From Russia, With Love

Here’s a quick look at some popular Russian names, some which could easily pass through the culture barrier, others which may falter slightly.

Vladimir

– This name means to rule with greatness. There are two well-known namesakes: Vladimir Putin who was president of Russia until recently and Vladimir Nabokov was the author who penned the infamous ‘Lolita’

Igor

– Russian form of Ingvarr. Pronounced EE-gahr or EE-gawr.

Nikolai

– Russian version of Nicholas. Stems from the the Greek wrods nike and polis, meaning people’s victory. Borne by the last two Russian Tsars.

Sasha

– Russian diminuative of either Aleksandr or Aleksandra. Common Russian boys name.

Katya

– Diminuative of Yekaterina, the Russian version of Catherine. Cute alternative to Katie.

Anastasia

– Feminine form of Anastasius. The Russian pronunciation sounds all the letters: An-nah-stah-SEE-yah. This name can also be broken down into a multitude of different nicknames, such as Anna, Stacy, and Nastia (Lukin).

Svetlana

– Derived from the slavic element svet meaning light, world.

Tatiana

– Feminine form of the Roman name Tatianus, which itself derived from the Roman name Tatius. Pronounced by the Russians as tat-TYAH-nah.

Natalya/ Natasha

Natalya is the Russian form of Natalie. The name Natalie is from the latin word Natalia, meaning Christmas day. Natasha is a Russian pet name of Natalya.

*As Russians don’t use the Latin Alphabet, the spellings of Russian names when altered to the latin alphabet varies. Thus, Anastasia and Anastaysia are both legitimate spellings.

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