The majority of existing Ukrainian surnames were created by adding possessive and suffixes to first names.
Surnames were used initially by upper-class people, wealthy landowners, and nobles. Peasants started using surnames under the Austrian Empire, mainly for the purpose of taxation.
Lots of Ukrainian last names end in -KO, including Boiko, Sirko, Pavlychko. -KO is a diminutive ending with patronymic meaning, meaning that -KO surnames are given based on one’s ancestors, such as your father or grandfather. Ukraine has a rich history and they are a nation proud of their ancestors. Ukrainian people take pride in carrying their family ancestry forward, explaining the pride that many Ukrainians take in their surnames ending in -KO.
Other popular Ukrainian names take the -yshyn suffix (for example, Romanyshyn, Kostyshyn), the -enko suffix ( for example, Tereshchenko, Shevchenko), the -vich suffix (for example, Gorlukovich, Shushkevich), the -chak suffix (for example, Maksymchak), or the -chuk suffix (for example, Balanchuk, Polishchuk). The simplified versions of “chuk” include -yuk, -yak, or -ak (for example, Romanyuk, Mochulyak). These are normally considered to be patronymic. Hence, you will also see a lot of Ukrainian surnames ending in ‘chuk.’
Naming your characters becomes easier if you know the meaning and history of the names. We have curated a list of over 100 Ukrainian names, along with their meaning and history, just for you.
The Most Common Ukrainian Family Names
The following are the most common Ukrainian family names and last names.
1. Adamovich - An ancestral name derived from “Adam.”
2. Aksamit - Derived from the Polish word Aksamit meaning “velvet.”
3. Polishchuk - This is a toponymic surname. It is associated with Polissya and Polishchuks (people who live along the Ukrainian-Belarus borderline).
4. Shevchenko - Originated from the word “shvets,” which means cobbler/shoemaker in Ukrainian.
5. Shevchenko - This name has also originated from the word “shvets,” which means cobbler/shoemaker in Ukrainian.
Unique Ukrainian Last Names
Here’s a list of Unique Ukrainian last names for your unique characters' surnames.
6. Adamovich - An ancestral name derived from “Adam.”
7. Aksamit - Derived from the Polish word Aksamit meaning “velvet.”
8. Antonova - Derived from the Russian word “Antonov,” a masculine surname.
9. Archaki - Derived from the Greek word “Archos,” meaning lord or the ruler.
10. Azarov - Derived from the first name Azariy.
11. Azarova - Azarov’s feminine form.
12. Barno - With an Italian origin, the word means “Son of Nabia.”
13. Barsky - A rare Ukrainian surname, it is derived from the name of a bar in Ukraine.
14. Bilyk - Means “white” in Ukrainian.
Ancient Ukrainian Last Names
The following are ancient Ukrainian last names that you could consider for your characters' surnames.
15. Boris/Barys/Borys - Originated from the Bulgar language.
16. Borisow - Originated from the Ukrainian name “Borisov.”
17. Bortnick - Means “beekeeper.” It’s an ancient Ukrainian last name, but a popular one.
18. Borisova - It is the feminine form of the name Boris, and means Boris’s.
19. Braverman - The name is of Jewish origin.
20. Cherkasskiy - Derived from the Ukrainian word "cherkas,” meaning "Circassian".
21. Chernenko - This name is derived from the Ukrainian word “chorniy” and the Russian word “cherniy”.
22. Czermah - One of the more rare Ukrainian surnames.
23. Datsyuk - The name means “service provider.”
24. Diduch - The meaning of the name is “Spirit of Ancestors.”
25. Dovzhenko - Derived from the Ukrainian word meaning “long.”
Popular Ukrainian Last Names List
This list of popular Ukrainian last names would be ideal for your characters from Ukraine whom you want to make a connection with your audience. Why not choose some of these as their last names?
26. Bondar - It is a profession-based Ukrainian surname, meaning barrel maker.
27. Chornovil - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Black Ox.
28. Chornyi - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Black.
29. Chumak - It is a profession-based Ukrainian surname, meaning salt-trader.
30. Dobroshtan - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Good pants.
31. Dobryivechir - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Good evening.
32. Gogol - It means “Common Goldeneye,” a type of duck, in Ukrainian.
33. Golodryga - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Nude twitch.
34. Horbanenko - Meaning “hunchback.” It is equivalent to the Russian surname “Gorbachev.”
35. Honchar - It is a profession-based Ukrainian surname, meaning potter or ceramist.
36. Ivanko - Derived from the Hebrew name “Yehochanan,” which means “graced by Yahweh, God is gracious.”
37. Kalashnik - Meaning “Kalaches maker.”
38. Kandyba - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Useless horse.
39. Kazan - Derived from the Turkish word “kazan,” meaning kettle/furnace/boiler.
40. Kishka - Means cat in Ukrainian.
41. Kolesnik - Derived from the word “kolesnik,” which means wheelwright.
42. Koroliuk - Derived from the word “Korol,” meaning king.
43. Kosmen - Jewish origin, the occupational name for glassmakers.
44. Kozak - Derived from the Turkish word “kazak,” which means free man. It is a popular surname that many Ukrainians are proud to wear.
