The Best Russian Baby Names 2021

by Your Baby Club

Are you expecting a little bundle of joy soon but are unsure where to start with baby names? We get it; it's a tricky business! To help you out, we've compiled a list of Russian baby names for you to browse.

Our guide tells you all about Russian naming traditions and the most well-loved Russian baby names, along with their origins and meanings. We hope you'll find something you adore!

How Do Russians Name Their Children?

Russian names are beautiful but can be very confusing if you are not familiar with the Russian naming form. One person can have multiple names that they are regularly referred to with.

In Russia, people are referred to by different names by family members, friends, and partners. It can get pretty tricky to follow! But don't fear; we'll walk you through it.

The formation of Russian names

The way Russians name their children is pretty unique compared to most other countries. Children have first names and surnames as well as patronymic and several diminutives that are used by their family and friends.

First name

A first name does what it says on the tin. It's the name that a person is most commonly referred to as. However, Russian first names can come with many diminutives, which can complicate things slightly.

Patronymic

A person's patronymic name comes from their father's name with different endings depending on whether or not that person is male or female. For boys, -evich or -ovich is added to the end of the father's name. For girls, -evna or -ovna is added on to form the patronymic.

Surname

Surnames remain the same as what we know them to be and are the final part of a person's full name.

What is a diminutive?

Diminutives are different nicknames that a person may have that are derived from their first name. These names have different meanings to do with the relation and familiarity someone has with the person who is being referred to. A person may have different diminutives for strangers, family, friends, and partners.

Masculine and Feminine Variants of a Russian Name

Patronymic names will have different endings depending on the gender of each child. For example, if a father's name is Ivan, his son's patronymic would be Ivanov, whereas, his daughter's patronymic would be Ivanovna.

This rule is also applied to surnames in marriage. A wife would take her husband's surname but would add a feminine ending onto it, so the surnames would not actually be the same. For example, if a husband's surname were Ivanov, the wife's would become Ivanovna.

Fathers and sons share surnames, and mothers and daughters share surnames, but the whole family does not have the same name.

The Most Popular Russian Girl Names Of 2021

Below, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular Russian baby girl names of this year. Hopefully, this list will give you a taste of what kind of names are most well-loved in Russia in recent years and provide you with some inspiration for your baby names.

Below, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular Russian baby girl names of this year. Hopefully, this list will give you a taste of what kind of names are most well-loved in Russia in recent years and provide you with some inspiration for your baby names.

  • Sofia

Sofia is currently the most popular name for baby girls in Russia, and is a hugely popular baby name in the rest of the world, too. It is a variant of the Greek name Sophie which means "wisdom."

The name has consistently been popular amongst royals throughout the centuries. It is a very traditional name, yet it never seems to become outdated.

Other variants of the name include Sophia and Sofie. One of the most popular Russian variants of the name is Sonya.

  • Elena

Elena is a beautiful name for a baby girl, which means "shining light." It is of Greek origin, a variation on the name Helen, which came from the word "helene" which means torch. It is a very popular girl's name in many parts of Europe, particularly Spain and Italy.

It is a name that has become steadily more popular globally over the past 70 years.

Other forms of the name include Ella, Ellie, and Lena.

  • Maria

Maria is a Latin name that can be translated in many ways. The most popular and widely accepted translations of the name are "beloved" and "of the sea." In Russia, the name is often spelled as Mariya. It is a name often used by Catholic families to reference the Virgin Mary.

Some of the diminutives of Maria are Masha and Mashenka.

Variants of this name include Maire, Mary, and Mariah.

Maria is also the name of the leading female characters in the musicals West Side Story and The Sound of Music, making this a great baby girl name for a family who loves the performing arts.

  • Anastasia

Anastasia is a name of Greek origin that means "resurrection." This popular Russian baby name was highly favored amongst Christians who had babies around Christmas and Easter, about Jesus' resurrection.

It is also a very regal name. One of the most famous figures in Russian history was the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna.

