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Oleg of Novgorod.jpg
Word/nameOld Norse
Region of originEastern Europe
Other names
Related namesOlga, Helge

Oleg (Russian: Олег), Oleh (Ukrainian: Олег), or Aleh (Belarusian: Алег) is an East Slavic given name. The name is very common in Russia, Ukraine and Belаrus. It derives from the Old Norse Helgi (Helge), meaning "holy", "sacred", or "blessed". The feminine equivalent is Olga. While Germanic in origin, "Oleg" is not very common outside Eastern European countries.

Russian pronunciation[edit]

Russian pronunciation of Oleg in English is based on the transliteration of the Cyrillic alphabet, and hides three combined quirks of spoken (as opposed to written) Russian:

  1. The stress is on the second syllable. In spoken Russian, the initial short unstressed 'O' is pronounced 'A' as in 'about', like 'A-lég': however...
  2. Russian 'л' becomes palatalized before 'е', that is with a faint 'Y' sound of 'yeti' after it, but still closer to just English "a leg" than to "al-yeg"; however ...
  3. A written final 'г' (hard g as in 'gun') is pronounced 'k', with the correct result 'A-lék'.

Thus, rather than "Oh-leg", the proper pronunciation of Oleg in English most closely resembles the name Alec, but with stress on 'E'. But care should be taken, since such а pronunciation is valid only when referring to Russian males with the name "Oleg".

Ukrainian pronunciation[edit]

Ukrainian pronunciation of the name 'Олег' is different from Russian, though the same Cyrillic letters are used in writing. Ukrainian 'Олег' becomes 'Oleh' in English according to the transliteration rules[1] and the name is pronounced as |ɔːlˈeɦ| (with unstressed |ɔːl| and stressed |ˈe|, as in already and soft |ɦ|).

Belarusian spelling and pronunciation[edit]

In Belarusian the name is spelled and pronounced as "Алег" so that the first letter changes to "A" according to Belarusian feature of akannye. The last letter is also pronounced differently which renders the Latin transliteration as 'Aleh'.

People named Oleg[edit]

Rulers and nobles[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]

Television series[edit]