Ukrainian Last Names and Meanings

Ukrainian Last Names and How They Came About


Ukrainians didn’t always have last names, but by the 18th Century almost all families got one. This was due to Ukraine coming under the Austrian Empire, and as such, were required for official and taxation purposes to keep a surname. Initially, surnames were reserved for the elite and upper class. Most Ukrainian last names were formed by adding suffixes to the end of given, geographical and occupational names.

Like most countries and languages, Ukrainian surnames were mainly either patronymic/matronymic, occupational names or toponyms (named after a place). The widely used -ko suffix is a possessive suffix. It indicates that the individual is from or belongs to the preceding name. An example is, Kovalenko meaning blacksmith (Suffix -ko meaning son of/from the family of).

Other common suffixes include; -chuk, -chak, -vich, -ski and -ishyn.

Ukrainian Last Names
Ukrainian Last Names


Common Ukrainian Last Names And Meanings

Below is a list of some common Ukrainian surnames along with their meaning. Like discussed above, you will notice that a lot of them end in the same few suffixes.

Shevchenko – Cobbler, Shoemaker (Suffix -enko meaning son of/from the family of)

Kovalenko – Blacksmith (Suffix -enko meaning son of/from the family of)

Bondarenko – Occupational last name for a cooper. (Suffix -enko meaning son of/from the family of)

Tkachenko – Weaver (Suffix -enko meaning son off/from the family of)

Boyko – Nickname for someone who is timid and fearful.

Kravchenko – Tailor

Chornovil – Black ox.

Nimchuk – A person from Germany.

Ponomarenko – Clergyman.

Chumak – Salt-trader.

Perebiynis – Break the nose.

Kryvonis – Curved nose.

Orel – Eagle.

Syromakha – Orphan.

Sverbylo – Itchy person.

Vovk – Wolf.

Kravchenko – Tailor.

Moroz – Frost.

Rosomakha – Wolverine.

Harbuz – Pumpkin.

Pidiprygora –  Bolster the mountain.

Obbizhysvit –  Run around the world.

Dobryivechir – Good evening.

Nudylo – Tedious person.

Pavluk – Of Paul.

Bondaruk – Cooper.

Kolisnychenko – Wheelwright.

Kripak – Serf.

Malyar – Painter.

Pekar – Baker.

Rybalka – Fisherman.

Melnyk/Melnik – Miller.

Shynkar –  Innkeeper.

Vladyka – Archbishop.

Rudiak – Red-haired.

Kovalchuk – Blacksmith.

Chaika – Seagull.


You can read more of our articles below.

  1. Arabic Last Names
  2. Spanish Last Names
  3. Polish Last Names
  4. Swedish Last Names
  5. Turkish Last Names
  6. Vietnamese Last Names
  7. Pakistani Last Names
  8. Danish Last Names
  9. Romanian Last Names
  10. Brazilian Last Names


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