Talk:Eastern Slavic naming customs

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The new name of this article does not really sound appropriate. One may think that Russians started to use a different naming scheme after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which, of course, is not true.--Ëzhiki 17:13, Jul 26, 2004 (UTC)

Contributor's note[edit]

1. Hope i did correct the title properly. 2. You readers note that the list of common names in the article does not reflect some "top-5" rating of the most popular names - these are just examples. If I come across such rating, promise to include it in the article. AlexPU 14:25, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Наиболее популярные женские имена - Анна (Anna), Анастасия (Anastasia), Екатерина (Catherine). Мужские - Иван (Ivan), Михаил (Michael), Андрей (Andrei). Совершенно не знаю, как они пишутся по-английски, так что все неверности перевода на моей совести. Среди девочек популярны стали, почему-то, имена София (Sophia) и Василиса (Vasilisa/Basilissa - как вам больше нравится). (talk) 18:43, 17 December 2015 (UTC)Василисса С./Basilissa S.

Better example[edit]

Now that I added Pontecorvo as a nice real-life example of a name Russification, we can probably delete the (fictional?) Kraft van Ermel. rado 15:20, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Done. rado 08:48, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Here is an example of russification, and taking a patronymics became very popular amongst all PC volunteers in Ukraine. May it serve as the needed citation in the section? UPD: it's on myspace blogs which seem to be in the blacklist now, so here is the address: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:40, 29 December 2008 (UTC)


Note that this change of grammatical gender is a characteristic of East Slavic languages, and is not considered to be changing the name received from a woman's father or husband (compare the equivalent rule in Czech).

This is true not only for East Slavic, but for West Slavic languages too. And to nitpick, Czech is a West Slavic language.

Also standard in non slavic languages, for instance Greek!

Does this happen in Russian? I've heard of Russian women with surnames ending in 'ovich'. (talk) 17:26, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

'ovich' is a Jewish surname ending, therefore it is not apply a rules of the gender changes which is a common for Russian language and Russian\russificated surnames. -- (talk) 11:18, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Nope. -ovich (as surname) is common across Southern and Eastern Slavs; local Jews used local surname pattern, not the reverse. "Telltale Jewish" name Abramovich, in fact, was common in Belarussian and Polish szlachta - well before the Ashkenazis were obliged to use surnames. So your starting point has little truth beyond Rabinovich. NVO (talk) 17:41, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
This is indeed a local surname pattern but in any way this ending is incompatible with the gender shift common for Russian language and different from a Russian surname endings. Maybe it's not specifically Jewish and may belong to an other Slavic languages but obviously it's not a Russian (there need some investigation about Eastern Europe to Russian Empire surname penetrations). And nevertheless the main statement is that surnames with 'ovich' ending is unchangeable toward the gender. -- (talk) 20:48, 14 September 2008 (UTC)


"[...]except old like for example male Платон (Platon) or female Устинья (Ustinya) which don't have them."

Platosha and Ustya come to mind right away, so these are not good examples.

In fact, I would argue that native Russian speakers would come up with a nickname for any "Russian" name that a person may have. Some names just can only take one particular kind of a suffix and repel all the others, but there'll be a nickname that others would recognize, as it complies with the general language rules. It is a common thing to ask if the full name for this nickname is "X". Much like in the English speaking countries you will be asked to spell a name. As an example, a friend nicknamed "Nik" gets asked if he is "Nikolay" and the answer is "No, it's Nikita". Both perfectly acceptable.

Russian speakers will also shorten any other, non-Russian name to a nickname, or use a diminutive to connote friendliness or love, for anyone they speak Russian to. For example, Nursultan Nazarbayev was certainly called "Nurik" more than a few times in his life. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:53, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

If you want to insist that Kolya is a standard nickname for Nikolay, and that no one will even have to ask what the full name is. In that definition of a standardized nickname-to-full name correlation the following names do not have standard nicknames: Nikita, Oleg, Igor, - to name a few. On the other hand, I have not known a single person with that name who won't be addressed by friends as "Nikitka", "Igoryek", "Igoryesha", "Gosha", "Olezhka".

OVA, OV[edit]

Russian most common endings are OVA (f) OV or OFF(m) ENKO endings indicate Ukranian specific descent and there are various other endings that denote heritage or origin (Jewish for example).

No, don't right. Russian endings are OV, OVA (f), IN, INA (f) ('i' read how 'e'), EV, EVA (f). Ukrainian are ENKO, UK (male and female). OFF is a germanic variant. For example, russian Davidov could to be called Dafidoff after emigration to Germany etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iscarion (talkcontribs) 18:16, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Given name is not First, Surname is.[edit]

Given name is not First, Surname is, followed by Given name, followed by Patronymic.

