Russian names are attracting new attention in the Western World, thanks to the increased visibility of Russian culture and an influx of Russian models with stunning Russian names like Natalia, Irina and Daria.
What's here is our full list of Russian names, generated from our complete database and ordered according to their current popularity on Nameberry. The Russian baby names here include familiar choices like Anastasia and Alexei, as well as little-known Russian gems like Zoya and Zinoviy.
Russian names in the US Top 1000 for girls include Alina, Kira, Mila, Nadia, and Nina. For boys, Russian names in the US Top 1000 include Ivan, Nikolai and Valentin. In Russia, popular names include Polina, Varvara and Ksenia for girls, and Mikhail, Lev and Artem for boys.
A note on Russian usage: names ending in -sha, -ka and, in some cases, -ya are diminutive forms in Russian – which means they are generally used only as nicknames in Russia, rather than as formal names in their own right. Many would also make for cool and unexpected nickname ideas for more popular English names: think Katya for Katherine, or Misha for Michael.
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Anastasios
Description:Anastasia is the feminine form on Anastasius, a Greek name derived from the word anastasis, meaning "resurrection." It was a common name among early Christians, who often gave it to daughters born around Christmas or Easter. There are handful of saints named Anastasia, including the patron saint of weavers.
Description:Mila is a given name with Russian and Slavic provenance. It began as the diminutive form for names such as Ludmila, Milena, and Milica. Mila can be a nickname for any name containing the element mil, meaning "gracious" or "dear."
Description:Vera was the height of fashion in 1910, then was for a long time difficult to picture embroidered on a baby blanket. Now, though, it has come back into style along with other old-fashioned simple names such as Ada and Iris.
Origin:Russian diminutive of Anna
Description:Anya is a Russian variation of Anna, which came from the Hebrew name Hannah. Anya is the form found most frequently in Russia, Poland, and other East European countries, while Anja is the spelling usually preferred in Germany Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and The Netherlands. In the Hungarian language, Anya also means mother.
Origin:Russian from Greek Demetrius
Meaning:"follower of Demeter"
Description:Dimitri is a Slavic variation of the Russian Dmitriy, a name that comes from the Greek Demetrius. Demetrius was derived from Demeter, the name of the Greek goddess of fertility and farming. Among the possible spelling variations are Dmitri, Dmitrii, Dmitriy, and Dmitry.
Meaning:"birthday [of the Lord]"
Description:Natalia was derived from the Latin word natalis, meaning “birthday.” It refers to the birthday of Jesus Christ, and thus originated as a name for girls born on Christmas Day. Related forms include the French Natalie, Portuguese Natalina, and Russian diminutive Natasha.
Origin:Short form of names that end in -nina
Description:Nina is as multiethnic as you can get: Nina is a common nickname name in Spain and Russia, a Babylonian goddess of the oceans, and an Incan goddess of fire. Here and now, it's a stylish possibility that's been underused. "Weird Al" Yankovic chose this decidedly nonweird name for his daughter.
Description:This concise one-syllable name, has two possible derivations and two positive meanings associated with it. In Hebrew, it means "heart", while in Russian it means "lion". So strong and simple Lev has both a soft and a fierce side.
Description:Mika is a Japanese girls' name that translates easily to English. As a male name, it's a short form of Mikael, the Scandinavian and Finnish form of Michael. Both are spelled and pronounced the same.
Meaning:"hope; tender, delicate"
Description:Nadia, an accessible Slavic favorite, has a strong run of popularity in the US in the early 2000s, partially thanks to the character on Lost called Nadia but actually named Noor, but it's since slumped down the rankings. An earlier inspiration was Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who won the 1976 Olympics.
Origin:Swedish diminutive of Anna
Description:Annika is a surprise hit of recent years, inspired by golfer Sorenstam; for Trekkies, it was also the name of a 'Star Trek:Voyager' character. Some people's first memory of it might be as Pippi Longstocking's friend. A nice namesake for an ancestral Ann.
Origin:Russian diminutive of Natalya
Meaning:"birthday of the Lord"
Description:Natasha, an appealing, still unusual name, entered the American mainstream post-Cold War but seems to have peaked in the eighties, replaced by the more straightforward Natalie. As is common for Natashas the world over, the Obamas shorten their Natasha's name to Sasha.
Origin:French from Greek
Meaning:"to tame, subdue"
Description:Converting Damian to Damien – or Julian to Julien or Lucian to Lucien – adds a certain je ne sais quoi to names. But most people in English speaking areas will still pronounce this the same as the -an ending form. The French pronunciation is more like "dah-mee-u(n)".
Origin:Russian variation of John
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:Though some might find it a bit heavy-booted, Ivan is one of the few Russian boys' names to become fully accepted into the American naming pool.
Origin:Russian, diminutive of Larissa or Larisa
Description:This is an alternative to Laura or Lauren made romantic by Dr Zhivago, and badass by video-game heroine Lara Croft.
Origin:Russian, diminutive of Greek Alexander
Description:Sasha, largely male in Russia--and also spelled Sascha and Sacha--is an energetic name that has really taken off for girls here, chosen by Jerry Seinfeld (using the alternate Sascha spelling) and other celebs. The Barack Obamas use it as the nickname for their younger daughter, whose proper name is Natasha. But in line with a trend toward softer-sounding boys' names like Asher and Joshua and thanks to Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen, Sasha also still has life as a boys' name too--it's popular in France for boys and girls almost equally.
Description:One of a group of pretty double L names, Lilia is more unusual and distinctive than some others. Truly cross-cultural, the lilting Lilia is heard in the Russian, Spanish, Hebrew, and Hawaiian communities and would be a good choice for a child born to parents of different ethnicities.
Meaning:"he [God] has heard"
Description:Could Simeon be the next Gideon? Parents seeking a less simple form of Simon might consider this biblical appellation that was chosen by Wynton Marsalis for his son. Simon is actually the Greek substitute for Simeon.
Origin:Russian from Latin family name
Description:Tatiana was derived from Tatius, a Sabine-Latin family name of unknown origin. Titus Tatius was the name of an ancient king who ruled over the Sabines, an ancient Italic tribe who lived near Rome. The Romans used the name Tatius even after the Sabines died out and created the derivative forms Tatianus and Tatiana. The names were eventually disseminated throughout the Orthodox Christian world, including Russia.
Origin:Italian, Polish, Russian diminutive of Angela
Meaning:"angel or angelic"
Description:Angelica is by far the choicest form of the angelic names -- more delicate than Angelina, more feminine than Angel, more modern than Angela. But though Angelica is so lacy and poetic, it lags behind the bolder Angelina (probably for obvious reasons).