Ötvenéves a Ladó-féle utónévkönyv
Ladó’s Proper Name Dictionary is Fifty Years Old
This paper presents the volume Magyar utónévkönyv (‘Book of Hungarian given names’), which has been well-known by the public, those choosing names for their offspring and those interested in first names for over 50 years. The author describes the prelude to the publication of this book. The paper discusses the legal framework regarding Hungarian proper name usage and discovers the anomalies of the 1960s. Because of those uncertainties, linguists and public administration experts formulated official lists of proper names. The paper describes how the dictionary of Hungarian proper names appeared under János Ladó’s name in 1971 after extensive social, administrative and linguistic preparatory work. János Ladó’s career, the dictionary’s structure, the entries, the reception the volume received, and the criticisms expressed by some linguist colleagues feature in the paper. The book, which went through seven editions, needed to be revised and expanded several times due to changes in naming preferences and their regulation over the following decades. The paper also explores these trends in a short section.