Russian last names have an interesting history behind them. Did you know that Russian surnames originated from the names of occupations, fruits, patronyms, and objects near them? Interesting, right? These last names are different for both women and men. The male last names of Russians end with ‘ev’ or ‘ov’, while the female last names end with the addition of ‘a’ along with the other letters, i.e., ‘eva’ or ‘ova.’ Read on for more information on last names of Russians, including their meanings and origins.
List Of Most Popular Russian Surnames Or Last Names
Abakumov is a patronymic last name that refers to ‘Son of Abakum’. It is derived from the Hebrew word ‘Habakkuk’ which means ‘embrace’.
This is a patronymic surname meaning ‘Son of Abdul’. In Arabic, Abdul means ‘Servant of God’.
It is a patronymic surname meaning ‘Son of Abram’ that is derived from the Old Testament. In Hebrew, Abram means ‘High Father’.
This Russian surname is derived from the given name Agap, which refers to ‘Love’ in Greek. Russian association football player Anton Agapov is a famous bearer of this last name.
This last name is derived from the Greek word ‘Agathon’ meaning ‘Kindness’ or ‘Goodness’.
This Russian family name is derived from Alexey, which refers to ‘Defender’ and is of Greek origin. Chess grandmaster Evgeny Alekseev is a famous bearer of this last name.
Andreyev means ‘Son of Andrey’ derived from the Greek name Andrew, meaning ‘manly’.
It means ‘Son of Anton’. The name is derived from ‘Anthony’ or ‘Antonius’ which is a Roman family name and has an Etruscan origin. Anton means ‘Priceless’ or ‘Praiseworthy’.
This habitational last name derived from the name of a town in Russia called the Arsenyev in Primorsky Krai, Russia.
This surname means ‘Son of Artyom’ and is derived from the name of the Greek goddess ‘Artemis’.
The habitational surname refers to ‘Someone from Arkhangelsk’. This is a district in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia.
Babanin originated from the Tsardom of Russia as it was the surname of a noble family in the Russian empire and the literal translation of Babanin is ‘Yin woman’.
This Russian last name refers to ‘Son of Balaban’. The occupational surname refers to a ‘Hawk’ or ‘Falconer’. Another variant of Balaban in Greek refers to ‘Tame Bear’.
The word Balakat in Russian means ‘To chatter’ or ‘Talk non-stop’ and it is the source of the Russian surname Balakin.
Balakirev is a variant of Balakin, which is derived from Balakat. Another reference of Balakirev, made during the ancient East Slavic era, referred to a ‘Ceramic worker’.
Balandin refers to a small crater located on the Moon.
Baranov is a Russian last name, which refers to a ‘Lamb’.
This patronymic surname refers to ‘Son’ or ‘Boyar’. It is derived from the Russian word Boyar referring to ‘A nobleman’.
It is an occupational last name derived from the term ‘Bochar’ referring to ‘Copper’.
Borisyuk is a Russian surname derived from the word ‘Boris’ meaning ‘Wolf’ or ‘Snow Leopard’.
This Russian family name is derived from an animal’s name Borov, meaning ‘A little boar’. Sergei Borovkov, a popular Russian footballer is a noteworthy bearer of this last name.
This surname originates from the word ‘Boroda’ meaning ‘Beard’ or ‘Bushy beard’. Borodin was initially used as a nickname for a bearded person and later evolved to be a Russian last name.
This habitational last name is derived from a village named Bortniki in Russia, which means ‘Beekeepers’.
Bortsov originates from the word ‘Borets’ that means a ‘Wrestler’.
This is a habitational surname derived from the term ‘Bugor’ meaning ‘Hill’ or ‘Heap’. It is used to refer to someone who lived or worked near a hillock.
It is derived from the term ‘Bychok’ referring to ‘Young ox’ or ‘Bull’. This surname belonged to families with strong and powerful disposition.
This patronymic surname is of Russian and Jewish origin and is derived from the term ‘Chernyj’ meaning ‘Black’. It denoted families with ‘black-haired’ or ‘dark-skinned’ people.
It is originated from the term ‘Chugun’ referring to ‘Cast-iron’ or ‘Pig-iron’. The occupational surname belonged to iron-workers or the ones who made cast-iron products.
This patronymic Russian last name means ‘Son of Davyd’ or ‘Son of David’. In Hebrew, David means ‘Beloved’.
Devin is derived from the French word ‘Devine’ meaning ‘Sorcerer’ or ‘Fortune-teller’.
