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Top Russian Names for Boys

Russian names for boys range from the familiar (Nikolai, Ivan, Vladimir), to the under-the-radar (Matvei, Leonid, Rodion), to the utterly unknown (Timofel, Innokenti, Yelisei).

Along with Nikolai and Ivan, other Russian boys’ names that have featured in the US Top 1000 in recent years include Valentin and Dimitri. Baby boy names popular in Russia include Mikhail — the Russian variation of Michael — Kirill, Maksim, Lev, Roman and Alexei.

All of these Russian boys’ names share a certain special power and energy — the Russian "strong man" image in baby name form, if you like. Whether you’re looking for a Russian boy name to honor your heritage, or you’re simply drawn to the strong sounds and striking looks of Russian baby names, you’re sure to find something to love in our long-list of Russian names for boys, below. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.

A note on Russian usage: most boys' names ending in -sha, -ya and -ka, like Sasha (from Aleksandr), Kostya (from Konstantin) and Vovka (from Vladimir), are diminutive forms in Russian, and are not usually given as names in their own right.

IvanHeart

  • 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.

DamienHeart

  • 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)".

NikolaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Nicholas
  • Description:

    Russian forms, like Russian supermodels, are hot these days. This is a strong, worldly way to make Nicholas new; it was chosen for his son by Barry Bonds, Jr.

ValentinHeart

  • Origin:

    French, German, Russian, Czech, Scandinavian variation of Valentine
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    Romantic name used throughout Europe, though sure to lead to pronunciation problems here. Though it's never been too widely used in the US, it's quite popular in Switzerland, France, Austria, and Romania.