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Russian Baby Boy Names

Russian baby names are becoming more international, especially favored in Italy. From the point of view of the US, politics have a strong influence on the taste for Russian names for either gender. As a result, only a handful of Russian boy names make the US popularity charts, the most common being Ivan.

Along with Ivan, other Russian boy names in the US Top 1000 include Damien, Nikolai, and Valentin. Stylish and rare Russian names for boys include Lev, Anton, Kirion, Leonti, Mischa, Ruslan, Zakhar, and Dimitri — the name Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher chose for their son.

Russian names for girls may be more familiar than those for boys thanks to the international stardom of many Russian models. Here, a curated collection of Russian names for baby boys.

Russian Names for Boys
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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.

LevHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew; Russian
  • Meaning:

    "heart; lion"
  • Description:

    This concise one-syllable name, Hebrew for heart or the Russian form of Leo, has definite potential, being more unusual than the increasingly popular Levi.

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.

NikolaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Nicholas
  • Description:

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

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)".
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IlyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Elijah
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is my God"
  • Description:

    A rare example of an a-ending boy's name that sounds masculine, Ilya has a large measure of creative Slavic charm. >p>Ilya Ilyich Oblomov is the central character in Goncharov's novel "Oblomov." Unfortunately, he spends most of his life in his bathrobe and slippers.

AlexeiHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Alexei could well join the legion of Alex names popular in the US. There are countless opportunities to liven up Alexander, and Alexei (or Alexey) is one of the most straightforward and appealing.

AntonHeart

  • Origin:

    German, Russian, and Scandinavian variation of Anthony
  • Description:

    Cultured and cultivated in an old-style, Old World way. Sometimes associated with the classic writer Anton Chekhov. Al Pacino has a son with this name.

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.

VladimirHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "renowned prince"
  • Description:

    Vladimir, which has a musical prodigy kind of vibe, is a cultured Russian name associated in this country with political strongman Vladimir Putin, piano virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz, and the author of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov.
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GermanHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and Russian variation of Herman, German
  • Meaning:

    "warrior"
  • Description:

    German might seem like an unlikely occupant of the Top 1000 list, unless you realize that it's a Spanish name, with the accent on the second syllable. It's been on the U.S. list since 1973.

SashaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian diminutive of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    The energetic Russian nickname name Sasha is being used increasingly on its own, though since the prominence of the First Daughter, more than 90% of the American babies named Sasha are girls. Sacha Baron Cohen bears one of the alternate spellings.

MikhailHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Michael
  • Meaning:

    "who is like God"
  • Description:

    One of the most familiar Russian names in the West, thanks to ballet great Mikhail Baryshnikov and state head Mikhail Gorbachev.

VeroHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "great hero"
  • Description:

    The o ending and the positive meaning in many languages makes this a winner, and with the feminine Vera making a surprise return, and the new love for the letter 'V', this becomes a name that has definite possibilities.

PavelHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Paul
  • Meaning:

    "small"
  • Description:

    Pavel may be widespread in the former Soviet Union, but it has a somewhat impoverished image here.
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YuriHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of George
  • Description:

    Common Russian name familiarized here via cosmonaut Yury Gagarin and a character in Dr. Zhivago, but we don't see it ever gaining permanent resident status.

DamirHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic, Turkish, Russian
  • Meaning:

    "give peace; iron"
  • Description:

    The most common form of Damir is of Slavic origins, deriving from the elements da, meaning "give" or "take," and mir, "peace." It's also seen as a variation of the Turkish name Demir.

VasiliHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "royal, kingly"
  • Description:

    Exotic form of Basil that might suit the adventurous.

SergeiHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Sergius
  • Description:

    Common Russian name of one of that country's most beloved saints, known for his kindness and gentility.

BorisHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "to fight"
  • Description:

    Boris is one of the old Russian names being revived by chic Europeans; it hasn't quite made a comeback yet in the U.S., but it does have potential.
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LeonidHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, variation of Leonidas "lion"
  • Meaning:

    "lion"
  • Description:

    This form got noticed as the first name of long-reigning Russian president Brezhnev; other bearers include playwright and short-story writer Andreyev, Leonid the Magnificent,a Russian performance artist on America's Got Talent, and Leonid McGill, the protagonist of a Walter Mosley private eye series. All in all, though, Leonid is not the most likely to join the pride of lion-related names here.

VanyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, diminutive of John
  • Description:

    This short form of Ivan just could join the other Russian nickname names coming into fashion, and it does have the Chekhov connection.

ElyHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Eli
  • Meaning:

    "ascended, uplifted, high"
  • Description:

    Russian form of Eli mainly used today by families with Russian Jewish heritage.

MakariHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "blessed"
  • Description:

    This name associated with several saints would make a truly distinctive choice for a child with a Russian heritage.

ViktorHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian, Russian, and Eastern European variation of Victor
  • Description:

    The Viktor form of this classic name is widely used throughout Europe and is rising in the US as well.
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RodionHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "song of the hero"
  • Description:

    Well used in Russia, this is a distinctive and undiscovered choice here. Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov is the fictional protagonist of Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoyevsky.

RuslanHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variant of Turkish Aslan
  • Meaning:

    "lion"
  • Description:

    A fairly common name in Russia, perhaps in part because it sounds close to the name of the country, even though the two words are unrelated etymologically.

MarekHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak variation of Mark, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    A wearable update to the New Testament classic.

ArtyomHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Artemis
  • Description:

    Ukrainian Artem (ar-TEM) and Russian Artyom/Artiom (which can also be transcribed as Artem, though still pronounced ar-TYOM in Russian) are ultimately derived from the name of the Greek goddess Artemis: goddess of the moon and hunting. The meaning of her name is unknown, though it may be related to the Greek for “safe” or for “butcher”.

IsidorHeart

  • Origin:

    German and Russian variation of Isidore
  • Meaning:

    "gift of Isis"
  • Description:

    Isidore and variants are remarkably underused and ripe for revival, a la Theodore and company.
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VadimHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian
  • Meaning:

    "attractive"
  • Description:

    Shorter, more palatable form of Vladimir, best known as the surname of French director Roger.

BogdanHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian
  • Meaning:

    "gift from God"
  • Description:

    Funny, you don't sound Russian.

MischaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, diminutive of Mikhail
  • Description:

    Though the Mischa spelling is migrating toward the feminine side thanks to actress Mischa Barton, this Russian boys' short form still works for children of both sexes, as Mischa or Misha.

NaumHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian form of Nahum, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "comfort"
  • Description:

    Naum is rarely heard outside Russia, Bulgaria and surrounding areas. It is a creative name via the prominent Russian Constructionist sculptor Naum Gabo.
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SavvelHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Saul
  • Description:

    This is an unusual name that fits well with other Russian names beginning to make it over to English-speaking countries.

PashaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, diminutive of Pavel
  • Meaning:

    "small"
  • Description:

    Your little Pasha will rule the roost. In Russia, Pasha is traditionally given to a boy born on Good Friday.

RurikHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Roderick, German
  • Meaning:

    "famous ruler"
  • Description:

    Russian form of Roderick given to a small number of American boys each year.
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ArkadiHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "Arcadia"
  • Description:

    Nice, bouncy three-syllable rhythm, à la Jeremy and Barnaby.

LazarHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian variation of Lazarus, Latin from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "God is my helper"
  • Description:

    With Lazarus heating up, this slimmer Eastern European form will likely see an uptick in use.

FeliksHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, Slovene and Polish variation of Felix, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "happy, fortunate"
  • Description:

    Eastern European variation of Felix.

MironHeart

  • Origin:

    Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish variation of Myron, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "fragrant, an aromatic shrub, myrrh"
  • Description:

    Myron still has ways to go before sounding stylish again, but this Eastern European variation has a more contemporary look.

PyotrHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Peter
  • Description:

    For Americans, may prove too much of a twist on Peter.
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HedeonHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Gideon
  • Description:

    A not as appealing variation on an attractive original.

YashaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian, diminutive of Yakov
  • Description:

    A less-known member of the Sasha-Misha family.

SerafimHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian
  • Meaning:

    "fiery"
  • Description:

    Russian form of Seraphim

GennadyHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian
  • Meaning:

    "noble, generous"
  • Description:

    Gennady is derived from an early saint's name (Gennadius) and shares the same Greek root word as the English word generous. It is a familiar if still uncommon boys' name in Russia. If you're looking for unique boy names you might want to put this one on your list.
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