names (of places and streets)

10-VIII-2015 02:27:45

These tend to be traditional, specially of places, except there are too many exceptions. As in any country with too much history, things named after persons (and in case of streets, also after dates) may not be as popular a generation or two later.

Many of those were renamed when the Turks were expelled, then some were renamed when a certain nobility or royal person visited, then again during the next occupation, then again (or reverted) when it ended. Then the communists would rename a place (especially streets and squares, and they loved the dates) after some of their heroes from WWII (and revolution, happened synchronously). Then in the 1990s many of those were reverted or some names were pulled from the past (many forgotten but nobody was vocal enough to stop that, being shamed by "how can you be so ignorant of your past not to know who X was!"), so it's presently quite chaotic.

The past being volatile as it is, it would come as no surprise if the current crop of names (some rather obscure) would fall out of favor within a couple of decades. The communists made only two other exceptions to the rule that nothing gets named after living persons: the port of Ploče was still named Luka Ploče, but the city was renamed to Kardeljevo (after Edvard Kardelj, the last theoretician of socialist self-management), and there was something named after Aleksandar Ranković (the chief of police until early sixties, when he was seriously demoted) - a brand of heavy motors (for the ships or pumps) and Kraljevo ("King's", even though it never belonged to any king nor held a throne, this was to celebrate the country's promotion from principality into kingdom) was Rankovićevo in 1949-1955 (renamed back while Leka was still in full power).

Examples are too many. Village of Peterda became Klarija (when Habzburg [Hapsburg] princess Clara visited), then Radojevo, after the satyric writer Radoje Domanović (still Radojevo). Two places were renamed after Tito early, before fifties - Titov Veles in Macedonia, Titovo Užice in Serbia and capital of Montenegro, Titograd. Now they are Veles, Užice and Podgorica. However, in mid seventies, someone decided that every member republic and autonomy of the federation should have one; they were all renamed back in the nineties. Palež became Obrenovac after the Obrenović dynasty and stayed so throughout. Jagodina became Svetozarevo after Svetozar Miletić (national tribune from XIX century) and is Jagodina again. Some cities managed to have three names in a single century.

There's one unexplainable renaming: village Brazilija became Bagremovo (bagrem=accacia) except in hungarian, where it's still Brazilia. It was built on king's land, given to surviving WWI volunteers from Brazil.