Many theories exist about the name origin of Hurbanova. Various historic theories, including Pope Urban I as the source of Hurbanova's name, have been refuted by historical linguists in more recent years. Although there is still no consensus, it is considered most likely that it is either derived from Oshenna or Slovak.
Unlikely theories Edit
Pope Urban I Edit
In the early 20th century, it was suggested that the name came from Pope Urban I. His name appeared in several almost illegible documents from the late 19th century, as "Urban One". According to this theory, the pope's name developed into "Hurban Ona" and then "Hurban-ova". A folk myth has it that Pope I, protector of the drunken people, appealed to the inhabitants of the town because they were also fervent drinkers.
Already in the 1940s the Pope I theory was refuted by the scientific community. It was kept alive by popular tales until the late 1960s.
Latin origins Edit
"Urbs Nova" (meaning 'new city') could have evolved into "Hurbanova", amateur linguists argued for the first time in the 1930s. There is, however, no reason to suspect Latin origins, since the town has always been populated by Eastern European migrants, rather than educated clergy or intelligentsia. This theory was taught in at least two elementary schools in the area until 1982.
Slovak-Oceana origins Edit
Given the town's history of immigration from Eastern Europe, and the enormous influence of Slovak and other Slavic languages on the local vernacular, Slovak etymology theories are considered the most likely.
Jozef Miloslav Hurban Edit
In 1964, Henry Collar (born Kollár) suggested that "Hurbanova" was directly derived from a Slovakian town called Hurbanovo. The theory was quickly refuted, when it was revealed that Hurbanovo was only named so in 1948. Similarly, there is a village called Hurbanova Ves in western Slovakia.
Hurbanovo, however, was named after Jozef Miloslav Hurban, a Slovak writer and politician. As a leader of the Slovak Uprising of 1848/49, his name was familiar to most migrants to Oceana. The most likely theory, as it is considered by the 21st century scientific community, is that Hurbanova was named after Hurban, just as Hurbanovo would, half a century later.
Zamokkian dialects Edit
Zamokkian is a group of local dialects spoken in Central Slovakia. A few names of Hurbanovans are from Zamokkian origin, like Úskalie, Hladovka, etc.
One theory suggests "Hurbanova" derives from Zamokkian "herab'ý ñavenkè", which means as much as 'bright landscape'.
Oceana origins Edit
According to some, however, the name could be traced back to Narasha 'Oshenna, the local language. "Hurb" (from Slovak "hrb"; meaning 'a lot') in combination with "banoft" (from Slovak "banoviť"; meaning 'feel sorry') means as much as 'to feel a lot of sorry'. "Novo" (from Slovak mnoho) has the same meaning as "hurb", and would thus strengthen the name's meaning by means of a tautology. It is not unusual in Oshenna to reinforce meaning using double morphemes.
Amateur linguists have tried to link this etymology to the 1884 fire, for which the population must have felt a lot of sorry.