It has been known since the publication of MEZ_ (1996) that this seemingly peripheral type of names (cases where a settlement is named after the patron saint of its church) was rather widespread in a particular period of the history of Hungary. The present paper intends to find out what types of factors might underlie its popularity in that period. Considering the circumstances of the emergence of names of settlements based on patrocinia, all the factors discussed suggest that this type of names was not created by natural linguistic development but rather enforced 'rom above', by church authorities. Since, however, such names were not at all unfamiliar, in a typological sense, within the system of Hungarian names, there was no systematic obstacle for the spread of that naming habit. Eventually it escaped from its church-directed origins and, using the existing names as models, new names of the same type started emerging 'spontaneously'. It is from that point onwards that patrocinium-based names can be considered an established type in Hungary, too. The Hungarian system of geographical names eventually adopted this procedure of naming, with so much success that these names did not only serve as bases of analogy in the creation of new names of the type 'Szentpéter' (St Peter), 'Szentmárton' (St Martin), 'Szentgyörgy' (St George), not initiated by the church any more, but even in the transformation of existing names, as well.
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