45. Kozar - It means “goatherd.”
46. Kushnir - It is a profession-based Ukrainian surname, meaning furrier.
47. Krivoshapka - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Crooked headwear.
48. Kryvonis - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Curved nose.
49. Litvinchuk - Derived from the Russian word “litvin.” Historically, it was used to denote a Belarusian or a Lithuanian.
50. Lomachenko - Derived from the Ukrainian word “lom,” which means scrap.
51. Lyashenko - It comes from the Ukrainian word “lyakh,” which is actually a disrespectful word for pole.
52. Malasenco - Derived from “Malachi,” a Hebrew name. It is one of the common Ukrainian names.
53. Molchan - Derived from the Russian word meaning “silent.” It is used as a nickname for a soft-spoken person.
54. Mucha - Means “fly.” Originally, it was used as a nickname for very important people.
55. Navarykasha - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Boil the porridge.
56. Nemirov - Services from the Ukrainian city “Nemirov.”
57. Nimchuk - It is an ethnic surname - from Germany.
58. Netudyhata - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Wrong way house.
59. Oliynyk - It is a profession-based Ukrainian surname, meaning vegetable oil manufacturer.
60. Obbizhysvit - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Run around the world.
61. Otchenash - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Our Father.
62. Panchenko - It means “fisher.” It’s a common Ukrainian surname.
63. Perebiynis - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Break the nose.
64. Perevernykruchenko - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Turn over the cliff.
65. Podlipa - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Under a lime tree.
66. Polyakov - Derived from the ethnic name “Polak,” which means pole.
67. Ponomarenko - Derived from the Ukrainian word “paramonar,” which means sexton.
68. Poroshenko - Derived from the Ukrainian word “porokh,” meaning powder (usually gunpowder)/dust.
69. Portnoy - Derived from the Russian word “portnoj,” which is the occupational name of a tailor.
70. Ponomarenko - It is a profession-based Ukrainian surname, meaning Clergyman.
71. Pryimak - The name means “adoptee” in Ukrainian.
72. Pidiprygora - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Bolster the mountain.
73. Rachman - Of Hebrew origin, meaning “merciful.”
74. Reznikov - Derived from “reznik,” Slavic origin, an occupational name for ritual slaughterers.
75. Romanko - Derived from the Greek name Romaios and Latin name Romaeus, referring to people born in the Roman Empire.
76. Rybalka - Derived from the word “ryba,” meaning fish. The meaning of the surname is "fisherman."
77. Salogub - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Salo lips.
78. Sklorenko - It means “glassmaker’s son.”
79. Smarch - An anglicized form of various surnames, including Smarchevskaya, Smarchevsky, and Smarchkov).
80. Soroka - Derived from “Soroka,” a nickname meaning magpie.
81. Stepanovich - Derived from the ancestral name “Stepan.”
82. Stolyarchuk - It means “son of carpenter.” The name was derived from the occupation of carpenter.
83. Syzonenko - Derived from the ancestral name “Syzon.”
84. Tataryn - It is an ethnic surname - from Tartar.
85. Tarasenko - Derived from ancestral name “Taras.”
86. Tsybulenko - Derived from the Ukrainian word “tsybulya,” which means onion.
87. Urban - Derived from the Latin word “Urbanus,” meaning city dweller.
88. Urbana - It is the feminine form of Urban.
89. Valentyn - Latin origin. The meaning of the word is healthy/strong.
90. Vernydub - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Twist the oak.
91. Vengerov - Derived from the word “vorobey,” meaning “Hungarian.”
92. Volesky - Quite a popular surname of Ukrainian, as well as Belarusian origin.
93. Voloshyn - It is an ethnic surname - from Volokh. An ancient tribe from Moldova and Romania.
94. Vorobey - Derived from the Ukrainian word “vorobey,” meaning sparrow.
95. Voshkolup - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Louse scratcher.
96. Vovk - Derived from the Ukrainian word “vovk,” meaning wolf.
97. Vyrvykhvist - The meaning of this Ukrainian surname is Rip a tail.
98. Warhola - The meaning of this rare Ukrainian surname is “quarrel.”
99. Yampilskiy - Derived from “Yampil,” which were Ukrainian settlements.
100. Zalusky - Derived from the word “zalew,” meaning a flooded area or bay. The name was usually given to people living near water.
101. Zaytsev - Derived from the Russian word “zayats” and the Ukrainian word “zaets,” meaning fare.
102. Zbirak - Derived from the word Polish word “zbierac,” which means to collect or gather.
103. Zolochivskiy - Derived from “Zolochiv,” a Ukrainian city.
Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Ukrainian last names names then why not take a look at these Bulgarian names, or for something different take a look at these Basque names.
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.