In English linguistics, the sources of anthroponyms are rich in various ornamental patterns, that are traditional or imagined, coming from the original English language or due to other factors,differing widely in their semantic features. For example, the name Abraham originated over four millennia ago, and in English-speaking countries this name has been used for centuries (mainly in the United States).While a female name Sonia, derived from Russian language, started to be used only in the 20s of the last century. English propernames have gone through a long and arduous way of historical development, and it is worth noting that this path is inextricably linked to the English language and the history and culture of the English people. The enrichment and development of anthroponimic sources of English language were influenced by events and processes that took place at different historical periods. As a result of the analysis of language units, we have identified the following linguocultural specificities of English anthroponyms:
- Names of the ancient Germanic tribes (Anglo-Saxons)
Anglosaxonian names were of two types: simple (Froda-poet. wise; Hwita-white, bright, brilliant) and compound (Aethelbeald-noble, excellent, generous + courage; Eadgar-owner of happiness and wealth +spear). Simple names were gradually replaced by compound (two-component) names and they can hardly be found in English sources from the 13th century. Currently, only one simple name is preserved — Hilda as a shortened form of Brunhild(e) or Hildegarde [Superanskaya A.V. 1990].
- Names expressing best wishes
Anglosaxonian people believed in the magical nature of the so-called "good" names, and believed that such names would give their owner protection and patronage, happiness and wealth, goodness, respect and glory,and courage. For example: aelf — elf; beorht — bright; beorn — poetry. hero, warrior; eald — old; gar — poetry. spear; gifu, gyfu — gift, compliment; god — good, generous, kind; gold — gold; maere — famous, great, honorable; raed — advice, wisdom; rice — strong,rich, dominant; sae — sea, lake; sige — victory,luck; stan — stone; sunu — son; weard — sponsor and protector; wulf — wolf and others.
Semantically, components of ancient English compound names represent different exocentric concepts without creating a new common sense. For example, Frithuwulf — peace, security + wolf; Wigfrith — war,conflict + peace, security.
- Names expressing kinship
The creation of a new proper name with the use of parents’ name components can be seen in the following examples of the famous English researcher Percy Rini: Early in the 7th century, Edwin Hereric(army + power), the nephew of the King of Northumbriaand his wife, Breguswith (leader, king + brave, harsh) called their daughter Hereswith (army + harsh, brave).The name of Saint Wolfstan (Wulfstan — wolf + stone), was derived from the first part of his mother's name, bishop Wulfgifu (wolf + gift, favor) and the second part of his father's name, Aethelstan (supreme, great + stone) [Ermolovich, 2001].Relatedness to one family was expressed by the use of alliteration method.
- Gender-defining names
Structurally and semantically, there is no any difference between the names of ancient English women and those of men. But the second component in names played an important role as a gender symbol. The second component in the male name is represented by the words in the masculine gender: gar — spear; helm-protection; man (n) — man, hero; raed- advice, wisdom; sige-victory,luck; sunu — descendants, sons; weard-guard, boss; wig-war, battle; wine- friend, protectorand so on.The second component of women's names usually consisted of the words in the feminine gender, respectively: burg, burn -castle; frithu-peace, security; gifu, gyfu-gift; guth- fight, battle; henn-chicken, run-secret advice and etc.
As a second component adjectives were also widely used. The adjectival component of a male name referred to the personal traits or social status of the owner in the community: beald — brave; beorht-bright; heah-loud, important; heard-strong and energetic; maere-honored, famous; rice-high-ranking, rich, dominant and etc.
In female names the following adjective was used as the second component in most cases: leof-valued, dear, beloved, adorable [Marenyanova, 2002].
In addition, the etymological features of female and male names can also be distinguished. The most common names of women are etymologically divided into two groups:
- Names of flowers and plants, such as BLOSSOM, BUTTERCUP, CLOVER, DAFFODIL, FLOWER, IVY, LILAC;
- Names of precious stones, such as AMBER, BERYL, CORAL, PEARL, RUBY.
On the other hand, there is a group among the names of men which are associated with etymologically different titles and honorary names: BARON, COUNT, DUKE, EARL, KING, MARQUIS and others [Wilson Elizabeth A.M., 1982].
To sum up all, English anthroponyms, being linguoculturemes, contain certain cultural information. The enrichment and development of English anthroponyms have been influenced by various cultural factors at different times, including the history of the country, cultural values of the nation, the religion, their beliefs and opinions.