The name 'Black Sea' is widely attributed to the Anatolian Turks, due to their habit of referring to the South as 'white' and North as 'black'. However, the appellation first appeared in a Hungarian document and later in sources originating further to the North, including Icelandic sagas and other Nordic narratives. The Turks themselves have a small and secondary role in using and spreading the name. Some scholars have suggested that the Cumans, a Turkic people once occupying regions to the North of the Black Sea, are the likely source. However, in medieval times Khazarian traditions seem to have used the term 'Black Sea' as well as 'Great Sea', though the relationships between the two terms require clarification. This essay seeks to reconcile these two traditions, and offers a conjectural Bulgar source for the Black Sea denomination. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.