Eastern Slavic naming customs
Eastern Slavic naming customs are the traditional ways of determining a person's name in countries influenced by East Slavic linguistic tradition, mainly Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan.
The standard structure of the full name is the following:
|Name||Example (Cyrillic)||Example (Romanized)|
|First name (given name)||Илья́||Ilyа́|
|Family name (surname)||Ежо́в||Yezhо́v|
This customary name structure is similar to Gujaratis and Marathis in India (see Gujarati and Marathi names), however in languages other than Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian, the ordering is not as strict.
- 1 Given first name
- 2 Patronymic
- 3 Family name (surname)
- 4 Cross-cultural communication
- 5 Forms of address
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading (in Russian)
- 9 External links
Given first name
As with most cultures, a person has a given name chosen by the parents. First names in East Slavic languages mostly originate from two sources: Orthodox church tradition (which is itself of Greek origin) and native pre-Christian Slavic lexicons, although some also come from Turkic languages.
All the first names are single, non-doubled. Doubled first names (as in, e.g., French) are a very rare foreign-influenced instance. Most doubled first names are spelled with the dash (e.g., Mariya-Tereza).
Common male first names
|Russian variant||Ukrainian variant||Latin typing Russian / Ukrainian transliteration||Origin||Comments|
|Ива́н||Іва́н||Ivа́n||Hebrew||equivalent to John|
|Никола́й||Мико́ла||Nikolа́y / Mykо́la||Greek||equivalent to Nicholas, meaning "Victory Of The People"|
|Бори́с||Бори́с||Boris / Borys||Turkic (Bulgar)||meaning uncertain|
|Влади́мир||Володи́мир||Vladimir / Volodymyr||Slavonic||meaning "The Lord of the World / Peace"|
|Пётр||Петро́||Pyо́tr / Petrо́||Greek||equivalent to Peter|
|Андре́й||Андрій||Andrе́y / Andriy||Greek||equivalent to Andrew|
|Александр||Олександр / Олекса||Aleksandr / Oleksandr / Olexa||Greek||equivalent to Alexander|
|Дмитрий||Дмитро||Dmitry / Dmytro||Greek||meaning "Of Demetra"|
|Серге́й||Сергій||Sergе́y / Sergiy||Latin||-|
|Леони́д||Леонід||Leonid||Greek||from Greek "Leonidas"|
|Ви́ктор||Віктор||Viktor||Latin||- meaning "(He who) Conquers"|
|Гео́ргий||Гео́ргiй||Geо́rgy||Greek||the analogues are Егор (Yegor), Юрий (Yury)|
|Па́вел||Павло́||Pа́vel / Pavlо́||Latin||equivalent to Paul|
|Константи́н||Костянти́н||Konstantin / Kostyantyn||Latin||equivalent to Constantine|
|Кири́лл||Кири́ло||Kirill / Kyrylo||Greek||equivalent to Cyril|
|Васи́лий||Васи́ль||Vasily / Vasyl / Vassili||Greek||equivalent to Ваsіl|
|Владисла́в||Владисла́в||Vladislа́v / Vladyslav||Slavonic||meaning "The Lord Of The Fame"|
|Вячесла́в||В'ячесла́в||Vyacheslа́v||Slavonic||meaning "The Growing Fame"|
|Михаи́л||Миха́йло||Mihail / Myhа́ilo||Hebrew||equivalent to Michael|
|Олег||Олег||Olе́g / Olе́h||Old Norse||derivative from Scandinavian "Helgi"|
|Игорь||Ігор||Igor||Old Norse||derivative from Scandinavian "Ingwar"|
|Макси́м||Макси́м||Maxim / Maksym||Latin||meaning "The Greatest"|
|Тимyр||Тимyр||Timur / Tymur||Turkic (Tatar)||meaning "Iron". Non-Slavonic / Christian|
|Русла́н||Русла́н||Ruslа́n||Turkic (Tatar)||meaning "Lion". Non-Slavonic / Christian|
Common female first names
|Russian variant||Ukrainian variant||Latin typing Russian / Ukrainian transliteration||Origin||Comments|
|Анна||Ганна||Anna / Hanna||Hebrew||equivalent to Anne or Hannah|
|Еле́на, Алёна||Oле́нa||Yelе́na, Alyо́na / Olе́na||Greek||equivalent to Helen|
|Ната́лья/Наталия||Наталя/Ната́лія||Natа́l'ya / Nataliya||Latin||equivalent to Natalie|
|Ольга||Ольга||Olga||Old Norse||derivative from Scandinavian Helga|
