Eastern European Names

Eastern European Names

Eastern European names span the vast cultures of Eastern Europe, from Latvian and Lithuanian to Romanian and Russian. Among the most popular baby names across Eastern Europe right now are Sofia, Anna, and Emilia for girls, Daniel, Ivan, and Marko for boys.

Eastern European girl names you may want to consider include Vera, Zora, and Anya. Among the best Eastern European boy names are Casimir, Lev, and Laszlo.

Many Eastern European names derive from the same sources as those more familiar in English, including mythology and the Bible. These include names such as Gavril and Yakov, along with Zinaida and Dmitri.

If you have Eastern European heritage or are curious about this part of the world, explore our full collection of names here, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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  1. AnastasiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek, feminine variation of Anastasios
    • Meaning:

      "resurrection"
    • 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.
  2. EmiliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Emil, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "rival"
    • Description:

      Emilia is the feminine form of the Roman clan name Aemilius, which derived from the Latin aemulus, meaning "rival." In Shakespeare’s Othello, Emilia is the wife of Iago and confidante of Desdemona. Amelia, although homonymous, has a different root and meaning.
  3. CasimirHeart
    • Origin:

      Polish, Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "destroyer of peace"
    • Description:

      Casimir, a traditional name of Polish kings, could do quite well these days as we see the rise of Caspian, Cassius, Castiel, et. al. Like Leopold and Laszlo, Casimir is strong and worth considering if you've got an adventurous streak — and bet your son will too.
  4. VeraHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian
    • Meaning:

      "faith"
    • 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.
  5. MilaHeart
    • Origin:

      Slavic, Russian
    • Meaning:

      "gracious; dear"
    • 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."
  6. MaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "bitter"
    • Description:

      Mara is the evocative ancient root of Mary, appearing in the Book of Ruth, in which Naomi, devastated after the death of her two sons, says "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara." It's one of the girl names starting with M that both fits in and stands out.
  7. NinaHeart
    • 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.
  8. AlinaHeart
    • Origin:

      Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "bright, beautiful"
    • Description:

      Alina has been drifting up the US popularity charts since the early 1980s, now nearing the Top 100. But Alina's real strength is in its international flexibility: The name ranks highly in a wide range of European, English speaking, and Latin American countries.
  9. LevHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Russian
    • Meaning:

      "heart; lion"
    • 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.
  10. AnyaHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian diminutive of Anna
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • 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.
  11. LiliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian
    • Meaning:

      "lily"
    • 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.
  12. PiperHeart
    • Origin:

      English occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "pipe or flute player"
    • Description:

      Piper is a bright, musical name that entered the list in 1999, one year after the debut of the TV series Charmed, which featured a Piper, and it's been a consistent riser since. Piper Kerman is the memoirist whose prison experiences provided the basis for the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
  13. AmaliaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "work"
    • Description:

      Amalia is a widely cross-cultural name, heard from Italy to Romania, Germany to Scandinavia. The current heir to the Dutch throne is Princess Catharina-Amalia of Orange. It can be pronounced ah-MAH-lee-a or ah-mah-LEE-a.
  14. MikaHeart
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful fragrance"
    • 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.
  15. DimitriHeart
    • 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.
  16. NataliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • 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.
  17. AugustusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      Parents are beginning to look at imposing, somewhat fusty-sounding names like this one with fresh eyes: they definitely make a strong statement.
  18. NadiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian, Arabic
    • 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.
  19. SashaHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian, diminutive of Greek Alexander
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • 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.
  20. ZoraHeart
    • Origin:

      Serbo-Croatian
    • Meaning:

      "dawn"
    • Description:

      Zora is a meaningful literary heroine name honoring Zora Neale Hurston, an important black writer and leader of the Harlem Renaissance.