She was rumored to be the only surviving member of the assassination of her family due to historians never being able to find her remains. She was brought to life in the film Anastasia, which plays into the myth of the lost princess.

Other forms of the name are Stacey and Sia.

  • Anna

Anna is an extremely popular baby name globally and is very well-favored in Russia. The name means "full of grace" and is a lovely elegant name for any little girl. The name is the Latin version of the name Hannah. It is a very popular Christian name due to the number of saints named either Anne or Anna.

The main character in Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, one of the most famous Russian novels of all time, bears this name, too.

There are other forms of the name such as Ann, Anne, Ana, and Anette.

  • Inessa

Inessa is the Russian variant of the Spanish name Ines. It is an excellent name choice for religious families as the name means "chaste", "holy" and "pure." Both Ines and Inessa root from the name Agnes, which is a particularly prominent name in Christianity.

  • Polina

Polina is the Russian translation of the name Paulina. It is a very popular name in Russia, as well as in France and Greece. It is derived from the name Apollo. Apollo was the Greek god of music, the sun, and archery.

The name also means "little." This name has so many different meanings, making it a lovely name for lots of families for different reasons.

In Moscow, Polina is currently the second most popular girl's name!

The Most Popular Russian Boy Names Of 2021

If you are looking for some inspiration for some popular Russian baby boy names, look no further. Below, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular Russian names for little boys to help you out!

  • Alexander

Alexander is a strong Latin name derived from the Greek name Alexandros which means "defender of men." It is a popular name around the world, however, it is the most popular baby boy name in Russia at the moment.

Alexander is a very regal name, with many powerful kings and leaders throughout history bearing the name. There have been eight popes with this name, too, making it an ideal choice for a Catholic family expecting a little one.

Alexander has many diminutives such as Sasha, Sashka, Shashenka, and Sashulya.

Other forms of the name are Alex, Al, and Xander.

  • Dmitry

Dmitry is a traditional name of Russian origin that means "follower/dedicated to Demeter." Demeter is the Greek goddess of agriculture, harvest, and fertility. This makes this baby name perfect for farming families or for those who feel particularly connected to nature.

Some diminutives of Dmitry are Dima, Dimochka, Dimka, Dimusha, and Dimulya.

The name can also be spelled in several different ways such as Dmitri, Demitri, or Dimitry. It is a very versatile name for your baby boy.

  • Ivan

Ivan is a strong boys' name of Russian origin that means "God is gracious." It is the Slavic version of the English name John. It is another name that has cropped up time and time again in history, with many Eastern European monarchs bearing it.

The feminine version of this name is either Ivana or Ivanka, both of which are popular Russian names for girls.

  • Mark

Mark is a name of Latin origin, derived from the word "Mars." It can be taken to mean either "God of war" or "warlike." Alternatively, it can be translated to mean "polite" or "shining." It is a well-known Biblical name due to Mark being one of Jesus' disciples and one of the authors of the New Testament.

Another very famous historical Mark is Mark Anthony, who was a lover of Cleopatra. Their romance is depicted in the Shakespeare play Anthony and Cleopatra.

Other forms of the name are Marc, Marco, and Marcus.

  • Fyodor

Fyodor is the Russian form of the name Theodore, which means "God's gift." It is also the name of one of Russia's most famous writers of all time, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who wrote works such as Crime and Punishment and The Idiot.

This makes this name perfect for those who are literature lovers and would like their baby's name to be a reference to one of the greats.

It is also a very traditional Russian name, with three tsars bearing it throughout history.

Other variants of the name are Fedor or Feodor.

  • Boris

The name Boris dates back as far as the seventh century. There is some debate over what the meaning of this name is as it is sometimes said to mean "wolf" or "snow leopard" whereas others believe that it means "battle," "glory," or "fame."

Regardless of which of these meanings ring true to you, this name is very distinctive and a wonderful bold name for a little boy.