|Алекса́ндра||Олекса́ндра||Aleksа́ndra / Oleksandra||Greek||equivalent to Alexandra|
|Ксе́ния||Окса́на||Kseniya / Oksа́na||Greek||in Russian Oksana is the separate name of the same origin|
|Екатери́на||Катери́на||Yekaterina / Kateryna||Greek||equivalent to Catherine|
|Татьяна||Тетяна||Tatyana / Tetiana||Latin||derivative from the Latinized name of Sabin king|
|Людми́ла||Людми́ла||Lyudmila||Slavonic||meaning "Dear to the People"|
|Светла́на||Світла́на||Svetlа́na / Svitlа́na||Slavonic||meaning "The Shining One"|
|Юлия||Юлія||Yulia||Latin||equivalent to Julia or Julie|
|Ве́ра||Віра||Vе́ra / Vira||Slavonic||meaning "Faith". Calque from Greek Πίστη|
|Наде́жда||Надія||Nadе́zhda / Nadiya||Slavonic||meaning "Hope". Calque from Greek Ελπίς|
|Любо́вь||Любо́в||Lyubо́v' / Lyubо́v||Slavonic||meaning "Love". Calque from Greek Αγάπη|
|Софи́я, Со́фья||Софія||Sofia, Sо́fya / Sofia||Greek||equivalent to Sophia, meaning "Wisdom".|
Forms of first name
Being highly synthetic, Eastern Slavic languages treat personal names as grammatical nouns, applying the same rules of inflection and derivation to them. Consequently, it is possible to create many forms with different degree of affection and familiarity ad-hoc by adding corresponding suffixes to the special auxiliary stem derived from the original name. This auxiliary stem may be identical to the word stem of the full name (e.g. full name Жанна Zhanna can have the suffixes added directly to the stem Жанн- Zhann-, such as Жанночка Zhannochka), while most names have it derived unproductively (e.g. the name Михаил Mikhail has the auxiliary stem Миш- Mish- which produces such name-forms as Миша Misha, Мишенька Mishenka, Мишуня Mishunya etc., not *Михаилушка Mikhailushka).
Unlike English, where the use of diminutive forms is optional even between close friends, in East Slavonic languages such forms are obligatory in certain contexts due to the strong T–V distinction, specifically, T-form of address requires short form of the counterpart's name. Also, unlike other languages with prominent use of name suffixes, such as Japanese, the use of derived name forms is limited to the T-addressing, i.e. there is no way to make the name more formal than the plain unsuffixed full form, and no suffixes can be added to the family name.
Most commonly, Russian philologists distinguish the following forms of given names:
|Full||Анна Anna||full name stem + case ending||-|
|Short||Аня (Anya)||short name stem + II declension ending||most common for informal communication, comparable to Western name-only form of address (Ann, John), or Japanese surname-only, or surname/name -kun|
|Diminutive||Анька (Anka)||short name stem + -к- -k- + II declension ending||expresses familiarity, may be considered rude when used between people who are not close friends. Comparable to English diminutive (Annie, Willy) or Japanese unsuffixed name|
|Affective diminutive||Анечка (Anyechka)||short name stem + -ечк/очк/оньк/усь/юсь/уль/юль- -echk/ochk/on'k/us/yus/ul/yul- + II declension ending||most intimate and affectionate form, comparable to German diminutive (Ännchen) or Japanese -chan suffix|
Let's consider each form in details below.
The "short name" (rus. краткое имя kratkoye imya), historically also "half-name" (rus. полуимя poluimya), is the most simple and common name derivative. Bearing no suffix, it is produced suppletively and always bears II declension noun ending for both males and females, making short forms of certain unisex names indistinguishable: for example, Sasha (rus. Саша) is the short name for both masculine name Aleksandr (Alexander) and its feminine form Aleksandra (Alexandra).
