What are the Most Common RUSSIAN NAMES?
Saturday, 18 February 2012 20:42

Russian Names

Just like any other country, Russian names have full names and their short equivalents. So one may hear sometimes something like “Hey Dima, come over here”, and wonder, “Who is Dima”? But in fact, this is just a short name for Dmitry or Dimitry (pronounced with the letter “i” as it is difficult for an English speaking person to pronouce Russian consonant clusters) . 

So it is very common to call your friends or acquaintances by their short names in Russia. This makes you sound less formal and means that you are on familiar terms with the person you are addressing by his/her short name. In fact, this is not just common but is almost an unwritten rule to address your friends by either their nicknames or their short names.

Russian Names In a formal setting, however, one must always call a person by his/her full first name or even including his/her middle name if this person is your teacher, employer or somebody who is older than you. Such formal addressing is considered in Russia a sign of respect. Unlike the middle name used in western countries, the Russian middle name (also called patronimic name) is not optional but rather a must for the examples explained above".

Russian Names It is interesting to note that in the past, Russian names were usually determined by the day and month the child was born, and by the saint of the church the day corresponded to. For example, if a child was born on February 23th, then there were only three names of the saints that parents could chose from to name their baby: Anna, Valentina, and Prokhor. The system now has lost its traditional roots, and the parents’ choice is mainly determined by their likes and dislikes, but nonetheless, some people still partake in this tradition in Russia. 

The easiest way to distinguish the difference between the male and female names is to look for the ending of the name. Typically, feminine names end with -ya or -a (Katya, Maria, Masha), whereas male names end in -(i)y (Evgeniy, Anatoliy, Gennadiy) or a consonant (Roman, Maxim, Vladimir). Although, some names can be both male and female. For example, the short names: Sasha and Zhenya can both be names of men or women, and it is the full form of the name only that determines a person's sex: for e.g. Sasha = Alexandr for a boy and Alexandra for a girl, and Zhenya = Evgeniy for a boy and Evgeniya for a girl.

Russian Names Probably the most common Russian male names are: Andrey, Dmitriy, Vladimir, Victor, Evgeniy, Mikhail, and Alexandr. For female, one can hear the following names on a daily basis: Marina, Olga, Victoria, Ekaterina, Elena, and Svetlana. 

Russian names are very beautiful and unique. They are less common in the west than they are in the eastern areas of Europe. Here is a list of the most common and coolest Russian names along with their short names that one can hear in Russia.

Boys Names:

First Full name – First short name

  1. Андрей (Andrey) –  Андрюха (Andryuha)
  2. Александр (Alexandr) - Саша (Sasha), Саня (Sanya), Санек (San'oyk)
  3. Алексей (Alexey) - Лёша (L'yosha), Лёха (L'yoha)
  4. Борис (Boris) - Боря (Borya)
  5. Валентин (Valentin) - Валя (Valya)
  6. Валерий (Valeriy) - Валера (Valera)
  7. Виктор (Victor) - Витя (Vitya), Витёк (Vit'yok)
  8. Виталий (Vitaliy) – Виталик (Vitalik)
  9. Владимир (Vladimir) - Вова (Vova), Вован (Vovan - the "a" is stressed)
  10. Григорий (Grigoriy) - Гриша (Grisha)
  11. Дмитрий (Dimitriy) - Дима (Dima), Димон (Dimon - the "o" is stressed), Димок (Dimok - the "o" is stressed)
  12. Евгений (Evgeniy) – Женя (Zhenya), Женёк (Zhen'yok)
  13. Иван (Ivan) – Ваня (Vanya), Ванёк (Van'yok)
  14. Павел (Pavel) – Паша (Pasha), Пашок (Pashok - the "o" is stressed)
  15. Сергей (Sergey) – Серёга (Ser'yoga)
  16. Максим (Maxim) - Макс (Max)

Girls Names:

  1. Анастасия (Anastasiya) - Настя (Nastya)
  2. Анна (Anna) - Аня (Anya)
  3. Валерия (Valeria) - Лера (Lera)
  4. Вероника (Veronika) - Вера (Vera), Ника (Nika)
  5. Дарья (Dariya) - Даша (Dasha)
  6. Евгения (Evgeniya) - Женя (Zhenya)
  7. Екатерина (Ekaterina) - Катя (Katya)
  8. Елена (Elena) -  Лена (Lena)
  9. Ирина (Irina) - Ира (Ira)
  10. Ксения (Kseniya) - Ксюша (Ksyusha)
  11. Любовь (Lyubov') - Люба (Lyuba)
  12. Мария (Mariya) - Маша (Masha)
  13. Надежда (Nadezhda) - Надя (Nadya)
  14. Ольга (Olga) - Оля (Olya)
  15. Светлана (Svetlana)- Света (Sveta), Светик (Svetik)
  16. Татьяна (Tatiyana)- Таня (Tanya)
  17. Юлия (Yulia) - Юля (Yulya)
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