This name can also be spelled Borys or Barys.

  • Valentin

The name Valentin comes from Saint Valentine. This makes it an excellent choice of name for a baby boy born on or around Valentine's Day. It translates to "healthy and strong" which is a wonderful sentiment for a baby boy's name.

Other forms of the name are Valentinus and Valentino.

Traditional Russian Names For Girls

Classic Russian baby girl names are very beautiful and elegant. If you are a fan of very traditional baby names, check out our list below.

  • Ekaterina

Ekaterina is a name of Russian origin. It is perfect for a baby girl as it means "pristine" or "pure" and has a very feminine sound. Another popular form of this name is Yekaterina. The English version of this name is Catherine or Katherine.

The most popular diminutives of this name are Katya and Katyusha.

  • Mila

Mila is a very popular traditional Russian baby name. It is of Russian origin and means "dear" or "gracious." However, this name is also popular in Spain and Italy, too, where it translates to "miracles."

The name has greatly risen in popularity over the last twenty years, likely due to the actress Mila Kunis (whose name is actually Milena).

Other variants of this name are Milla or Milena.

ViktoriaViktoria is the Russian version of the name Victoria, which means "conqueror" or "victory." The English variant of the name has been very popular amongst monarchs for hundreds of years, making it a gorgeous, elegant name for a baby girl.

It is often spelled as Viktoriya or Viktoriia in Russia.

  • Yulia

Yulia is a name of Russian origin that is derived from the Latin name "Julia." It can be translated to mean either "youthful" or "love's child." This is a beautiful Russian name for a baby girl as it highlights just how well-loved she is.

The name is very traditional but still sounds glamorous and elegant, perfect for any little lady to be.

The name can also be spelled Yuliya, Yulya, or Julja.

  • Sasha

Sasha is a name that can be used for both boys and girls. You may already have guessed this from our list of popular Russian boys names, as Sasha is one of the most common diminutives of the name Alexander.

It, therefore, makes sense that this name is also a diminutive of the girls' name Alexandra. However, it can also be the first name in its own right, too.

The name was originally just a popular name for boys, however, it has become a more and more popular name for baby girls over the years.

This name is of Russian origin and it can be translated as "defender" or "helper of mankind."

The name can also be spelled as Sacha, Sasza, or Sachie.

  • Mischa

Mischa is another unisex baby name that is perfect if you are looking for a traditional yet versatile choice. Mischa means "who is like God," making it a great choice of name for a particularly religious family.

The name can also be spelled without a "C" as Misha.

  • Natalya

Natalya is the Russian version of the name Natalia. It means "(born on) Christmas Day." Natalya is, therefore, a wonderful choice for little girls who are born during the festive period, particularly those who are born on or close to Christmas Day.

The name can also be spelled Nataliya and Natalja.

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Traditional Russian Names For Boys

If you are looking for a strong and masculine name for your baby boy, we have you covered! Below we have compiled a list of our favorite traditional Russian baby names for boys.

  • Yuri

Yuri is a traditional boy's name of Russian origin which means "farmer." It is the Russian version of the English name George. St. George, interestingly enough, is depicted on the Moscow coat of arms! The name Yuri dates back to the 13th century and has been a popular Russian baby boy name ever since.

The name Yuri is popular in other countries globally, especially Japan, however it translates to "the light of God" instead.

The name can also be spelled Yury, Yurij, or Youri.

  • Andrei

Andrei is a boy's name of Russian origin which means "manly" or "brave." It is the Russian translation of the name Andreas. It is a very strong, masculine name that is perfect for those who love traditional boys' names.

It can also be spelt as Andrey or Andrej.

  • Igor

Igor is a traditional Russian baby name that can be translated to either "protected" or "warrior of peace." It is derived from the Slavic boys' name Ingvar. In recent years, the name has become relatively popular in both Portugal and Brazil.

The name Igor can also be spelled as Ihor or Egor.

