Russian Baby Names

Ella Rain
Russia

Russian baby names are rich with tonal quality as well as interesting meanings. Learning a little about the fundamentals of these designations may inspire you to choose one for your newborn.

Russian Naming Traditions

Various cultures have different traditions when it comes to naming babies, but each tradition is significant and meaningful. Russian names for babies are no exception, and the cultural significance of each name begins with the organization of an individual's designation.

Naming traditions in Russia include three names for each individual: a first name, patronymic name and a surname. The surname is handed down from one generation to the next, as do surnames in many other cultures. The first name is also referred to as the baby's given name, and the patronymic name is a derivative of the father's first name.

First Names

Parents name their babies soon after birth. Russian law allows children to change their first names when they have reached maturity. Russian first names have different forms that are used during various situations.

  • The full form is formal and is appropriate for official documents.
  • The short form is familiar and used by family and close friends.
  • The affectionate form is typically used by grandparents and parents.
  • The rude form is an uncouth derivative of the name.
Forms of Mikhail
Full Short Affectionate Rude
Mikhail Misha Mishunya or Mishenka Mishka

Patronymic Names

Russian tradition does not present middle names as some other cultures do. As the name suggests, patronymic names are derivatives of the father's name. Parents add endings to the baby's name, depending on the infant's gender. Each gender has two possible endings.

  • Boys
    • evich
    • ovich

For example, a father named Mikhail could have children with the following patronymic names:

  • Girls
    • evna
    • ovna
  • Boy
    • Mikhailevich
    • Michailovich
  • Girl

    • Mikhailevna
    • Mikhailovna

First and patronymic names are appropriate in formal situations. For example, a physician would use the patient's first and patronymic name when addressing him, and a niece would address her aunt using the name combination.

Baby Names from Russia

Selecting a Russian baby name for your new arrival can be challenging when you consider the many options available. The following charts contain first Russian baby names in their full and short forms. A comprehensive list of Russian names is available in the Dictionary of Russian Period Names.

Russian Boy Names
Full Short
Aleksei Alyosha
Aleksandr Sasha
Anatoliy Tolya
Artyom Tyoma
Boris Borya
Dmitriy Dima
Eduard Edik
Filipp Filya
Fyodor Fedya
Gennadiy Gena
Georgiy Gosha
Innokentiy Kesha
Ivan Vanya
Konstantin Kostya
Leonid Lyonya
Lev Lyova
Maksim Maks
Mark Marik
Mikhail Misha
Nikolai Kolya
Pavel Pasha
Rodion Rodya
Roman Roma
Sergei Seryozha
Stanislav Stas
Stepan Styopa
Svyatoslav Slava
Timofei Tima
Vadim Vadik
Valentin Valya
Vasiliy Vasya
Viktor Vitya
Vladimir Vova
Vladislav Vlad
Vyacheslav Slava
Yakov Yasha
Yaroslav Yarik,
Yevgeniy Zhenya
Yuriy Yura
Russian Girl Names
Full Short
Aleksandra Sasha
Anastasiya Nastya
Anna Anya
Antonina Tonya
Anzhelika Anzhela
Dariya Dasha
Galina Galya
Irina Ira
Klavdiya Klava
Kseniya Ksenya
Larisa Lara
Lidiya Lida
Liliya Lilya
Lyubov' Lyuba
Margarita Rita
Mariya Masha
Nadezhda Nadya
Nataliya Natasha
Nelli Nellya
Oksana Ksyusha
Ol'ga Olya
Polina Polya
Raisa Raya
Rozaliya Roza
Svetlana Lana
Tamara Toma
Tatiyana Tanya
Valentina Valya
Valeriya Lera
Veronika Vera
Viktoriya Vika
Yekaterina Katya
Yelena (Elena) Lena
Yelizaveta Liza
Yevdokiya Dunya
Yevgeniya Zhenya
Yuliya (Yulia) Yulya
Zinaida Zina


Russian Baby Names