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    This a Copy of a email sent to me from Grudy Deligrudev from the University of Toronto. I had posted this request for help on the newgroupsoc.bulgaria.culture and had a number of responses regarding our name.Grudy came up with the most comprehensive of posts.Here is his email to me

    "Hallo, Bryon,Let me see if I can help you.

    First, you probably realise, that finding the original spelling of your grandfather's surname creates one problem:

    Bulgaria uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which means that letters look like those in Russian. I have Cyrillic fonts, but I am not writing this message from within Netscape, so first I'll discuss the name, then I will transliterate it in Latin (English)letters, and then I will attempt to give you an idea of how the name would look like if written in Cyrillic. For that last purpose I will, of course,use Latin letters using those letters shared by the two alphabets. So here we go..

    To a Bulgarian, the closest thing to the family name TOSOFF will be a slightly different variant - TOSHOFF, or better yet, TOSHOV.In the first half of the century Slavic peoples using the Cyrillic alphabet,i.e. Serbs, Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, had their names spelled in their passports with French phonetics in mind, which resulted in the morelogical ending -OV or -EV to be written -OFF and -EFF, respectively (cf.Smirnoff, Ignatieff, etc). Hence your grandfather's name ends in -OFF instead of -OV - which is the accepted spelling now.

    In Bulgarian the name will be pronounced TOSH-OFF, accent on the first syllable. As to how the name came to change from Toshoff to Tosoff, I can only speculate. It could be that a mistake was made by a Canadian Immigration officer when your grandfather first came to Canada, and the error stuck, partly because your father probably knew no English when he first arrived. Or it could be that Enlish speakers found it hard to pronounce TOSHOFF, and your grandfather changed it to TOSOFF.

    Anyway, although Toshov sounds quite OK in Bulgarian, there isa much more popular version of this family name - TOSHEV. Where both names come from is the diminutive for TODOR - TOSHO . As you probably recognised, TODOR is the Bulgarian version of THEODORE and TOSHO - the Bulgarian variant of TED.

    So, Todor --> Tosho --> Toshov/Toshev.
    Literally Toshov meansTosho's, meaning Tosho's son, -ov/-ev being the possessive ending in Bulgarian.Of course, I could be wrong and TOSOFF/TOSOV could be a family name all its own.

    In the Cyrillic alphabet the name T-O-SH-O-V would looksomething like this: T - 0 - I_I_I - O - B The middle letter is the Bulgarian letter for the sound -sh-, which looks like an inverted -m-."

    Thanks to you grudy for the information and answering my post to the newsgroup!

    Well that is my Story of The Tosoff Name To Date I hope it was an interesting read.

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©1998 Bryon Tosoff All rights reserved.

March 31, 1998