Some names, such as Zhanna (Jeana), Mark, etc., do not possess short forms, while others may have two (or more) different forms. In the latter case, one form is usually more informal than the other.
|Full name (Cyrillic typing)||Full name (Latin typing)||Short forms (Cyrillic typing)||Short forms (Latin typing)|
|Александр||Aleksandr (m)||Саша, Саня, Шура, Сашко (укр.), Лесь (укр.)||Sasha, Sanya, Shura, Sashko (ukr.), Les' (ukr.)|
|Александра||Aleksandra (f)||Саша, Шура, Леся (укр.)||Sasha, Shura, Lesya (ukr.)|
|Анна||Anna (f)||Аня, Анюта, Нюта, Нюша||Anya, Anyuta, Nyuta, Nyusha|
|Дмитрий||Dmitry (m)||Дима, Митя (редко)||Dima, Mitya (rare)|
|Георгий||Georgy (m)||Гоша, Жора||Gosha, Zhora|
|Григорий||Grigory (m)||Гриша, Гриць (укр.)||Grisha, Gritz (ukr.)|
|Людмила||Lyudmila (f)||Люда, Люся, Мила (редко)||Lyuda, Lyusya, Meela (rare)|
|София||Sofia, Sofya (f)||Соня||Sonya|
|Валентин / Валентина||Valentin (m) / Valentina (f)||Валя||Valya|
|Владимир||Vladimir (m)||Вова, Володя||Vova, Volodya|
|Елена||Yelena (f)||Лена, Алёна||Lena, Alyona|
|Евгений / Евгения||Evgeniy (m) / Evgeniya (f)||Женя||Zhenya|
Diminutive forms are produced from the "short name" by means of various suffixes. Unlike the full name, a diminutive name carries a particular emotional attitude and may be unacceptable in certain contexts. Depending on the nature of this attitude, nameforms can be subdivided in three broad groups: affectionate, familiar and slang.
Typically formed by suffixes -еньк- (-yenk-), -оньк- (-onk-), -ечк- (-yechk-), -ушк (-ushk), as illustrated by the examples below. This form generally empasizes tender, affectionate attitude, roughly analogous to German suffixes -chen and -lein, Japanese -chan and -tan, as well as affectionate name-derived nicknames in other languages. It is often used to address children or intimate friends, though it is seldom used between males, being perceived as baby talk.
|Full form of first name (Cyrillic typing)||Full form of first name (Latin typing)||Short form (Cyrillic typing)||Short form (Latin typing)||Diminutive form (Cyrillic typing)||Diminutive form (Latin typing)|
Colloquial diminutives are derived from short names by means of -к- ("-k-") suffix. Expressing a highly familiar attitude, it may be considered rude or even pejorative outside of friendly context.
|Full form of first name (Cyrillic typing)||Full form of first name (Latin typing)||Short form (Cyrillic typing)||Short form (Latin typing)||Colloquial diminutive form (Cyrillic typing)||Colloquial diminutive form (Latin typing)|
Slang forms only exist for male names, being produced though suffixes -ян (-yan), -он (-on), and -ок/ёк (-ok/yok). These suffixes give off the sense of "male brotherhoood" once expressed by patronimic-only form of address in Soviet Union. Originating in criminal communities, these forms came into wide usage in Russia in the 1990s.
|Full form of first name (Cyrillic)||Full form of first name (Latin)||Short form (Cyrillic)||Short form (Latin)||Slang form (Cyrillic)||Slang form (Latin)|
Given names derivation in Early Soviet Union
During the days of revolutionary enthusiasm, as part of the campaign to rid Russia of bourgeois culture, there was a drive to invent new, revolutionary names. As a result, a large number of Soviet children were given unusual or atypical names. Commonly the sources were initialisms.
