When you think about Russia, the first thing that usually comes to mind is snow, and while Russia is known for its extraordinarily cold winters, there’s more to Russia than just that.
I’ve heard both men and women say that when they’ve been to Russia, there was always a pretty woman in sight, and while Russian women may be considered beautiful in general, there is a more precise reason for that.
The ratio of women to men in Russia is unusually high. Russia has a noticeably higher number of women compared to men, with men being outnumbered by around 10 million.
As the world’s largest nation, Russia borders both Europe and Asia as well as 2 Oceans, the Arctic and Pacific, therefore, the number of uniquely Russian names is not surprising, and we will be covering some of the more common ones.
The feminine form of the Greek name Alexander, which means “defender of man.” Alexandra was a name borne by many Christian saints, as well as the wife of Czar Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia. Aleksandra is the Russian spelling of the name.
A short form of the name Adelina, derived from a Germanic word, adal, meaning noble.
Feminine form of the Greek name Anastasius, which meant “resurrection.” Anastasia was the name given to the youngest daughter of the last Czar of Russia, Nicholas II.
Feminine form of the name Darius, an ancient Persian name which means “to possess good.” The name Daria is far more common in Slavic cultures and far less present in the English-speaking world.
A variant of the name Dinah, In Hebrew this name means “judged.”
At the present, this name is most commonly associated with the Greek word “katharos” which means “pure.” It is also possible that this name is derived from the Greek goddess Hecate, or as a form of the Ancient Greek name Aikaterine.
Derived from the Greek word Helene, which means “light, torch” or possibly the Greek word selene, meaning moon. Elena is a common name in many Slavic countries.
The Russian form of Theodora, which is the feminine form of the name Theodore. The original Greek form of this name, Theodoros, means “gift from God.” The name Theodora was common in the Byzantine Empire and was the name of several Byzantine Empresses including the wife of Emperor Justinian I.
Feminine form of the name Galen, which is a modern form of the Greek name Galenos. The name Galenos is derived from the Greek word galene, meaning “calm.”
A cognate of the name Irene, this name was derived from a Greek word that meant “peace.”
A common name in many Slavic countries and one of the more “original” modern names. This name is derived from a Slavic word meaning “spark.”
As a derivative of the Greek word xenos, meaning foreigner or guest, comes the Greek name Xenia. The meaning of this name is “hospitality.”
From the Latin name Clemens(or sometimes Clementius), meaning “kind” or “merciful,” comes the name Clement and with it the feminine form Clementina. The nature of the Slavic language transforms this name into Klementina.
On the west coast of Anatolia there was a region by the name of Lydia, so the name quite literally means “someone from Lydia.”
From the name of an ancient city in Thessaly, Greece, the name Larisa holds the meaning “citadel.”
The feminine form of the Roman name Marinus. This name is either derived from another name, Marius, or more likely the Latin word marinus, meaning “of the sea.”
A name that you will most likely encounter all around Europe, the meaning of the name Marta is, simply, “lady.” It is derived from the Aramaic Martâ.
Masha is the diminutive Latin form of the Greek name Maria, which comes from the Hebrew name Mary. The exact meaning of this name is unknown; it’s possible that this name means “sea of bitterness” or “rebelliousness.” It is also possible that the name was derived from the Egyptian word mry, meaning “love.”
From the Latin “natale domini” meaning “the birthday of the Lord” comes the Latin name, Natalia, meaning “Christmas Day.” Natalya is the Russian variant of this name.
The name Nika most likely originated as a short form of the name Veronika, which means “to bring victory.” In modern times Nika is considered a predominantly feminine name. However, this name can also be used as a short form of the masculine name Nikita.
A diminutive, and significantly more youthful, form of the name Olga. The old Norse meaning for this name would be “holy, blessed.”
Either a Russian form of the name Paulina or a feminine Russian shortening of the Greek Apollinaris, the name Polina is present in many different Slavic countries. This name means either “humble” or “strong.”
This name is derived as a feminine form of the Late Latin name Renatus, which means “to be born again.”
– Derived from the Slavic word “svet,” which means “shining” or “light,” Svetlana is a common Orthodox female name.
This name is the Russian version of the Hebrew name Tamar, meaning “date palm” or just “palm tree.”
In modern times the most common names are usually the more universal ones as they are generally seen all over different kinds of media, and parents usually avoid giving their children a name that would make them stick out.
Some of the more popular names from this list are:
Aleksandra, Anastasia, Daria, and Ekaterina, however, my personal favorite has to be Iskra.
You might notice many similarities between Russian and Ukrainian names due to their proximity. However, the name Iskra shows up in many Slavic countries such as Croatia, Bulgaria, and Serbia.
Russia is a beautiful country with gorgeous women, and giving your girl a beautiful Russian name is giving her a head start in life, or so I would like to think 🙂 If you did not quite find the name you were looking for, Ukraine has very similar sounding names for girls, so check out those posts if you are set on finding a Slavic name for your girl.