The 11 Most Beautiful Russian Names and Their Meanings

Orthodox names. dimitrisvetsikas1969 (c)
Orthodox names. dimitrisvetsikas1969 (c) | Pixabay
Yulia S.

Contributor / Journalist

The Russian language is considered to be one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn; even Russian names are complex and difficult for foreigners to pronounce. Many given names are taken from historical old Eastern and Slavic traditions, as well as from the Orthodox saints and Russian tsars. All names are traditionally written in the Cyrillic Russian alphabet, the main language of the country. They are translated in English using familiar sounds and spellings. Here are a few of Russia’s most beautiful names.

Anastasia

This name is very popular among Russians. It originates from the name Anastasius, who was a famous Dalmatian saint, who was tortured until death by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Some centuries later, this name became common in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, but this time in female form. The last Russian tsar gave the name Anastasia to his youngest daughter.
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Varvara

Varvara is the Russian form of ‘Barbara’, a female name mostly used in Russia since the establishment of Christianity. It usually is referenced as a Greek name; however, this is a controversial topic because all the Orthodox countries claim that this name is very international.

This Slavic name is very common in modern Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Originally, it came from Iranian mythology and was later adopted by Russians and translated into the Cyrillic alphabet.

Galina

This Greek name has become very popular in the Russian Federation. The name ‘Galina’ means ‘the calm seas’ and used to be one of the most popular names in Russia in the 1930s.

Alina

This female name of Russian origin is very popular throughout the country nowadays. Its English translation is ‘noble’.

Lev

This old Russian name has grown more and more popular over recent years, but it is still considered to be unusual. The most famous Lev in Russian culture was the famous novelist Lev Tolstoy, a legend among Russians. Some people state that its origin is Hebrew. It means ‘lion’.

Zoya

This Russian version of ‘Zoe’ is extremely popular in the country and has been for many years. Historical facts state that there were many successful ladies in Russian history, and all of them were named Zoya. It is thought that if you want to bring luck to your daughter, name her Zoya.

Alexey

This old Russian and Greek Orthodox name translates to ‘the defender’. Some people in Russia believe that men with this name tend to be very imaginative, productive and intuitive. That’s probably why it’s still very common in Russia.

Faina

This name used to be extremely popular back in the 60s and 70s. It means ‘shining’ in modern Russian. You won’t find much information about this name online; however, people in Russia know that it gained popularity because of actress Ms Faina Ranevskaya, one of the most important figures in Soviet cinema and theatre. Faina was famous for her outstanding sense of humour, great taste and ability to play any role on stage.

Ekaterina

Ekaterina is a female Russian name that means ‘pure, blessed and holy’. It’s probably one of the most popular names in Russia, even nowadays.

Vasily

Vasily is the Russian form of the Greek name ‘Basil’, and it translates to other languages as ‘the king’. This name came to the Orthodox world from Byzantine emperors.

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