Sunday, 2 November 2014

Z is for Zlatan

In Sweden, Zlatan Ibrahimović is a footballer who has become an idol and an icon the world over. His every move and his every word is followed and reported. I wondered what the name Zlatan meant and looked it up on the Internet.

Zlatan is a male name of South-Slavic origin and means ‘golden’. It is especially common in Bosnia due to its ethnical neutrality among the three dominant Bosnian ethnicities of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. It derives from the South-Slavic word zlato, from the Old-Slavic root ‘zolto’ (gold). Its ancient form is Zoltan. The qualities behind the name are tenderness, sensitivity, idealism, harmony and balance. Zlatan is reserved and needs a favourable environment in order to communicate effectively.

To football fans across the world Zlatan Ibrahimović is indeed a golden boy. However, what struck me most was the neutrality of the name in a once troubled region, and the qualities that are required in such an environment if peace is to reign.

There is more to our names than meets the eye. Mine means lily. What does yours mean?

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