Ová and out: Slovak women dropping female suffix from surnames

Nationality still a problem, though, and linguists warn against hasty change to convention.

(Source: Pixabay)

Angela Merkelová, Drew Barrymorová, Greta Thunbergová, Mikaela Shiffrinová.

To foreign readers, coming across these names in Slovak media could be a surprise, but it is simply following linguistic convention with the suffix -ová placed at the end of a surname to indicate the female gender.

SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement

But this linguistic convention is changing with anecdotal evidence that more women getting married are opting to either adopt the male version of their husband’s surname, without adding the female suffix, as is the traditional custom, or to combine their new surname with their maiden surname.

Practical, business, and other reasons

Bea Ertl, who got married in late July, decided on the former. Instead of adding the female suffix to her husband’s name and becoming Ertlová, she left it as Ertl.

“Before I got married, I had to live with a long and complicated surname [Kolodziejska] and the authorities and institutions kept getting it wrong [in documents],” Ertl told The Slovak Spectator. “That’s why I opted for the shortest possible version of my new surname when I got married.”

She said that people who know her got used to her new name quickly and reactions to her choice has been positive so far.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

The Koch Garden is open to the public after years of neglect.

Exquisite garden in Bratislava’s Old Town opens to the public

The Koch Garden, the only one of its kind in Slovakia, awaits full renovation.


12. aug

Nature, culture, and luxury all in one valley

Ease your hiking muscles in a spa after a two-hour hike with incredible views and a walk through time.


27. jul
The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Are there hidden chambers in the Pyramids? Slovaks could help find them

Scientists are studying ancient monuments using a method based on gravity.


8. aug

News digest: The Interior Ministry reports some unusual requests

Bratislava's historic Koch Garden opens to the public, more than 500,000 cars roll off Slovak production lines in six months, and the ruling coalition discusses its own future.


12. aug
SkryťClose ad