100 Russian Last Names With Meanings And History | Kidadl


100 Russian Last Names With Meanings And History

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Russian naming conventions are interesting and both the first names and Russian last names have meaning attached to them which can help find the ancestry or lineage.

A Russian name has three components. The components are the Christian name, patronymic name, and a surname.

Patronymic names are derived from ancestors of the family's father or grandfather and are used by the addition of either a suffix or a prefix meaning 'Son of'. For example, if someone has a name Boris Mikhailov then, as per patronymics it would mean 'Boris, son of Mikhail'.

In a formal setting, calling a person with first name and the patronymic name is considered polite. Russian surnames have various roots like occupation, animal, fruits, and patronymics. Russian surnames are generally used in a formal setting and calling someone only by their last name only is considered very rude. Russians started using surnames very late, around the 12th century.  During the 17th and 18th centuries, people took their surnames from their occupation, place of dwelling, etc. Most of them were not ancestral and would last only a lifetime. It was only after 1917 that the entirety of the Russian population had surnames added to its names. Males and females have different surnames. Russian surnames of males end with 'ov' or 'ev'. However, for females, 'a' is added to the end 'ova' or 'eva'. We have listed the male forms of the surname but now you know how to make it female.

If you want to know more about Russian last names and meanings, along with the popular, unique last names, read below. Or for more last name inspiration, take a look at Slavic Last Names and Ukrainian Last Names.

Popular Russian Last Names

Some of the popular Russian last names have been listed down below, for you.

1. Abakumov: This patronymic last name refers to 'Son of Abakum'. It is derived from the Hebrew word 'Habakkuk', Abakumov means 'Embrace'.

2. Agafonov: It is derived from the Greek word 'Agathon' which means 'Kindness or Goodness'.

3. Alexeyev: In this list of last names, Alexeyev is derived from the Greek word 'Alexey' meaning 'Defender'.

4. Andreyev: This Russian surname is derived from the Greek name 'Andrew' meaning 'manly', Andreyev in Russian means 'Son of Andrey.'

5. Artyomov: Derived from the name of the Greek Goddess Artemis, this last name means 'Son of Artyom'.

6. Arkhangelsky: Referring to the district in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, it means, 'Someone from Arkangelsk'.

7. Aslananov: Derived from the Turkish word 'Aslan', Aslananov means 'Son of Aslan'.

8. Balabanov: One of the common occupational last names, it refers to 'Hawk' or 'Falconer' and means 'Son of Balaban'.

9. Balakin: In Russia, Balakat means 'to talk non- stop' or 'to chatter' and it comes from the same word.

10. Balandin: A small cater located on the Moon is referred to as Balandin and the surname is derived from the same.

11. Baranov: This Russian last name in this collection of names, means 'Lamb' and it is quite popular in Russia.

12. Barinov: Derived from the Russian word 'Boyar' meaning 'A nobleman', this patronymic surname means 'Son' or 'Boray'.

13. Bocharov: Meaning 'Copper,' this occupational surname is derived from 'Boris'.

14. Borisyuk: Derived from 'Boris' the surname refers to 'Wolf' or 'Snow Leopard'.

15. Borovkov: Derived from an animal named 'Borov' meaning 'a little Boar'.

16. Borodin: Initially the Borodin was a nickname for a bearded person which later evolved as a surname. Originating from the word 'Boroda', this surname means 'Beard'.

17. Bortnik: Derived from the village named Bortniki meaning 'Beekeepers'.

18. Bortsov: Derived from the word 'Borets', the surname means 'Wrestler'.

19. Burgrov: Derived from the word 'Bugor' meaning 'Hill' or 'Heap'.

20. Bychkov: Derived from the word 'Bychok', it refers to 'Young ox' or a 'Bull'.

21. Chaban: This occupational surname refers to someone who is a 'Shephard' by occupation.

22. Chugunov: Derived from the word 'Chugun' meaning 'Cast- iron' or 'Pig- iron'.

23. Davydov: This patronymic surname means 'Son of David' or 'Son of Davyd'.

24. Devin: Derived from the French word 'Devine', it means 'Sorcerer' or 'Fortune- teller'.

25. Dmitriev: Derived from a town in Russian called Dmitriyev, this habitational last name means 'Devoted' or 'Devoted to Demeter'.

