Etymology and names
The name "Galați" is derived from the Cuman word galat. This word is borrowed from the Arabic word قَلْعَةٌ qalʿat, "fortress". Other etymologies have been suggested, such as the Serbian galac. However, the galat root appears in nearby toponyms, some of which show clearly a Cuman origin, for example Gălățui Lake, which has the typical Cuman -ui suffix for "water". Another toponym in the region is Galicia, with its town of Halych, locally associated with the jackdaw (Kawka, Halka). Before the Mongol invasion of Rus, Galați was known as Malyi Halych (Little Halych) as part of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia. Other similar place names are Galich, Russia and Galatia in Turkey.
Galați has several exonyms: Greek: Γαλάτσι (Galatsi); German: Galatz; Hungarian: Galac; Polish: Gałacz; Turkish: Kalas; Bulgarian: Галац (Galats); Ukrainian: Галац (Halats) and Russian: Галац (Galats).