This habitational last name is derived from the name of a town in Russia called the Dmitriyev. Dmitry means ‘devoted/dedicated to Demeter (Greek Demetrios)’.
Dobrow is derived from the term ‘Dobryj’ meaning ‘Good’. Alternatively, this Russian last name is also a habitational surname coming from the name of a village called Dobroe in Ukraine.
The Russian family name is derived from the word ‘Drozd’ meaning ‘Thrush’ or ‘Blackbird’.
Egorov is an occupational Russian last name and refers to a ‘Farmer’. Yegorov is a variant of this surname.
Fedorov is derived from ‘Theodore’ that refers to ‘God given’ or ‘Gift of God’.
Gorbachev means ‘Hunchback’. It must have been a nickname, which eventually became a surname. Mikhail Gorbachev was the last head of the USSR before it disintegrated.
This Russian surname refers to ‘extremely bitter’.
It is a surname derived from the Russian word for ‘Goos’ meaning ‘Goose’. ‘Hyusev’ is a variant of this name.
Ibragimov is derived from Abraham, meaning ‘Father of many’. This Russian surname refers to ‘Son of Abraham’ and Ibrahimova is another variant.
Ivanov is derived from Ivan or John and refers to ‘God’s Grace’. This is one of the most common last names in Bulgaria and Russia.
Originated in Ukraine, Kalashnik is an occupational Russian last name that refers to ‘Breadmaker’ or ‘Maker of Kalaches’.
This unique Russian last name means a ‘Stone’.
Derived from an animal’s name, this Russian last name refers to a ‘Cat’.
Kozlov in Russian refers to a ‘Goat’.
This occupational Russian last name has a Ukrainian origin and refers to a ‘Tailor’ or someone who trades or repairs clothing.
It is also an occupational Russian surname and is derived from ‘Kuznets’ referring to a ‘Blacksmith’.
Krupin is an interesting Russian family name that originated as a first name and evolved into a family name. It means ‘a grain’.
Lagunov is derived from an object and refers to a ‘water barrel’.
It is derived from the Russian word ‘Lebed’ and refers to a ‘Swan’.
This is another interesting Russian surname derived from the name of an animal, ‘Medved’ meaning a ‘Bear’.
Meknikov is an occupational last name and refers to a ‘Miller’. Mechnikov is a variant of this surname.
This patronymic Russian family name refers to the ‘Son of Mikhail’. Mikhaylov, a spelling variant of this surname, is also the name of several neighborhoods in Russia. Mikhail refers to someone ‘Like God’.
Molchalin is a Russian surname that means ‘Silent’.
Molotov is derived from an object’s name and refers to a ‘Hammer’. It is also a locational surname of people who belonged to Oktyabrkənd or Perm, cities that were formerly known as Molotov.
Morozov means ‘Bitter cold’ in Russian.
This occupational surname refers to the ‘Flower people’ or the one ‘Who trades flowers’. Another variant refers to the name of a town called Nikolaevo in Bulgaria.
Orlov is derived from the Russian word ‘Oryol’ meaning ‘Eagle’. It is also the surname of a noble family in Russia.
Pasternak or Pasternack refers to ‘Parsnip’ that is a root vegetable. This last name originated from the regions of Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and Poland.
This is a patronymic surname referring to the ‘Son of Pavlo’. Pavlo is the Russian variant of ‘Paul’, which means ‘Small’.
The surname is derived from the Russian word Petar or Peter in English and refers to a ‘Stone’.
Petukhov is derived from ‘Petukhovo’, a name for several habitations in Russia.
Derived from ‘Plotnik’, Plotnikov is an occupational surname that refers to a ‘Carpenter’.
This surname is derived from a Russian term ‘Poletai’ meaning ‘Fast’ or ‘Quick’.
It is derived from ‘Pop’ and refers to a ‘Priest’. Popov is found to be the 4th most common Russian last name.
This occupational Russian last name is derived from the profession of ‘Portnoy’ meaning a ‘Tailor’.
One of the most famous Russian surnames, Putin means ‘One who travels along the road’. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the President of Russia, is the most popular bearer of this surname.
This Russian family name refers to the ‘Son of Rabbi’. The term Rabbi was used for a ‘mentor’ or ‘teacher’ in various regions.
Derived from Putin, Rasputin is a Russian term that means ‘Crossroads’.
This Russian family name is derived from ‘Rog’ meaning ‘Horn’ or ‘Antler’. Rogov is a common Jewish and Russian last name.
