From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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]

Олег (Oleg) is pronounced [ɐˈlʲek] in Russian. The English pronunciation of Oleg is based on the transliteration of the Cyrillic alphabet, and overlooks three key features of the Russian pronunciation:

  1. The stress is on the second syllable. In spoken Russian, the initial short unstressed 'O' is reduced to [ɐ], similar to the 'a' as in 'about'.
  2. The 'л' (l) becomes palatalized to [lʲ] ─ that is, it gains a 'y'-like quality, and but is still most closely approximated by a plain English 'l'.
  3. The word-final final 'г' (g) is devoiced to [k].

Thus, rather than "Oh-leg", the phonetically closest approximation of the Russian pronunciation of Oleg in English is the name Alec, but with stress on 'E'.

Ukrainian pronunciation[edit]

Ukrainian pronunciation of the name 'Олег' is different from Russian, though the same Cyrillic letters are used in writing. Ukrainian 'Олег' is pronounced [oˈlɛɦ] and becomes 'Oleh' in English according to the transliteration rules.[1]

Belarusian spelling and pronunciation[edit]

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

People named Oleg[edit]

Rulers and nobles[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]

Television series[edit]


Video games[edit]