  • In private talk say first name, patronymic (if interlocutor oldest or valid) and surname only in official speak. Iscarion (talk) 11:07, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Recent move to Russian names[edit]

Guys, I reverted that move because it narrowed the article's scope. When writing it, I clearly intended to describe several languages tradition in given time period. If it isn't seen from the text, I can make it more clear.AlexPU 05:25, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Yep, it's been over a year but the text right now does not fit the title. The text is about "traditional slavic names" and not "names in Soviet Union and CIS countries". No Turkic names, no Armenian names, etc. And no chances (and no real sense) to summarize all former CIS nations in one text. IMO, the text needs to be limited to a single nation and not be limited to Slavic names only. Maybe it's a bias of a particular environment, but I know more Armens than Ivans (and it's Moscow). NVO (talk) 23:41, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

History of naming conventions[edit]

As my first Russian teacher told us, "We haven't had last names very long." Apparently naming conventions were in a state of flux for a while, after Russians started realizing they really needed more than a first name and a patronymic. Actually there were even matronymics in some cases where the mother was more prominent than the father.

I recall reading a really excellent and detailed article about this online, but neglected to bookmark it. Can anyone help me find it? I'd like to add a link to it. LADave (talk) 20:36, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Last names for the aristocracy appeared many centuries ago. Serfs did not have last names (just like slaves did not have last names in America); the serfs were freed in only in 1861, and as a result, many Russians did not receive a last name until late 19th/early 20th century. As for the matronymic, that has not been used since the middle ages (and even then, it was extremely rare). --Tetromino (talk) 20:51, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
It was more complex. In some regions, family names among peasants were commonly established in petrine period, in some even earlier (not as much a regional difference as it is a difference in preserved archive records). A family of free men could "obtain" a family name, use it for generations and be bonded into serfdom later. Here's an example of Sen'kov family [1]:
early 1600s - Sen'kovs settle in Mstera
1628 - first documented record of Sen'kov brothers as bonded men
1765 - member of the family, still a serf, establishes a factory in Moscow
1827 - buyout into freedom. That's 200 years in serfdom with a permanent family name. These stories are quite common. NVO (talk) 23:42, 8 September 2008 (UTC)


Vladimir is not entirely slavic and certainly does not mean "Lord of the world" as explained in the corresponding article( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:05, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Vladimir is slavic name. Vlad - own, mir - world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:06, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

No. Vladi - rule, mir - peace. The Russian and Belorussian languages have switched the meaning of "peace" and "world". In Polish, Czech, Slovakian, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian etc. languages:
mir = peace svet = world

In Russian and Belorussian:
mir = world svet = peace

Names such as Vladimir are proto-Slavic and their original meaning is the same as in all Slavic languages except Russian and Belorussian. So, Vladimir = ruler over peace. --Gcsaba2 (talk) 17:41, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

All the examples of the word interpretation given above are popular etymology. Unfortunately contemprorary Russian (or other [East] Slavic language) knowledge is not sufficient in the case. As Max Vasmer's Russian language etymology dictionairy puts it - the second part is akin to Gothic "mers" ("great") and so on. That's why Vladimir is rather "great in his rule/power". The name is Slavic, I believe it might be used by some non-Slavic people of the former USSR as this article claims to name children after the founding father of the Soviet state. -- (talk) 10:25, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

svet never means peace in Russian. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

>mir = world, svet = peace

"Cвет" (svet) может употребляться в значении "Мир, как вселенная" (world, Universe) в поэзии. Но в значении "Мир, как отсутствие войны" (peace) он не употребляется никогда.

svet=world (in poetry) mir=world;peace (Usually) (talk) 09:20, 9 January 2016 (UTC)Василисса/Basilissa

Show accents on examples?[edit]

It would be helpful to show how names are stressed. Many if not most are mispronounced in the West because we don't stress the right syllable. For example we usually say "Eye van" instead of iVAN, BO-ris instead of boRIS, VLADimir instead of vladImir. LADave (talk) 00:43, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Василий = William???[edit]

you must be kidding. ridiculous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:29, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

<First name> <Patronymic>[edit]

While this is a respectful form of address, it is not, as the article indicates, always directed to a social superior. An elementary student would commonly use it to address his/her teacher, a teacher very often would use it to address a student. Too Old (talk) 06:36, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Horrible article[edit]

Seriously, this is one of the most wretched articles I seen on Wikipedia, just compare the trash written here to similar article in Russian Wikipedia, heck compare it to other similar articles like "German name" or "Polish name" in English wiki. Get rid of anything unrelated to Russians (Yes, Turk, Armenian even Ukrainian names have to go, article must be deleted and rewritten from the start with focus exclusively on Russians, anything else does not belong to here. And get rid of a "Early Soviet Union" section, its one of the most ridiculous bullshit I've ever seen in my life. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:11, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Ukrainian counterexample[edit]

"In Ukrainian language the female patronymic always ends with -ivna and the male always ends with -ovych. Example: the Ukrainian patronymic for Ilya is Illich." This is actually a counterexample! Jorgengb (talk) 13:32, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Women's names[edit]

Please provide a complementary list of most common women's forenames, and include them fully in the article. Had I the expertise, I'd happily supply the labor, but this is not my field. Thanks. KC 17:55, 30 July 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boydstra (talkcontribs)

Пал Палыч & Сан Саныч[edit]

Hihi, theese are not short forms, theese are just Relaxed pronunciation (sometimes intentionally for ironic purpose). There's no short form of patronymic in Russian. (talk) 01:07, 24 January 2013 (UTC)


The name Timur has stress on the second syllable — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lifeisuseless (talkcontribs) 15:36, 13 November 2016 (UTC)