About every name used for this custom is from the old Christian custom: “Finding Saint John the Baptist’s head”. This custom, also called “Glavo-Obretenia”, was taken over by the Romanians like in the case of other customs in the popular calendar (Probajenii or Obrijenia, Procoava, Ovidenia, Zacetania, Stratenia etc.). The name appears in the Middle Ages as “Vobritenia”, “Rogobete”, “Bragobete”, “Bragovete” (some of them sound almost exactly like the more notorious Dragobete),until, probably affected by the main characteristics of the custom, the “Dragobete” imposed on extended areas, especially in the south and south-west of Romania.
Another explanation given by some philologists about the origin of the name “Dragobete” has its roots in two old words, also from the Slavic language: “dragu” and “biti”, which could be translated through the expression “to be to one’s delight”. Other philologists explain the name of the custom through two words: “trago” – tap and “pede” – legs, these two words becoming, in time, in drago and bęte.