Russian Names for Girls
Russian names for girls are a high-fashion choice right now — literally! There’s been an influx of top models from Russia in recent years, boasting not only beauty but also beguiling Russian names like Irina, Natalia, and Tatiana.
Although spelling and pronunciation can sometimes be a challenge, many exotic Russian girls’ names actually feel perfectly wearable in the West. Try Alisa or Anastasia, Katia or Katerina, Zoya or Zenovia.
Along with Natalia and Anastasia, other Russian girl names in the US Top 1000 include Angelina, Annika, Kira, Mila, Nadia, Nina, Sasha, and Vera. Baby girl names popular in Russia include Elizaveta — the Russian variation of Elizabeth — Polina, Varvara, Ksenia, Alina and Yulia.
It’s striking how many of the names in this list feature the "typical" Russian endings -ka, -sha and -ya. It's worth noting that these are actually diminutive (nickname) suffixes in Russian, meaning that names like Anya (from Anna) or Natasha (from Natalia) are not generally given as formal names in their own right in Russia itself.
Browse all of our beautiful Russian baby girl names here, plus notes on meaning and usage, ranked by current popularity on Nameberry.
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: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.
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."
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.
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.
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: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 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 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: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 short forms Tatianus and Tatiana. The names were eventually disseminated throughout the Orthodox Christian world, including Russia.
Origin:Russian feminine variation of Cyrus
Description:Though such cognates of Kira as Keira, Kyra, and Ciara are evermore popular throughout Europe and in the U.S., this Cyrus relative has a different root. Variations include Keera, Kiera, Kierra, Kirah, Kiri, Kiria, Kiriah, Kiro, Kirra, Kirrah, Kirri, Kirya, and Kyra.
Description:Odessa, a Ukrainian port city, was given its name by Russia's Catherine the Great, who was inspired by Homer's Odyssey. It would make an original and intriguing choice.
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.
Origin:Greek, Italian, Spanish, Russian diminutive of Angela
Description:The gorgeous Angelina Jolie has promoted the star power of her name and changed Angelina's image from delicate to intense, from older Italian mama to stylish multi-cultural child. Kids might relate to the dancing mouse in the series of charming children's books, Angelina Ballerina, or to the Harry Potter character, Angelina Johnson Weasley, a member of Dumbledore's army.
Description:Like its cousin Tessa, Nessa -- a shortening of Vanessa or Agnes or Anastasia among other possibilities -- is an attractive nickname that can stand on its own.
Origin:Italian variation of Leah
Description:Used throughout Europe and in Hawaii, Lia sounds just like its mother name Leah, but looks particularly pretty on paper.
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).