  • Gleb

Another very traditional Russian baby name for little boys is Gleb. It is a unique name of Russian origin that translates to "to send protection" or "heir of God." The name gained popularity in Russia from the eleventh century onwards due to Saint Gleb.

This name is very unique in that there are no other spellings or forms of this name. This makes for a very original name for your little one. It is a very traditional name, however, it is not particularly common outside of Russia.

  • Nikolai

Nikolai is the Russian translation of the English name Nicholas. The name means "victorious" or "victory of the people."

This is another name that has very regal roots, with many European monarchs throughout history sharing this name. It's a very traditional name that holds up very well in modern times.

The name can also be spelled as Nikolai.

  • Pascha

Pascha is a gender-neutral name of Slavic origin. The name means "small," which is lovely if you are looking for a dainty and elegant name for your baby. It is ideal for families who favor unisex names, as it is a popular name for both boys and girls in Russia.

  • Artyom

Artyom is a very popular boys' name in Russia. It is also a name of a city in Russia, so it is a great name if you are seeking to pay tribute to any Russian heritage you or your partner may have.

The name means "dedicated to Artemis," who was the Greek goddess of hunting and the moon. It can also translate as "in perfect health."

In other countries, Artyom is often spelled Artem.

FAQs

What Russian name has the meaning of love?

The Russian name Lubov means "love." This is a gorgeous name for a baby girl as it sounds very bright and bubbly, and has a beautiful meaning. It suggests that your little one will be adored everywhere that she goes.

It is a well-known name of Russian origin and is very popular in Russia and Ukraine. However, it is not a very common name around the rest of the world and is therefore excellent if you are looking for a very unique name for your baby girl.

This name can also be spelled as Lyubov or Liubov.

What is the most popular name to call your child in Russia?

Currently, the most baby boy name in Russia is Alexander. For a little girl, the most popular name is Sofia. They have been consistently popular over the last decade and show no signs of letting up any time soon.

They are both very strong, traditional Russian baby names, so it is therefore unsurprising that they are used as often as they are!

Due to the consistent popularity of the names, they are unlikely to go out of style any time soon and are an excellent choice if you are interested in classical baby names that will stand the test of time.

If you are looking for a twist on these popular names, why don't you try the names in their form in the opposite gender? For a boy, this would be Sofus and for a girl, this would be Alexandra.

How should I choose my child's name?

When choosing your child's name, you should go with something that both you and your partner adore. Whether you want to honor another family member with the name or name your baby after something that holds particular relevance to you, the main thing is that you genuinely love the name.

Be sure to check the meaning of any names that you are considering. You want to ensure that you are totally sold on a name. Whilst meanings might not mean a lot to some people, it's still wise to make sure that you don't totally hate the meaning of a name that you really like.

Be wary of choosing a name just because it is particularly trendy at the time. You do not want to grow sick and tired of your child's name when they will have to bear it with them for the rest of their life. Make sure you put in enough time thinking about what you would like your child to be called.

It is important to take middle names and surnames into consideration when naming a child. You want to ensure that the names flow off of the tongue nicely and that they do not sound clunky together. You also should make sure that the initials look okay. You don't want to accidentally make a rude word out of your baby's initials!

Similarly, make sure that you like any possible nicknames that can be made from your child's name. You do not want to give them a name that could lead to crude nicknames or cause them to be made fun of. Make sure that you like your child's name in every possible form it could take.

If there are any names that you are very keen on, be sure to look at other variants of that name or names that sound quite phonetically similar. If there seems to be a particular group of names that you keep coming back to, check out the other forms of those names to open up your options.

If you intend on having multiple children or already have children/a child, you should also bear the names of any siblings in mind. You don't want any names to clash or to sound too similar. Make sure that your chosen name fits nicely into your current or future family.

Most importantly, however, try not to stress too much. The perfect name will come to you eventually. The less you worry about it, the easier it will be to decide on a name that you really love and feels the most fitting for your baby.



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