Some Russian baby boy names are found elsewhere around the world ‒ here are some of our favorite common Russian boy names:
Boris or Borys: Meaning “fighter”.
Dmitri or Dimitri: Meaning “earth lover”.
Dominik: Meaning “belongs to God”.
Eriks: Meaning “eternal ruler”.
Fyodor or Feodor: Meaning “gift from God”.
Grigory or Grigori: Meaning “watchful”.
Iosif or Josef: Meaning “God increases”.
What are the most popular Russian baby girl names?
These popular Russian girls’ names are enchanting and on-trend, with a healthy heap of history and character thrown in for good measure:
Anastasia: A moniker fit for a princess, Anastasia is of Greek origin and means “resurrection.” Melodic and memorable, it was the most popular name in Russia until 2008, and still regularly makes the top 10.
Irina: Name meaning “peace”, with origins in Ancient Greece, Irina is a name of huge significance in Russian culture; it’s been given to two real-life Russian princesses, and Chekhov named one of the main characters Irina in his classic play Three Sisters.
Katerina: The Russian version of Katherine, which means “pure”, Katerina (or Ekaterina) is a lovely name with a number of intriguing variations. From Katya and Katrina to Katrinka and Karina, you’re bound to find one that fits your little peanut.
Yelena or Elena: A 2012 study of Russian social media accounts discovered that Yelena was the most popular girl’s name in the country. What does the name Yelena mean? “Shining light”.
Sofia: A mainstay in popular baby name lists, Sofia, which means “wisdom”, has top-tier Russian literature to thank for introducing it and its diminutive forms to the West. Prominent characters in both Crime and Punishment and War and Peace went by Sofia and the pet name Sonya (alternatively spelled Sonia or Sonja). FYI: A variation of Sofia (“Sophia”) pops up in our list of the most popular baby names on Peanut this year.
What about popular Russian baby boy names?
Like the girl names above, common Russian boy names trend towards the traditional as a rule. Many popular male Russian names also have strong historical or religious connections.
Alexander: Year on year, Alexander sits near or at the top of baby name lists in Russia and beyond. Every inch a classic, it means “protector” or “defender of mankind”, and it’s another name with a range of variations. Aleksander and Aleksandr are great alternatives to a recognizable name.
Ivan: “A gift from God”, Ivan has been a go-to first name throughout Russian history. Interestingly, it’s the Slavic version of the Latin name Johannes, which in turn is related to the English name John.
Maxim, Maksym, or Maksim: Baby name variant of the name Maximilian, Maxim means “great” or “majestic” and can, of course, be shortened to the infinitely adorable Max.
Nikolai: Yet another name with a long and storied link to Slavic culture, the Russian name Nikolai can be written as Nikolay or Nicholai, with the diminutive form Kolya offering a unique and memorable nickname. It has its origins in Ancient Greece and means “victory of the people.”
Mikhail: If you like the name Michael but you still want something a little different, Mikhail (also Michail) could be a nice option. Popular in Russia thanks to the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Are there any unisex Russian names?
Russian baby names tend to be gendered male or female, but you do have a few unisex options, too.
So here are 16 unisex Russian names and gender-neutral Russian names for your little ditya.
Aleksei, Alexei, Alexey, or Aleksey: Meaning “defender”.
Aleksis: Meaning “defender”.
Fedyenka: Meaning “gift from God”.
Gennady: Meaning “noble”.
Lev or Lyev: Meaning “lion-heart”.
Lubov or Lyubov: Meaning “love”.
Luda: Meaning “love of the people”.
Luka: Meaning “light”.
Lyonechka: Meaning “brave as a lion”.
Mischa, Misha, or Mishka: Meaning Russian for “bee” or “honey”.
Sascha or Sasha: Meaning “defender of men”.
Shura: Meaning “defender of men”.
Sonechka: Meaning “wise”.
Vanka: Meaning “grace”.
Vanya: Meaning “God is gracious”.
Yuri or Yury: Meaning “light of God”.
Russian baby names with Slavic roots
A lot of Russian names have Greek or Latin roots. But there are some Russian baby names that are Slavic through and through.
If that’s particularly important to your family, you have plenty to choose from.
Vladimir: Meaning “ruler of the world”. ♂️
Bogdan: Meaning “gift from God”. ♂️
Igor: Meaning “warrior”. ♂️
Miroslav: Meaning “gracious glory”. ♂️
Anya: Russian name meaning “graceful”. ♀️
Natasha: Meaning “birthday”. ♀️
Natalya: Meaning “Christmas day”. ♀️
Galina: Meaning “calm” or “healer”. ♀️
Tatiana: Meaning “honorable”. Often shortened to Tanya. ♀️
What are unique Russian names?
Although Slavic and Russian baby names are largely guided by tradition, history, and religion, non-Russian mamas might be drawn to a name thanks to its interesting spelling or quirky spin on a well-known English equivalent.
Here are some of our favorite uncommon Russian names:
Dima. What does Dima mean in Russian? Strong fighter. ♀️ ♂️
Konstantin, meaning “constant”. ♂️
Lada, referring to the goddess of spring and love. ♀
Lizabeta is Elizabeth, meaning “God is my oath”. ♀️
Marisha is simply the Russian version of Mary, meaning “bitter”. ♀️
Olezka, meaning “holy”. ♀️
Pavel for Paul, meaning “small”. ♂️
Timofey for Timothy, meaning “honoring God”. ♂️
Viktor with a “k” is a subtle variation on the more common spelling of Victor, meaning “winner”. ♂️
Zasha, name meaning “defender of the people”, a quirky spelling of Sasha. ♀️ ♂️
That’s it! 173 of the most popular, traditional, and eye-catching Russian baby names for boys and girls, along with some gender-neutral Russian names for good measure!