26. Dobrow: Derived from the word 'Dobryj', it means 'Good'.

27. Drozdov: Derived from the word 'Drozd', this last name means 'Thrush' or 'Blackbird'.

28. Egorov: It is one of the occupational last names and it refers to a Farmer.

29. Fedorov: Derived from the word 'Theodore' which means 'God-given' or 'Gift from God'.

30. Gorbachev: Initially used as a nickname, it has eventually become a popular last name meaning 'Hunchback'.

31. Gorky: This surname means 'Extremely bitter'.

32. Gusev: Derived from the word 'Goos' referring to 'Goose'.

33. Ibragimov: Derived from the name 'Abraham' meaning 'Father of many', the family means 'Son of Abraham'.

34. Kalashnik: Referring to 'Breadmaker' or 'Maker of Kalaches', this is a popular Russian last name.

35. Kotov: This surname is derived from an animal's name and refers to a 'Cat'.

36. Kozlov: This Russian last name refers to a 'Goat'.

37. Kuznetsov: This occupational family name refers to a 'Blacksmith'.

38. Lagunov: This surname is derived from an object and means 'Water Barrel'.

39. Medvedev: Derived from an animal, 'Medved' refers to the name of a 'Bear'.

40. Meknikov: This occupational last name refers to 'Miller'.

41. Mikhailov: The patronymic last name readers to 'Son of Mikhail'. Mikhail means 'Like God'.

42. Molchalin: This interesting Russian surname means 'Silent'.

43. Molotov: Derived from an object, this last name refers to a 'Hammer'.

44. Morozov: This Russian last name refers to 'Bitter cold'.

45. Nikolaev: This occupational surname refers to 'Flower people' or 'those who trade flowers'.

46. Pasternak: Derived from the root vegetable, the surname refers to 'Parsnip'.

47. Pavlov: This patronymic surname means 'Son of Pavlo'.

48. Petrov: Derived from the English name 'Peter', it refers to 'Stone'.

49. Plotnikov: The occupational surname refers to 'Carpenter'.

50. Ploetov: Derived from the Russian term 'Polatai', it means 'Fast' or 'Quick'.

51. Popov: Derived from 'Pop', the surname refers to 'Priest'.

52. Portnov: This occupational family name means 'Tailor'.

53. Putin: One of the most common family names, Putin means 'One who travels along the road'.

54. Rabinovich: One of the popular last names in the list, it refers to 'Son of Rabbi'.

55. Rasputin: The surname is derived from Putin and means 'Crossroads'.

56. Rogov: Another common one in surnames, Rogov is derived from the word 'Rog' which means 'Horn' or an 'Antler'.

57. Rybakov: The occupational surname means 'Fisherman'.

58. Semenov: It is a common last name in Russia meaning 'God who hears'.

59. Sobakin: Derived from 'Sobaka,' Sobakin means 'Dog'.

60. Sobol: This occupational surname refers to 'Fur trading'.

61. Sobolev: This surname means 'Sable' in Russian.

62. Sokolov: This Russian surname refers to 'Falcon' or 'Bird of prey'.

63. Sorokin: This last name is derived from the name of a bird 'Magpie' or 'Copoka'.

64. Stalin: This famous last name refers to 'Man of Steel'.

65. Stepanov: This surname is derived from the English name Stephen meaning 'Wreath', 'Crown' or 'Royalty' and the meaning of the family name is 'Son of Stephen'.

