Eastern Slavic naming customs
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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 and some South Slavic languages like in Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia. They are also featured in the non-Slavic Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan as a result of the expansion of Russia and the result of Russification.
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.
All first names are single, non-doubled. Doubled first names (as in, e.g., French, like Jean-Luc) 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||Belarusian variant||Latin-alphabet transliteration (Russian / Ukrainian)||Origin||Comments|
|Ива́н||Іва́н||Іван, Ян||Ivа́n||Hebrew||equivalent to John|
|Никола́й||Мико́ла||Мікалай||Nikolа́y / Mykо́la||Greek||equivalent to Nicholas, meaning "Victory (of the) People"|
|Бори́с||Бори́с||Барыс||Borís / Borys||(Bulgar)||Fighter|
|Влади́мир||Володи́мир||Уладзімір||Vladímir / Volodymyr||Slavonic||meaning "Lord of the World / Peace"|
|Пётр||Петро́||Пётр, Пятро||Pyotr / Petrо́||Greek||equivalent to Peter|
|Андре́й||Андрій||Андрэй||Andrе́y / Andriy||Greek||equivalent to Andrew|
|Алекса́ндр||Олександр / Олекса||Аляксандр||Aleksándr / Oleksandr / Olexa||Greek||equivalent to Alexander|
|Дми́трий||Дмитро||Дмітрый, Дзмітрый, Зміцер||Dmítry / Dmytro||Greek||meaning "of Demeter"|
|Серге́й||Сергій||Сяргей||Sergе́y / Serhiy||Latin||from the Roman nomen (patrician family name) Sergius, and this from a more ancient Etruscan name|
|Леони́д||Леонід||Леанід||Leoníd||Greek||from Greek Leonidas, meaning "Son of the Lion"|
|Гео́ргий||Гео́ргiй||Георгій||Geо́rgy||Greek||the analogues are Егор (Yegor), Юрий (Yury), equivalent to George|
|Па́вел||Павло́||Павел||Pа́vel / Pavlо́||Latin||equivalent to Paul|
|Константи́н||Костянти́н||Канстанцін||Konstantín / Kostyantyn||Latin||equivalent to Constantine|
|Кири́лл||Кири́ло||Кірыл||Kiríll / Kyrylo||Greek||equivalent to Cyril|
|Васи́лий||Васи́ль||Васіль||Vasíly / Vasyl / Vassili||Greek||equivalent to Ваsіl|
|Владисла́в||Владисла́в||Уладзіслаў||Vladislа́v / Vladyslav||Slavonic||meaning "Lord of Fame"|
|Вячесла́в||В'ячесла́в||Вячаслаў||Vyacheslа́v||Slavonic||meaning "Growing Fame"|
|Михаи́л||Миха́йло||Міхаіл||Mihaíl / Myhа́ilo||Hebrew||equivalent to Michael|
|Оле́г||Олег||Алег||Olе́g / Olе́h||Old Norse||derivative from Scandinavian "Helgi"|
|И́горь||Ігор||Ігар||Ígor / Ihor||Old Norse||derivative from Scandinavian "Ingvar"|
|Макси́м||Макси́м||Максім||Maxím / Maksym||Latin||meaning "Greatest"|
Common female first names
|Russian variant||Ukrainian variant||Latin-alphabet transliteration
(Russian / Ukrainian)
|Áнна||Анна / Ганна||Ánna / Hanna||Hebrew||equivalent to Anne or Hannah|
|Еле́на, Алёна||Oле́нa||Yelе́na, Alyо́na / Olе́na||Greek||equivalent to Helen; in Russian Alyona can be both a pet
version of Yelena and a name in its own right
|Ната́лья / Наталия||Наталя / Ната́лія||Natа́l'ya / Nataliya||Latin||equivalent to Natalie|
|Óльга||Ольга||Ólga / Olha||Old Norse||derivative from Scandinavian Helga|
|Алекса́ндра||Олекса́ндра||Aleksа́ndra / Oleksandra||Greek||equivalent to Alexandra|
|Ксе́ния, Окса́на||Окса́на||Kséniya / Oksа́na||Greek||in Russian Oksana is a separate name of the same origin|
|Екатери́на||Катери́на||Yekaterína / Kateryna||Greek||equivalent to Catherine|
|Татья́на||Тетяна||Tatyána / Tetiana||Latin||derivative from the Latinized name of Sabin king|
|Людми́ла||Людми́ла||Lyudmíla / Lyudmyla||Slavonic||meaning "Dear to the People"|
|Светла́на||Світла́на||Svetlа́na / Svitlа́na||Slavonic||meaning "The Shining One"|
|Юлия||Юлія||Yúliya||Latin||equivalent to Julia or Julie|
|Ве́ра||Віра||Vе́ra / Vira||Slavonic||meaning "Faith"; a calque of the Greek Πίστη|
|Наде́жда||Надія||Nadе́zhda / Nadiya||Slavonic||meaning "Hope"; a calque of the Greek Ελπίς|
|Любо́вь||Любо́в||Lyubо́v' / Lyubо́v||Slavonic||meaning "Love"; a calque of the Greek Αγάπη|
|Софи́я, Со́фья||Софія||Sofíya, 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 in most cases 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 mostly 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|
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 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 the 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)||Short forms (Latin)|
|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.)|
|Алексей||Aleksey (m)||Алёша, Лёша||Alyosha, Lyosha|
|Анастасия||Anastasia (f)||Настя, Стася (редко)||Nastya, Stasya (rare)|
|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.)|
|Евгений, Евгения||Yevgeniy (m), Yevgenia (f)||Женя||Zhenya|
|Лариса||Larisa (f)||Лара, Лёля||Lara, Lyolya|
|Людмила||Lyudmila (f)||Люда, Люся, Мила (редко)||Lyuda, Lyusya, Meela (rare)|
|Мария||Mariya (f)||Маша, Марічка (укр.)||Masha, Marichka (ukr.)|
|Полина||Polina (f)||Поля, Лина||Polya, Lina|
|София||Sofia, Sofya (f)||Соня, Софа||Sonya, Sofa|
|Валентин / Валентина||Valentin (m) / Valentina (f)||Валя||Valya|
|Владимир||Vladimir (m)||Вова, Володя||Vova, Volodya|
|Владислав, Владислава||Vladislav (m), Vladislava (f)||Влад, Влада||Vlad, Vlada|
|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 emphasizes 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.
