200+ Popular Russian Names: Meanings, Formats & English Equivalents

Meanings | Formatting | English Equivalents | Popular Russian Boys Names | Popular Russian Girls Names | 140+ Additional Names To Consider

For a strong baby name with an international flair, a Russian name is worth considering.

Whether the appellation is the Russian version of a common name like “Michael,” “Joseph,” “Mary,” or “Margaret” or a name native to the region, these names are full of character and meaning.

Bestowing a Russian name on a child can celebrate family roots ranging from Slavic, Christian, Soviet, and post-Soviet influences.

What Is The Meaning Behind Russian Names?

While many Russian names are beautiful, they also powerfully depict characteristics such as birth order, desired personality or physical traits, or even attributes of nature or the season of birth.

Giving names that mean “unloved,” “anger,” or “sorrow” is not intended to be a self-fulfilling prophecy but an attempt by solicitous parents to ward off these evils. When choosing a Russian name, it pays to research the meaning. 

Formatting A Russian Name

In Russia, there are three parts to a name: the given name, the patronymic, and the surname;

  • The given name is the first name that people go buy. In Russian, there is usually a diminutive formor secret nickname that adds “-sha” to the first syllable of a given name This turns “Mikhail” into “Misha,” and “Pavel” into “Pasha.”
  • The middle name or patronymic adds on “ovich” or “evich”‘ for boys, and “ovna” or “evna” for girls to the father’s name. The suffix indicates “son of” or “daughter of,” so “Alexeyevich”means “son of Alexey, while “Alexeyevna” means “daughter of Alexey.”
  • The last name or surname often ends in “ov.”

Some appealing Russian baby names might be typically used as nicknames or middle names in the country of origin. Names which end in “-ya,” “-sha,” and “-ka” such as Kostya (from Konstantin), Sasha (from Aleksandr), and Vovka (from Vladimir) would not be given names in Russia. In the US, “Sasha” is a popular unisex name meaning “man’s defender.”

In the homeland, there are strict rules for using forms of the name. For example, someone named “Ekaterina” (“Katherine”) would be called by a shorter, more familiar version of their name: 

  • “Katya” by friends and work colleagues
  • “Katen’ka” by close friends, family, and lovers. Often used as a pet name for children.
  • Nicknames such as “Kat’ka” (basically “Stupid Kate: or “that Kate chick”) or “Katyusha”- (“Katie”) for a type of rocket launcher. There are more than 50 nicknames for “Ekaterina.”

In the US, where the trend is for parents to go straight for the diminutive when naming their kids “Nate,” not “Nathaniel” or “Becky,” not “Rebecca,” a Russian diminutive might be an appealing and acceptable given name.

Russian Equivalents For Classic Names

For those who love traditional names with a trendy twist, Russian versions might fill the bill.

For example: 

1.     “Aleksander” is “Alexander” (“defender of men”)

2.     “Danill” or “Daniil” is “Daniel” (“God is my judge”)

3.     “Daveed,” “Davýd,” or “Dévid” is “David” (“beloved”)

4.     “Yakov” is “James” (“supplanter)

5.     “Ivan” is “John” (“God is Gracious”)

6.     “Matvey” is “Matthew” (“gift of God”)

7.     “Mikhail” is “Michael” (“who resembles God”)

8.     “Uil’yam” or “Vil’yam” is “William” (“vehement protector”)

For girls,

1.     “Mary” is “Marie” (“wished-for child”)

2.     “Sharlotta” is “Charlotte” (“free man” or “petite”)

3.     “Sofia” with diminutive forms “Sonia” or “Sonyah” is “Sophia” (“wisdom)”

4.     “Elizaveta” is “Elizabeth” (“God is my oath”)

5.     “Viktoria” or “Viktoriya” is Victoria (“Victory”)

6.     “Anya” is “Hannah” or “Anna” (“grace” or favor”)

7.     “Yulia” is Julia or Julie ” (“youthful” or “love’s child”)

8.     “Yekaterina” is “Katherine” (“pure”)

NOTE: Many names popular in the West have no Russian equivalent.

Popular Names In Russia

In Russia, names like “Polina” (small”), “Varvara” (a form of “Barbara” meaning foreign woman”) and “Ksenia” (“welcoming”) rank high for girls, and “Mikhail” (Russian for Michael “who is like God”), “Lev” (“heart” or “lion”), and “Artem” (from “Artemis,” goddess of the moon and hunting) top favorites for boys.

These names may not appear on US lists, but “Alina” (“bright, beautiful”), “Kira” (“leader of the people”), “Mila” {“favored”), “Nadia”(“hope”), and “Nina” (“little girl”) are trendy for girls, while include “Ivan” (“God is gracious”), “Nikolai” (“people of victory”) and “Valentin” (“strong”) are among the top 1000 names for each sex in here.

