Russian Names – Given Name, Patronymic and Surname

Every Russian name consists of three names: a first (given) name, a patronymic name and a surname:

First (Given) Name Patronymic Name Surname
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy
Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
Nikita Sergeyevich Khruschev
Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin
Mikhail Sergeievich Gorbachev

First name

The first name is given by parents shortly afer the child’s birth. Accordingly to Russian laws child can change the name after majority. The first name is the main name of Russian people. Most of Russian names have a variety of forms. For example, name Mikhail (the first name of the First President of Russian Federation). The full form Mikhail is used in formal relationships, in official documents (passport, birth certificate, contracts). The short name Misha is used by friends and family members. Affectionate form Mishenka, Mishunya is used by parents, grandparents. And rude formMishka is impolite.

Patronymic name

Russian patronymic name is derived from father’s name according to rule:
Russian male patronymic name forms by adding ending –evich, –ovich. (Nikolaevich, Mikhailovich). For example, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy. Tha name of Lev Tolstoy’s father was Nikolay, so the Lev Tolstoy’s patronymic name is Nikolaevich.
Russian female patronymic name forms by adding ending –ovna, –evna. (Nikolaevna, Mikhailovna). For example, Raisa Maximovna Gorbacheva. Tha name of Raisa Gorbavheva’s father was Maxim, so the Raisa’s patronymic name is Maximovna.

Russians used First and Patronymic Name in formal relationships, with unfamiliar people, with doctors, teachers, lecturers, older members of family, directors, leaders and other respected people (ex. Vladimir Vladimirovich, Lev Nikolaevich, Fedor Mikhailovich).

List of Russian names with translation

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Russian Translation