Today was the name day of Josef, historically one of the most common Czech first male names. It is an old name and it used to be extremely popular in the past. For example, the village of Josefovice used to have at least one Josef living in every one of its houses (I wonder how the village got its name…). Today, only four Josefs and one Josefa (the female version of the name) are registered in Josefovice.
The name is not on the top of name popularity charts anymore, having given way to names like Filip, Tomáš, Adam, Jan or Lukáš. Out of the 4,700 boys born in January 2007, only 66 were named Josef compared to 320 boys named Jan. According to TV Nova however, there are currently 266,000 Czech men named Josef, which still makes it the fourth most used Czech male name in general. It is no wonder that the Josef name day is still celebrated across the nation and mentioned on the news every year.
And what’s the deal with Pepa, one of the most common diminutive versions of the name Josef? Well, according to linguists, “Pepa” came to us from Italy where the diminutive version of “Giuseppe” (= in Czech “Josef”) is “Beppe”. Who would have thought?
Source: TV Nova