|Name (Cyrillic typing)||Name transliteration (Latin typing)||Origin||Comments|
|Даздрапертрак||Dazdrapertrak||Да здравствует первый трактор! (Da zdravstvuet pervy traktor!)||Means "Hail the first tractor!". Long and dissonant name for a speaker of East European language|
|Даздраперма||Dazdraperma||Да здравствует первое мая! (Da zdravstvuet pervoye maya!)||Means "Hail May Day!". Long and dissonant name for a speaker of East European language|
|Вил, Вилен, Владлен, Владлена||Vil, Vilen, Vladlen (m) / Vladlene (f)||Владимир Ильич Ленин (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin)||-|
|Мэл||Mel||Маркс, Энгельс и Ленин (Marx, Engels and Lenin)||-|
|Баррикада||Barricade||-||Refers to the revolutionary activity|
|Ревмир, Ревмира||Revmir (m) / Revmira (f)||Революция мира (Revolyutsiya mira)||Means "The revolution of the World"|
|Гертруда||Gertrude||Герой труда (Geroy truda)||Means "The Hero of Labour"|
|Марлен||Marlene||Маркс и Ленин (Marx and Lenin)||-|
|Стэн||Stan||Сталин и Энгельс (Stalin and Engels)||-|
|Ким||Kim||Коммунистический интернационал молодёжи (Kommunistichesky Internatsional Molodyozhi)||Youth Communist International|
The common trend is that such names are currently rare and sound bizarre to an Eastern Slavonic language speaker. They are tattooed upon the language which can be considered as social mirror reflecting the evidences of the processes in the East Slavonic society during the Early Soviet Era[clarification needed]. People with dissonant names were the subjects of mockery which frequently made them change given names.
The patronymic name is based on the first name of the father and is written in all legal and identity documents. If used with the first name, the patronymic always follows it.
The patronymic is formed by a combination of the father's name and suffixes. The suffix -ович (-ovich) is used for son, suffix -овна (-ovna) - for daughter. For example, if the father's name was Иван (Ivan), then the patronymic will be Иванович (Ivanovich) for a son, and Ивановна (Ivanovna) for a daughter. The standard rules for suffix formation on patronymics do have some exceptions, including:
- if the suffix is being appended to a name ending in [[й]] ("y") or a soft consonant, the initial o in the suffixes -ович (-ovich) and -овна (-ovna) becomes a е ("ye"), and the suffixes transform themselves into -евич (-yevich) and -евна (-yevna). For example, if the father was Дмитрий (Dmitry), then the patronymic will be Дмитриевич (Dmitrievich) for a son and Дмитриевна (Dmitrievna) for a daughter, but not Дмитрович (Dmitrovich) or Дмитровна(Dmitrovna), because the name Дмитрий (Dmitry) ends on "й" ("y");
- for some names ending in a vowel the suffix is -ич (-ich) for a son and -ична (-ichna) or -инична (-inichna) for a daughter;
- the patronymic for Яков (Yakov) is Яковлевич (Yakovlevich, male) or Яковлевна (Yakovlevna, female).
- in the Ukrainian language the female patronymic is more likely to end with -iвна (-ivna) rather than -евна (-evna).
|Father's name (Cyrillic typing)||Father's name (Latin typing)||Patronym for son (Cyrillic typing)||Patronym for son (Latin typing)||Patronym for daughter (Cyrillic typing)||Patronym for daughter (Latin typing)|
Historical Russian naming convention did not include surname, a person's name consisting of their and their father's name, e.g. Иван Петров сын (Ivan, son of Peter), later giving rise to most Russian -ov surnames. Modern -ovich- patronyms were originally a feature of the royal dynasty (Рюриковичи, Ruerikovichi, Rurikids), that makes the Russian patronym in its original meaning being similar to German von. As from the 17th century, the second name with suffix -ович (-ovich) was the privilege given by tsar to commoners. For example, in 1610, tsar Vasili IV gave to the Stroganovs who were merchants the privilege to use patronyms. As the tribute for developing of salt industry in Siberia he let Pyotr Stroganov and all his issue to have and write the name with -ovich. The tsar wrote in the chart dated by May 29, literally: "... to write him with ovich, to try [him] in Moscow only, not to fee [him] by other fees, not to kiss a cross by himself [what means not to swear during any processions]" In the 18th century, Stroganovs were the only family of merchants who had patronyms. By the 19th century, -ovich- form eventually became the default form of a patronymic.
Everyone in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus is supposed to have a tripartite name. Foreigners who adopt Russian citizenship are able not to have the patronym or to have it. Nowadays, an adult person is entitled to legally change their patronymic if necessary for any reason, for instance in order to alienate from the biological father (or show respect for the adopted one) as well as to decide the same for their underage child.
Family name (surname)
Family names generally function in the same manner that English family names do.
