Friday, June 19, 2009

Meaning Of...

When first presented with my name, folks tended to hesitate, pull their ear, perhaps even stick a twisted up handkerchief, a la The 3 Stooges, into their right ear and pull it out their left ear.
"Had I heard that correctly?", their face indicates?
Yes, it is Darko.
"And, uhmmmm, what does it mean", comes the usual response indicating that a meaning must be available to help clear up the matter.
I've always told folks that Darko has no meaning; it's simply one of those Croatian things. Inexplicable.

Now, it seems, there's a web site explaining all.

Or so it seems.

Per the site, "Damir" means "Yes Peace". Which is true....sort of. If you split up the name, "Da" does mean "Yes" and "Mir" means "Peace". But "Yes Peace", even when considering how clunky translations can be, sounds awfully....stupid (and primitive), wouldn't you say?

Continuing, per the site, "Darko" means "Gift". Let's look at that a bit closer.
"Dar" does mean "Gift".
But, using the same logic as "Damir" then, you have to come up with the translation for "ko".
"Ko" is a shortened version of "Tko", which means "Who". So, stretching things here, it seems "Darko" means "Gift Who", suggesting something along the lines of, "Gift? Who thinks he's a Gift!?!?".

Not exactly the thought I'd like to give people when I first meet them. Afterwards, they may well think, "Gift? He's more of a Burden!", but that would at least would give me a physical and temporal distance before they would decide if some time to get to know me would be worth the "Darko" mystery.

This whole "gift" thing will play well into the Ever-Loving Wife's hands. My mother, bless her broken Croatian-English vocabulary, has mentioned on occasion to the ELW that I'm a jewel, i.e. a very specific and highly-prized type of gift. The ELW jury's still out on that one, debating whether I'm precious, semi-precious, or simply industrial grade.

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Of course every historian worth her von Schlegel knows that the first "Darko" was a falconer for the last Arian Visigothic king, Liuvigild.

Ol' Lou (as he was affectionately called by his third favorite wife who could get away with such liberties due to her un-peered bedroom antics) loved his sports and his drink.

Through Darko's secret magical training, King Louie's gyrfalcon reigned as the Supremo Kick-Ass Bird for many years.

When the aged Supremo finally met his match in the field, the King had him served up with orange sauce and wild rice at his 22nd coronation.

(Surely a fixed election, but who ya gonna call?)

Nothing was ever heard from the once royal falconer, Darko, again.

It was rumored he became a masked marauder in the Sherwood Forest; alas, it would be six more centuries before this profession became culturally popular and the fabric to make proper tights was invented.

Darko was always a man before his time.

You are obviously from his ancient bloodline, sir.
No, man - "Die Hard" 101...

"This is America. Names don't mean s**t!"
Now see, I have concluded that the "ko" is just a Croatian affliction and indicates to whom you are talking (the "who" that you mentioned, I guess), but what I don't understand is how the nicknames are your birth name Damir and Darko a nickname? If so, why aren't you Damko? My husband's name is Ratimir, but he goes by Ratko.
Hey, Gwynne!
Mea culpa. Sorry for the confusion. My official/baptized/etched in stone name is "Darko". I was using "Damir" in attempts to ilustrate how untrustworthy (a favorite/cherished Slavic characteristic) this translation web site is.
Re. your husband's first heart goes out to him. No need to go into the unpleasantries associated with "Ratko" these days; you and he have porbably heard it all and plus more. "Ratimir" is certainly an interesting Ying-Yang name, isn't it? Directly translated it's (as you know) "War & Peace". Doing Tolstoy proud.

"Darko" has, as most Slavic names do, a diminutive, namley "Darkić" (pronounced "Dark itch"...not exactly an inviting moniker, would you agree?).
Aside from "Darko", there's "Marko" and "žarko" to complete the "arko" possiblities.

Adding to this list, thanks to my daughter is "Barko", the name of our dog. In his defense and that of his name, "Barko" seems to like his name as his tail wags when called. I can't say the same for me; I refuse to shake my guzica when called.
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