Another occupational Russian family name, Rybakov refers to a ‘Fisherman’.
Semenov is derived from Semyon. The common Russian surname means ‘God who hears’.
Smirnov derived from the word ‘Smirnow’ or ‘Smyrnov’ that refers to ‘Still’, ‘Peaceful’ or ‘Tranquil’.
It is derived from Sobaka, which refers to a ‘Dog’ in Russian.
The occupational surname means ‘Fur trader’ in Russian.
This Russian surname refers to ‘Sable’.
It means ‘Falcon’ or a ‘Bird of prey’.
Sorokin is derived from the name of the bird ‘Magpie’ or ‘Copoka’ in Russian.
This is a world-famous Russian last name, which means ‘Made of steel’. Revolutionary Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin is the most famous bearer of this last name.
Derived from Stephen, Stepanov is a family name that refers to the ‘Son of Stephen’. The various meanings of Stephen are ‘Wreath’, ‘Crown’, ‘Reward’, or ‘Royalty’.
It is originated from the Russian verb ‘Ustrasht’ that means to ‘Intimidate’ or ‘Frighten’.
Varkov is a Russian surname derived from the word ‘Varka’ that refers to ‘Cooking’ or ‘Boiling’ or ‘Brewing’.
Volkov is a Russian surname derived from the name of an animal ‘Volk’ that refers to a ‘Wolf’.
It is derived from the name of a bird ‘Vorobey’, which means ‘Sparrow’ in Russian.
The habitational surname refers to the people who came from Voznesensky, the name of various habitations in Russia.
Utkin means a ‘Duck’ in Russian.
Vinogradov in Russian refers to ‘Grapes’ or a ‘Vineyard’.
Derived from ‘Vorona’, this surname refers to a ‘Crow’ or ‘Raven’ in Russian.
Vyatkin originated from the Vyatka province that lies to the east of Moscow. Another variant of this surname is derived from the word ‘Vyatka’ meaning ‘Crowd’ or ‘Band’.
Yablokov is derived from ‘Yabloko’, which means ‘Apple’ in Russian.
This Russian surname is a variant of Jacob and refers to ‘Son of Yakov’. Yakov means a ‘Supplanter’.
It is derived from the term ‘Yurta’ and refers to ‘Hut’ or ‘Tent’ in Old Russian. Yurta was used by nomads during the Mongolian era.
This surname is a derivation of the word ‘Zadachi’ or ‘Udachi’ referring to ‘Good luck’ in Russian.
Zhabin is derived from the word ‘Zhaba’ that means a ‘Toad’ in Russian.
Zhuravlev is a Russian family name derived from the word ‘Zhuravlyov’ meaning ‘Crane’.
Zima is a habitational surname, derived from the name of a town in Russia. This name also originated in the Slavic region and refers to ‘Winter’.
This is a Russian and Slavic surname that means ‘Gold’.
Zorkin is an interesting Russian family name that refers to the ‘One who is sharp-sighted’.
Discover More Names
When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can Russian last names reveal a person’s family history or social status?
Russian last names mostly give information about their gender and when women marry, they adopt their spouse’s name as their last name which gives information about their relationship status.
2. What is the significance of patronymics in Russian naming conventions?
Patronymics in Russian naming customs give information about the nature of the connection between individuals.
3. Do Russians have two last names?
According to the traditional naming system, Russians have had three names since the middle of the 19th century. It includes a first name, a patronymic, and a surname. In official documents, the surname precedes the first name and the patronymic. However, in all other circumstances, the first name comes before the patronymic and surname (1).
4. How does one shorten Russian names?
Russian name-shortening conventions are arbitrary, but they generally include taking someone’s name and making it shorter and more intimate. Often diminutive names may end with an -а or -я, irrespective of gender. Friends will converse using the semi-standard names described above, but those closer may add a different set of more loving titles.
There is a unique and deep meaning behind each of these Russian last names curated in our list. Whether or not you are a Russian, the surnames will help you learn further about their representation of different backgrounds and cultures. And with the information given with every name, you can have a fair idea of many of the most popularly used Russian last names. You may even share the names and meanings with your friends and family and help everyone expand their knowledge.
Infographic: Types Of Russian Surnames With Meanings
While a person’s name serves as a distinctive identity, a surname binds them with their family, community, culture, and history. Let’s look at the infographic below to learn about some popular Russian surnames, their origins, and their meanings.
- Global Feminisms Project Pronunciation Guide: Russia Interviewee Names