Derivation and meaning
Eastern-Slavonic languages being rather synthetic languages than analytic languages use special linguistic tools to make a surname. In Russian, these are suffixes -ов (-ov), -ев (-yev) or -ский (-sky) meaning "belonging to". For example, Медведев (Medvedev) conveys (but not equal to) belonging to bear, Разумовский (Razumovsky) conveys (but not equal to) belonging to mind etc. Ukrainian and Belorussian languages use a few other suffixes which convey the same sense; generally these are suffixes -ко (-ko), -ук (-uk), and -ич (-ych). For example, the sense of the surname Писаренко (Pisarenko) conveys (but not equal to) belonging to scribe, Ковальчук (Kovalchuk) - belonging to smith etc.
The general cases are described above, but sometimes the special models are used to make a surname. For example, the surname Лебедь (Lebed') being pure Slavonic means literally "swan" and lost its possessive sense.
Double surnames like Иванов-Петров (Ivanov-Petrov) are allowed as well, but are rare.
Eastern Slavonic languages are synthetic languages. The feature of the last are grammar cases and grammar gender. Unlike analytic languages which use prepositions (like "to", "at", "on" etc. in English) to convey the links and relations between words in a sentence, suffixes are used much more broadly rather than prepositions. It means that it is required to change the word with the help of some suffix to integrate it into the sentence and to build a grammatically correct sentence. Names are not the exceptions (in contradistinction to the German language which uses grammar cases and grammar genders too, but makes an exception for names due to its less synthetic nature). Family names are declined basing on the Slavonic case system.
As with all Slavic adjectives, family names have different forms depending on gender — for example, the wife of Борис Ельцин (Boris Yel'tsin) is Наина Ельцина (Naina Yel'tsina). The only surnames with neutral grammatical gender are non-changing (surnames which ends on -енко (-yenko) for example).
Note that this change of grammatical gender is not considered to be changing the name received from a woman's father or husband (compare the equivalent rule in Czech or Polish). The correct transliteration of such feminine names in English is debated: sometimes women's names are given in their original form, sometimes in the masculine form (technically incorrect).
Let's consider the phenomenon described above using the example of Иванов (Ivanov), a surname:
|Grammar case||Example of question||Masculine form, Cyrillic typing||Masculine form, Latin typing||Feminine form, Cyrillic typing||Feminine form, Latin typing|
|Genitive||[to bear] Whom?||Иванова||Ivanova||Ивановой||Ivanovoy|
|Locative (Prepositional)||About whom?||Иванове||Ivanove||Ивановой||Ivanovoy|
- family names are generally inherited from one's parents. On marriage, women usually adopt the surname of their husband (as with English names), or (very rarely) vice versa; both choices are voluntary;
- in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries -off was a common transliteration of -ov when spelling Russian surnames in foreign languages such as French (e.g., the Smirnoff brand or the Davidoff brand).
Germanization of East Slavonic names
When translating Russian-styled names into English, the patronymic is not equivalent to an English middle name. The exponential example of comparability of second name with East Slavonic patronym sketches us Tom Clancy in his book, The Hunt for Red October. The character called Sergey Golovko calls his American counterpart, John Patrick Ryan, "Ivan Emmetovich," because his father was Emmet Ryan: as an Irish-American, Ryan had not had a patronymic before.
While translating into English, the patronymic can be omitted (e.g. Vladimir Putin or V. Putin); both the first name and the patronymic can be written out in full (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin); or both the first name and the patronymic can be abbreviated (V. V. Putin). The variants like "Vladimir V. Putin" may be considered as suitable as well.
Slavicization of foreign names with no patronyms
Accordingly, the law, foreign persons who adopt Russian citizenship may have patronymic or not to have it. Hence, there are non-Slavonic patronymics as well. For example, Irina Hakamada, a Russian politician whose father was Japanese, has a patronymic Муцуовна (Mutsuovna) since her father's given name was Mutsuo. The ethnicity of origin generally remains recognizable in russified names.
Bruno Pontecorvo, after he emigrated to the USSR, was known as Бруно Максимович Понтекорво (Bruno Maximovich Pontekorvo) in the Russian scientific community, because his father's given name was Massimo (corresponding to Russian Максим (Maksim)). Pontecorvo's sons have been known by names Джиль Брунович Понтекорво (Jil' Brunovich Pontecorvo), Антонио Брунович Понтекорво (Antonio Brunovich Pontecorvo) and Тито Брунович Понтекорво (Tito Brunovich Pontekorvo).
