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 Russian Names

Every Russian has three names: a first name, a patronymic, and a surname:

(first name) (patronymic) (surname)

First Name

The first name is a given name. Every Russian name has a variety of forms which can express all kinds of emotions. For example, there are more than twenty forms of Maria in Russian!
The full form - Maria () - is used in official papers, in formal relationships and with unfamiliar people.
The shortened form - Masha () - is neutral and used in relationships with friends.
Form of affection - Mashen'ka().
Intimate, tender forms - Mashunechka(), Mashunya(), Marusya().
The unceremonious/vulgar form - Mashka() - is quite impolite but o.k. within the family or between children or adult friends.

See a list of popular Russian names here.


Partonimic

The second name is a patronymic. Russian patronymic is a name derived from the father's first name by adding -/- (son of) for male, or -/- (daughter of) for females. For example, in the name , the middle name, , means daughter of ; in the name , the patronymic, , means son of .
Patronymics are usually stressed according to the position of a stressed syllable in the first name they derived from. For example, (ah-lehk-SEHY) - (ah-lehk-SEH-yeh- vich); (vla-DEE-meer) - (vla-DEE-mee-rahv-na). But there are some exceptions, e.g. (mee-ha-EEl) - (mee-HAHY-la-vich).

Children and close friends are called by their first names. The personal pronoun and the verb are in the singular.

, .
, ?
, .

The usual official form of address among adults is the first name and patronymic; the person pronoun and the verb are in the plural

, .
, ?


Surname


Russian surnames or family names take on a feminine ending for women. For example:

man - woman
-
-
-

Compare the following:
Men's names:


Women's names:



Below is a list of some popular Russian names and their common forms:

Men's Names

Full Name Short Name Diminutive Unceremonious
, C, ,
, , ,
, ,
, , -
, , ,
,
-
-
,
-
,
ϸ


Women's Names

Full Name Short Name Diminutive Unceremonious
, , ,
-
,
-
-
,
,
-
, , ,
, , , ,
,
, ,
- ,
,
-
,
,
,
,
-

Learn how to ask somebody's name or to present yourself in Russian in our Personal Correspondence Guide Book.

Your comments and proposals are welcome at comments@learningrussian.com

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