  1. Aleksandr (“defender of men”)
  2. Boris (“fight” and “fighter”)
  3. Alexei (“‘defender.”
  4. Daniil (“God is my judge”)
  5. Leonid (“lion-like”)
  6. Nikita (“‘winner”)
  7. Anatoly (“sunrise”)
  8. Dmitri (“earth lover”)
  9. Igor (“warrior”)
  10. Ivan (“God is gracious”)
  11. Luka (“‘bringer of light”)
  12. Mikhail (“who is like God”)
  13. Matvey (“God’s gift”)
  14. Lev (“lion”)
  15. Yuri (“‘the light of God”)
  16. Rodion (“song of the hero”)
  17. Maxim (“greatest”)
  18. Nikolai (“victorious”)
  19. Andrei (“‘brave”)
  20. Valentin (“healthy’ and ‘strong”)
  21. Pasha (“small”)
  22. Viktor (“man of victory”)
  23. Artem (“unharmed, perfect health”)
  24. Mark (“God of war”)
  1. Sofia (“wisdom”)
  2. Anastasia (“resurrection”)
  3. Maria (“wished-for child,” “of the sea,” “bitter”)
  4. Anya (“bright,” “beautiful”)
  5. Ekaterina (“perfect”)
  6. Alyona (“bright and shining light”) Russian variation of the Greek name Helen.
  7. Inessa (“chaste”)
  8. Mila (“loved by the people”)
  9. Mischa (“who is like God”)
  10. Polina (“small”)
  11. Alisa (“great happiness”)
  12. Kira “leader of the people”)
  13. Yana (“gift from God”)
  14. Natalya’ (“birthday of Christ”)
  15. Miroslava (“peaceful glory”)
  16. Viktoria (“victory”)
  17. Luda (“love of the people”)
  18. Yulia (“youthful”)
  19. Ulyana (“youthful”
  20. Oksana (“praise to God”)
  21. Sasha (“defender of mankind”)

Many unusual Russian names might be a perfect choice for a parent in search of a name that is beautiful, meaningful, and not too hard to say or spell. Our expanded curated list below offers some interesting choices to a new parent.

140+ Russian Names To Consider

Russian Baby Girl Names

  1. Afya
  2. Akilina
  3. Alla
  4. Anfisa
  5. Anja
  6. Antonina
  7. Anya
  8. Czarina
  9. Darya
  10. Dasha
  11. Dessa
  12. Ekaterina
  13. Elena
  14. Elizaveta
  15. Evgeniya
  16. Fedora
  17. Feodora
  18. Galina
  19. Gasha
  20. Gavrilla
  21. Glafira
  22. Inna
  23. Irina
  24. Ivana
  25. Ivanka
  26. Katya
  27. Keesa
  28. Kesha
  29. Klavdiya
  30. Ksenia
  31. Lara
  32. Lena
  33. Lida
  34. Liliya
  35. Liubov
  36. Lyusya
  37. Marfa
  38. Melora
  39. Micha
  40. Milena
  41. Mischa
  42. Misha
  43. Nadezhda
  44. Nastia
  45. Nasya
  46. Natasha
  47. Nesha
  48. Oktyabrina
  49. Olesia
  50. Orya
  51. Pascha
  52. Pasha
  53. Polina
  54. Rasia
  55. Rimma
  56. Ruslana
  57. Sasha
  58. Satanaya
  59. Scriabin
  60. Sezja
  61. Sonya
  62. Stasia
  63. Svetlana
  64. Taisiya
  65. Tamara
  66. Tania
  67. Tanya
  68. Tatiana
  69. Ulyana
  70. Yelena

Russian Baby Boy Names

  1. Alexei
  2. Alexey
  3. Anatoliy
  4. Andrei
  5. Andrey
  6. Arkadiy
  7. Artyom
  8. Czar
  9. Daniil
  10. Danik
  11. Danila
  12. Dima
  13. Dmitry, Dimitri, Dmitry, Dmitrii, Dmitriy
  14. Dzon
  15. Efim
  16. Egor
  17. Evegny
  18. Evgeniy
  19. Feodor
  20. Feofan
  21. Fyodor
  22. Gennadiy
  23. Georgiy
  24. Gerasim
  25. Gleb
  26. Grigoriy
  27. Igor
  28. Ilya
  29. Innokentiy
  30. Ion
  31. Ivan
  32. Keesa
  33. Kirill
  34. Konstantin
  35. Leonid
  36. Liev
  37. Matvey
  38. Maxim, Maksim
  39. Melor
  40. Micha
  41. Mikhail
  42. Milek
  43. Mischa
  44. Misha
  45. Nikolai
  46. Pascha
  47. Pasha
  48. Pavel
  49. Platon
  50. Prokhor
  51. Pyotr
  52. Ruslan
  53. Sasha
  54. Sava
  55. Savva
  56. Scriabin
  57. Sergei
  58. Tchaikovsky
  59. Tikhon
  60. Timofey
  61. Vadim
  62. Valeriy
  63. Vasha
  64. Vasiliy
  65. Viktor
  66. Vitaliy

Neutral or Unisex Russian Names

  1. Keesa
  2. Micha
  3. Mischa
  4. Misha
  5. Pascha
  6. Pasha
  7. Sasha
  8. Scriabin
  9. Vasha
  10. Zasha
  11. Zhenya
  12. Zilya

For a bit more inspiration, peruse our list of 180+ Russian dog names.

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