Известные имена

Famous names

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Petrovski N.A.

Nikandr Aleksandrovich Petrovsky (1891 - 1968)

Petrovsky was born September 16, 1891 in the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk. His father was a clerk in Kazakh districts and mother descended from a Cossack family of Siberian Cossack army. In his early childhood Nikandr Petrovsky was studying with now well-known writers E.N. Permitin and A.M. Volkov at the city school of Ust-Kamenogorsk but in the 6th form he was expelled from school for his “revolutionary spirit”.

In 1913 he and E.N. Permitin passed examinations without attending lectures and became primary school teachers.
Nikandr Aleksandrovich took part in the First World War and the Civil War. After the wars he worked as a teacher in Ukraine. In 1927 Petrovsky entered the department of Literature and Linguistics at the Yaroslavl Teachers College and graduated in 1930. But the knowledge obtained was not enough for him and he entered the Tashkent Medical College from which he graduated in 1940.

The entire afterlife until his retirement in 1957 he spent working as a doctor and a teacher, first in Central Asia and then in East Kazakhstan.

Being quite young Petrovsky took interest in linguistics and collected new Russian words. And since the year of 1947 and till his death he was gathering information about Russian personal names and surnames and their origin. Knowledge of foreign languages and numerous volunteers from all over the world helped him a lot. Petrovsky held correspondence with institutes, newspaper and magazine offices, scientists, writers, philologists, Russian literature lovers. Among his correspondents there were teachers, doctors, geologists, engineers, students and scholars including famous linguists Reformatsky, Uspensky.

“The dictionary of Russian personal names” was published in 1967. It was published by the publishing house “Soviet encyclopedia” ("Советская энциклопедия") with a run of a hundred thousands. About 45 thousand cards with personal names served a basis for this dictionary. Its main purpose was to record names, not only Russian names but also borrowed ones, which are wide-spread in Russian families in these latter days, and to show which old names were still in use and how they had changed in the course of time. The aim was achieved, the dictionary quickly became popular and it was met with wide readers’ recognition.

Nikandr Aleksandrovich Petrovsky died January 8, 1968. A big personal archive was left after his death. In 1975 after many years of correspondence with relatives the archive of the researcher was reposited in public archives of East Kazakhstan region.