Pop Upyr' Lichyj (the syntactical function and the meaning of the epitheton lichyj)

2014. № 1 (27), 265-272

Marina A. Bobrik, University of Potsdam, Germany


In the focus of the paper is the phrase (pop) Upyr' lichyj known as the name of the scribe of the 11th century Church Slavonic manuscript of the Commented Prophetic Books. The name is traditionally interpreted as compound Upyr’ ‘vampire’ (actually a nickname) + Lichyj ‘bold, impudent’. Of interest is a less known note of the same manuscript in which the scribe names himself simply priest Upyr’ without any epithet. This allows for the conclusion that the adjective lichyj is not a part of compound name but rather an epithet linked with the phrase pop Upyr’ as a whole. Old Russian onomastic material as demonstrated in the paper corroborates this version. The meaning of the epithet lichyj is probably ‘humble’, a formula of self-humiliation typical in colophons.