Vic Ivan Wild, the Olympic champion on slalom who adopted Russian citizenship beside his US citizenship, uses the slavicized form of his name Виктор Иванович Уайлд (Viktor Ivanovich Wild), with his second name forming the basis of his adopted patronymic.
Such conversion of foreign names is unofficial and optional in many cases of communication and translation.
Slavicization of foreign names with patronyms of other forms
Some Turkic languages also use patronymics, formed using the Turkic word meaning 'son' or 'daughter'. These languages were official in the countries which were in Russian Empire firstly and USSR later caused the necessity to sort these patronyms with Slavonic patronyms. Let's consider the way of that issue resolving.
For example, Kazakh ұлы (ûlı; transcribed into English as -ulı, as in Nursultan Äbishulı Nazarbayev) or Azeri оглы/оғлу (oğlu) (as in Heydər Əlirza oğlu Əliyev); Kazakh қызы (transcribed into English as -qyzy, as in Dariga Nursultanqyzy Nazarbayeva). Such kinds of patronymic for Turkic peoples were officially allowed in the Soviet times.
Some surnames in those languages have been russified since the 19th century and remain so; e.g. the surname of Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev has a Russian "-yev" suffix, which literally means "of Nazar-bay" (where "bay" is a Turkic native noble rank – compare Turkish "bey", Uzbek "beg", and Kyrghyz "bek"). This surname russification practice is not common, varying greatly by country.
Some ethnic groups use more than one name, one official, another unofficial. Official names are made with Russian patronymics, unofficial names are noble or tribal names, which were prohibited after the revolution. After the fall of the Soviet Union, some people returned to using these tribal or noble names as surnames (e.g. Sarah Naiman — a Kazakhstan singer, whose surname means that she is from Naimans). Some Muslim people changed their surnames to an Arabic style (e.g. Tungyshbay Zhamankulov — famous Kazakhstan actor who often plays role of Khans in movies, changed his name to Tungyshbay al-Tarazy).
Forms of address
The common rules are the further:
- the full three-name form (for instance, Иван Иванович Петров, Ivan Ivanovich Petrov) is used in official documents only. Everyone in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus is supposed to have three names;
- the form "first name + patronymic" (for instance, Иван Иванович, Ivan Ivanovich):
- is the feature of official communication (for instance, students in schools and universities call their teachers in the form of "first name + patronymic" only);
- may convey the speaker's respect for the recipient. Historically patronymic was the feature of the royal dynasty only (Рюриковичи, Ruerikovichi)
- the surname only (Петров, Petrov) is used in formal communications, but much more rare. One instance where it is used commonly is by school teachers towards their students. There's some trend in informal Russian to call a recipient with his/her surname expressing the irony as well;
- for informal communication two names are usually omitted and only the first name is used (for instance, Иван, Ivan). In the more informal registers, a diminutive (of which several can be formed from one name) is often used.
The choice of addressing format is closely linked to the choice of second-person pronoun. Russian language distinguishes between:
- informal tы (ty, "you");
- formal вы (vy, "you"). Respectful Вы ("Vy", "You") may be capitalized, while plural вы ("vy", "you") is not.
Вы ("Vy") also being the plural of both forms, used to address a pair or group. Historically that feature was borrowed from German during the Peter the Great age (the full analogue is German addressing format "du - Sie".) Excluding the usage of patronymics, forms of address in Russian are very similar to the English ones. Fine detailes of stated above are considered below.