66. Ustrashkin: Derived from the Russian word 'Ustrasht', the surname means 'Intimidate' or 'Frighten'.

67. Utkin: The famous surname in Russia refers to a 'Duck'.

68. Varkov: Derived from the  Russian word 'Varka' the last name refers to 'Cooking' or 'Brewing' or 'Boiling'.

69. Vasilev: There are many different meanings to this surname. One referring to the leafy herb, Basil. While another meaning is 'Royal'.

70. Volkov: Derived from the name of an animal, it refers to a 'Wolf'.

71. Vorobyev: Derived from the name of a bird, it refers to a 'Sparrow'.

72. Voznesensky: Referring to the people of Voznesensky, this popular Russian surname is habitational.

73. Vinogradov: The Russian family name refers to 'Grapes' or 'Vineyard'.

74. Vyatkin: Derived from the Russian word 'Vyatka', this last name readers to 'Crowd' or 'Band'.

75. Yakovlev: Derived from the word 'Yakov' meaning 'Supplanter', the surname refers to 'Son of Yakov'.

76. Zadachin: Derived from the Russian word 'Zadachi' or 'Udachi', it refers to 'Good luck'.

77. Zhuravlev: Derived from the Russian word, this last name means 'Crane'.

78. Zima: Derived from a town name in Russia, the last name refers to 'Winter'. 

Unique Russian Surnames

russian last names that have meaning

There are times when one comes across some very unique Russian names and surnames, given below are some examples and their meanings.

79. Chernyshevsky: The first person to hold the last name was Russian Philosopher and it refers to the village where he was born 'Chernyshevo'.

80. Goncharov: This occupational surname refers to 'Potter'.

81. Ivanov: Derived from the names 'Ivan'  or 'John', it is a popular last name in the list of last names. It refers to 'God's Grace'.

82. Kamenev:  The surname refers to 'Stone' and is very unique in Russia.

83. Lebedev: Derived from the word 'Lebed', this Russian surname refers to 'Swan'.

84. Oblonsky: Derived from a place in Ukraine 'Obolon', the family name refers to 'wet field'.

85. Smirnov: Derived from the Russian word 'Smirnow' or 'Smyrnov' meaning 'Still' or 'Peaceful'.

86. Turgenev: Derived from the name of the root 'Turgen', this surname in the list of the last names means 'Fast' or 'Quick'.

87. Yahontov: Derived from the names given to precious stones 'Ruby' and 'Sapphire'.

88. Zorkin: Referring to the 'one who is sharp-sighted', this one of the unique last names in Russia.

Ancient Russian Last Names

Many Russians tend to keep the last names of their children after ancient entities and connotations. These ancient last names have very unusual meanings:

89. Abramov: In this collection of Russian names, Abramov is derived from the Old Testament and means 'Son of Abram'.

90. Agapov: Derived from the Greek name 'Agap' which means 'Love'.

91. Antonov: Derived from the name 'Anthony' which has an Etruscan origin, this surname means 'Son of Anton'.

92. Arsenyev: It is derived from the name of an ancient town called 'Arsenyev'.

93. Babanin: The last name of the noble families of Russia translates to 'Yin woman', originated from the Tsardom of Russian.

94. Balakirev: This ancient family name was used to refer to a 'Ceramic worker'.

95. Chernoff: The patronymic surname has Jewish origin and is derived from the term 'Chernyj' which means 'Black'.

96. Krupin: The surname first came to usage as a first name and slowly evolved to a family name. It refers to a 'Grain'.

97. Orlov: The last name of the noble families of Russia, it means 'Eagle'.

98. Preobrazhensky: This last name originated from the Christian feast day and was popular among the members of the clergy. It refers to 'of the Transfiguration'.

99. Yurtaev: Derived from the word 'Yurta', this ancient family name refers to a 'Hut' or 'Tent'.

100. Zolotov: This Slavic and Russian last name refers to 'Gold'. 

Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Russian Last Names then why not take a look at Icelandic Last Names, or for something different take a look at Unisex Dog Names.

Written By
Georgia Stone

<p>Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.</p>

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