The name of București has an uncertain origin: tradition connects the founding of Bucharest with the name of Bucur who was either a prince, an outlaw, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a hunter, according to different legends. In Romanian the word stem bucur means ‘joy’, (“beautiful”) and it is believed to be of Dacian origin.
There are other etymologies given by early scholars, including the one of an Ottoman traveler, Evliya Çelebi, who said that Bucharest was named after a certain “Abu-Kariș”, from the tribe of “Bani-Kureiș”. In 1781, Franz Sulzer claimed that it was related to bucurie (joy), bucuros (joyful) or a se bucura (to become joyful), while an early 19th-century book published in Vienna assumed its name has been derived from “Bukovie”, a beech forest.
The official city name in full is “The Municipality of Bucharest” (Romanian: Municipiul București).
A native or resident of Bucharest is called a “Bucharester” (Romanian: bucureștean).