Most Common Russian Last Names

How to Russian Last Names Work?

The Russian language is a beautiful and creative language. It’s complexity and almost poetic form means that using just the one base word, you can create numerous variations of different meanings. So, it’s not exactly surprising that this can be reflected in Russian last names, many of which have origins and stories that even the name-holders themselves have no idea about.

Russian last names are quite common across the world. Russian last names connect families to their Soviet roots in the eastern and western countries. Many of those names, like Greek last names, describe an occupation or characteristic of the person. Others contain elements from languages like Greek and Hebrew. You will find listed below, a number of Russian last names and their meanings.

Russian Last Names

What are some common russian last names:

  1. Ivanov:  Иванов – Son of Ivan (God is gracious).
  2. Petrov:  Петров – Son of Peter (stone).
  3. Sidorov: Сидоров – Son of Sidor.
  4. Smirnoff:-Смирнов- Quiet, peaceful or gentle.
  5. Volkov: Волков – Wolf.
  6. Fedorov: Фёдоров – Son of Fedor (gift of God).
  7. Popov: Поповv – Son of the priest or pope.
  8. Semenov: Семёнов – Son of Simon (God hears).
  9. Mikhailov:Михайлов – Son of Mikhail (gift of God).
  10. Egorov:Егоров/Егоров/Eгонов – Son of farmer.
  11. Lenkov: Ленков –  Son of Alexander (mankind’s defender).
  12. Vasiliev: Васильев –  Royal or kingly.
  13. Nikolaev:Николаев –  victory of the people.
  14. Morozov: Морозов –  Frost.
  15. Stepanchikov: Степанов – Son of Stefan (crown).
  16. Novikov/Novikoff: Новиков – a noble teenager in military service from the 16th-18th centuries.
  17. Kozlov: Козлов –  Goat.
  18. Pavlov: Павлов – Small.
  19. Sokolov: Соколов – Bird of prey.
  20. Lebedev: Лебедев – Swan, an occupational name for people who delivered swans to the king’s table.
  21. Kuznetsov: Кузнецов – A blacksmith.
  22. Putin: Путин – Someone belonging to the road.
  23. Orlov: Oрел -Eagle.

Who do so many russian last names end with ova?

If you are searching for Russian last names female or Russian last names male, you will be interested to know that most Russian surnames are gender neutral. When written out, the gender of the holder is shown by how the name ends.

Why do russian last names end in v? In the list above, the names have been written in the male form. The female form of these names is exactly the same, with only an ‘a’ added to the end of the name ending in ‘v’ or ‘n’. For example the male form Ivanov becomes the female form Ivanova.

Male names ending in the letter ‘y’ such as Arkhangelsky, can be changed into the female form by swapping the ‘-y’ for ‘-aya’. So, Arkhangelsky becomes Arkhangelskaya.

Of course, there are still a few family names that are completely gender neutral and have no suffix. These are less common, but still out there.

Why some Germans have russian last names?

They’re mostly people of Jewish origin who passed through Germany before winding up in Russia. They were forced to take surnames by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th century, hence the Germanic names.

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