|Full form of first name (Cyrillic)||Full form of first name (Latin)||Short form (Cyrillic)||Short form (Latin)||Diminutive form (Cyrillic)||Diminutive form (Latin)|
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)||Full form of first name (Latin)||Short form (Cyrillic)||Short form (Latin)||Colloquial diminutive form (Cyrillic)||Colloquial diminutive form (Latin)|
Slang forms mostly (used to be only before the few recent decades) 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 brotherhood" once expressed by patronymic-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)||Name (Latin)||Origin||Comments|
|Вил, Вилен, Владлен, Владлена||Vil, Vilen, Vladlen (m) / Vladlene (f)||Владимир Ильич Ленин (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin)||-|
|Мэл(c)||Mel(s)||Маркс, Энгельс, Ленин (и Сталин) (Marx, Engels, Lenin (and Stalin))||-|
|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 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)||Father's name (Latin)||Patronym for son (Cyrillic)||Patronym for son (Latin)||Patronym for daughter (Cyrillic)||Patronym for daughter (Latin)|
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 [which 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. Single mothers can give their children any patronym, this does not have any legal consequences. Foreigners who adopt Russian citizenship may choose not to have a patronym. 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 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 exceptions (in contradistinction to the German language, which uses grammar cases and grammar genders, but makes an exception for names due to its less synthetic nature). Family names are declined based 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). Only surnames with neutral grammatical gender are non-changing (such as surnames which end in -енко (-yenko)).
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 Polish, for example). 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)||Masculine form (Latin)||Feminine form (Cyrillic)||Feminine form (Latin)|
|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. 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
By law, foreign persons who adopt Russian citizenship may or may not have a patronymic. 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).
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.
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 Kazakh singer, whose surname means that she is from Naimans). Some Muslim people changed their surnames to an Arabic style (e.g. Tungyshbay Zhamankulov — famous Kazakh 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 mostly used in official documents. Everyone in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus is supposed to have three names. It is also used on some very formal occasions, introducing yourself to a person who is likely to write down your full name (e.g., a police officer). In this case, the surname is often placed first (Петров Иван Иванович, Petrov Ivan Ivanovich).
- 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.
- In rural areas the patronymic name only (for instance, Петрович, Petrovich, Ивановна, Ivanovna) is used by aged people for informal communication between themselves, sometimes young people use such form expressing the irony. Another case when this form is used by younger people is while referring to a significantly elder person with both respect and informality: for example, a much younger man having a very good relationship with his elder colleague can address the latter by a patronymic using a "ty" form, but using first name only would generally be inappropriate, and using a diminutive (like in most cases of informal communication) would nearly always be very impolite.
The choice of addressing format is closely linked to the choice of second-person pronoun. Russian language distinguishes between:
- informal ты (ty, "you", "thou" in old English);
- 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.
The meaning of the addressing is also strongly dependent on the choice of a V-T form:
|Vy or ty||Form||Male example||Female example||Use|
|Using "Vy"||Full three-name form||Anatoliy Pavlovich Ivanov||Varvara Mikhailovna Kuznetsova||Official documents, very formal occasions (when necessary)|
|First name + patronymic||Anatoliy Pavlovich||Varvara Mikhailovna||General formal or respectful form|
|Surname||Ivanov||Kuznetsova||Formal. Often used by a person of a higher social position (e.g., a teacher talking to a student)|
|Informal first name + informal patronymic||Tol' Palych||Varvara Mikhalna||Respectful, but less formal|
|Full first name||Anatoliy||Varvara|
|Diminutive first name||Tolya||Varya||Friendly, but stil formal to some extent|
|Affectionate first name||Varechka||Used almost exclusively towards women, showing fondness but still keeping some formality (e.g., to a younger colleague)|
|Using "Ty"||First name + patronymic||Anatoliy Pavlovich||Varvara Mikhailovna||Can used between friends on semi-formal occasions, or ironically|
|Informal patronymic||Palych||Mikhalna||Combining familiarity and respect|
|Surname||Ivanov||Kuznetsova||Similar to use with a "vy" form, but less formal|
|Full first name||Anatoliy||Varvara||Friendly, but with a tone of formality. If the name has no diminutive form (Yegor), also used informally|
|Diminutive first name||Tolia||Varya||General informal form|
|Colloquial first name||Tolik||Var'ka||Highly familiar form|
|Slang first name||Tolyan||Varyukha|
|Affectionate first name||Tolen'ka||Varechka||Tender, affectionate form|
Using a "ty" form with the person's colloquitor clearly not wishing it, or under circumstances when it's inappropriate, can be an insult, especially addressing with surname only.
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: therefore the grammar genders are used, which 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.
|last1=in Authors list (help)
- 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 the Russian Federation, Article 58.2 "A child's patronym is formed from the father's [first] name unless otherwise [decreed by] national custom".
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: 54–60.