name “Katinka” derived from “Katalin” by adding the diminutive “-ka” suffix to the original name, which as a result, underwent some morphological change.

In Hungarian unlike in English diminutives have only positive connotations. Names with diminutive suffixes cutify the bearer of the name. Names that carry diminutive suffixes are very popular among female children.

The other Hungarian medal hopeful in Rio with a similar name is swimmer Boglárka Kapás. “Boglár” is a name of a flower and by adding the “-ka” suffix to it we get “Boglárka”, which means tiny, little cute flower.

Hungarian names with diminutive suffixes somewhat similar to the English term “sweety”, that carries positive connotations like affection, or love.



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