Let's consider the forms of addressing with ты (ty, "you") by the particular example. For example, some speaker contacts his counterpart Елена Ивановна Петрова (Yelena Ivanovna Petrova) and ask her:
|Придёшь ли ТЫ сегодня, ...|
|Will you come today, ...|
|Form of name||Name (Latin typing)||Format||Comments|
|..., Леночка?||..., Lenochka?||Diminutive form||conveys the tender attitude. The speaker cares about Елена (Yelena)|
|..., Ленка?||..., Lenka?||Colloquial diminutives form||the feature of familiarity; Елена (Yelena) is a friend of the speaker|
|..., Лена?||..., Lena?||Short form||conveys no emotions. The routine appeal to Елена (Yelena) in informal communications|
|..., Елена?||..., Yelena?||Full form||conveys no emotions. The speaker and Елена (Yelena) are a little bit more distant from each other as the speaker uses the full form of her name, but not such a distant formal communication as the speaker uses the informal form ты (ty, "you") (not formal вы (vy, "You").|
|..., Ивановна?||..., Ivanovna?||Patronym||conveys close relationships and the kind of joke. The speaker and Елена (Yelena) are probably good friends|
|..., Петрова?||..., Petrova?||Surname||may convey a familiarity and kind of joke or slight dependently on other conditions. The speaker uses Елена's (Yelena's) surname, that is some feature of formal communication, but the respectful pronoun вы (vy, "You") is required then. The last is rejected by the speaker, hence, the emotions he conveys depend on other conditions of the conversation|
Let's consider the examples of addressing formats with using of pronoun вы (vy, "You") in the conditions of the previous example. It will be formal communication always.
|Приедете ли ВЫ сегодня, ...|
|Will You come today, ...|
|Form of name||Name (Latin typing)||Format||Comments|
|..., Елена?||..., Yelena?||Full form||this form emerged in the last 20 years due to Western influence; it is now gradually superseding the next one, especially in business practice English analogue for Ronald Reagan: Ronald.|
|..., Елена Ивановна?||..., Yelena Ivanovna?||Full form + Patronym||the example of using may be the fact that students in schools and universities use this form for communication with their teachers. Sometimes it could be applied by a younger speaker to an older recipient to convey some kind of respect|
|..., Петрова?||..., Petrova?||Short form||respectively rarely used. Underlines the formality without any emphasis to respect|
|..., госпожа Петрова?||..., gospozha [i.e. Ms] Petrova?||prefix + Surname||respectively rarely used because of negative connotations of alike prefixes in Soviet period (as it means master / mistress or lord / lady). The emotions conveying are the same as in English (respect)|
We'll consider the cases of using the adjectives before names by the example or Russian language of Eastern Slavonic group. Other Eastern Slavonic languages use the same adjectives of their literal translation, if they differ from Russian analogue. All the Eastern Slavonic languages are synthetic languages so the grammar genders are used what implies that the suffix of an adjective varies dependently on the sex of the recipient.
In Russian, adjectives before name are generally restricted to written forms of communication. Adjectives like Любимый / Любимая (lyubimiy / lyubimaya, "beloved") and Милый / Милая (miliy / milaya, "sweetheart") are informal, while Уважаемый / Уважаемая (uvazhayemiy / uvazhayemaya, literally "respected") is highly formal. Some adjectives, like Дорогой / Дорогая (dorogoy / dorogaya, "dear"), can be used in both formal and informal letters.
- List of surnames in Russia
- Romanization of Russian
- Russian personal name
- Slavic names
- Slavic surnames
- Ukrainian name
- "Сеть кинотеатров сети Киномакс" [Everybody Dies But Me]. Retrieved 2014-06-08.
- писать его с вичем, судить только в Москве, излишних пошлин с товаров не брать, креста самому не целовать. Собр. Гос. Грам. II, № 196.
- Federal Law of the Russian Federation on Acts of Civil Statements, Clauses: 58, 59.
- Family Code of Russian Federation. pp. Clause 18.4 "A child's patronym is formed from father's name if the opposite is not based on the national cusom".
- М.А. Кронгауз (March 2001). Новое в речевом этикете (in Russian). Русский язык. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
Further reading (in Russian)
- Балановская Е. В., Соловьева Д. С., Балановский О. П. и др. «Фамильные портреты» пяти русских регионов / Медицинская генетика. 2005.№ 1. С. 2–10.
- Таблицы и рисунки к статье «Фамильные портреты» пяти русских регионов
- Подробный популярный пересказ Report in the journal «Химия и жизнь»
- Article in «Коммерсантъ ВЛАСТЬ» № 38 от 26 сентября 2005 г. и реакция на нее авторов работы.
- Article in «Коммерсантъ ВЛАСТЬ»"Лицо русской национальности". 38 (641) (Власть ed.). 2005. pp. 54–60.
- Paul Goldschmidt's Dictionary of Russian Names; discussion of patronymics; also interesting historical exceptions to the current pattern