Author Topic: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days  (Read 146519 times)

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Offline Sarai

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Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« on: March 10, 2004, 07:33:19 PM »
These are some of the origins of the girls' names that I have come across in my readings. Perhaps some of you have other possibilities or concrete conclusions:

Olga and Tatiana: Most of what I have read states that these girls were named after the main female characters in Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin, a favorite of the Imperial couple's. The book Nicholas II: The Imperial Family states that Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich heard this explanation from the Tsar himself. If Nicholas thought he would have another girl, then naming the first Olga so he could name the second Tatiana after these characters would make sense, but then again he could also have had only sons after Olga, thus naming her simply for that purpose wouldn't make much sense. I think a more accurate explanation is that, as I have read, Nicholas liked the name Olga because it was an ancient Russian name.

I also recall reading elsewhere that Olga was named after Nicholas's sister Olga, as that was his favourite sister. Yet I have also read that Xenia was his favourite sister, so I am not too sure about the veracity of this explanation.  

Tatiana was said to have been a very popular name choice with the common people, as it was a name used much amongst them and not so much amongst the nobility, so they felt a special affinity towards her.

I don't know whom Maria was named after, although I seem to recall reading that she was named after her paternal grandmother.

Finally, I have read two different explanations regarding whom Anastasia was named after, the first being the most popular. That is that she was named after the Montenegrin princess who was Alexandra's close friend at the time; she was also the same person who first introduced the Tsarina to Rasputin. The other explanation comes from M. Eagar's memoirs Six Years at the Russian Court, where she states "Anastasie means 'the breaker of chains,' or 'the prison opener' [...] The little Grand Duchess was called by this name because, in honour of her birth, the Emperor pardoned and reinstated the students who had been imprisoned for participating in the riots in St. Petersburg and Moscow during the winter." This is the only such explanation I have heard about this, however, and I have also read that Anastasia means "she who will rise again" and not "the breaker of chains," so I am unsure about how accurate this particular explanation may be.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2004, 10:56:08 PM »
I don't know that any of the girls were named after or in honor of someone. And, I don't speak Russian, but here goes:

Anastasia - most likely in honor of Anastasia of Montenegro, who along with her sister Militza, were friends of Alexandra's early in her marriage.

Marie - most likely in honor of the Dowager Empress, although the last Hesse-Darmstadt Romanov bride (before Alexandra) was also Marie.

Tatiana - no idea

Olga - most likely because it was/is a very popular traditional Russian girl's name. Also in honor of Queen Olga of Greece and Nicholas' sister.

Offline Olenka

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2004, 05:19:55 PM »
Quote: and I have also read that Anastasia means "she who will rise again" and not "the breaker of chains,"
'anastasis' is Greek for 'resurrection'. The Athenians thought that the apostle Paul was preaching about two gods - Christ and this 'anastasis'. Maybe that is where you got the 'she who will rise again' from?
This 'Olenka' is Olga of Greece, not the Romanov one. She married Prince Pavle of Yugoslavia at Belgrade in 1923, and had 3 children called Aleksandar, Nikola and Yelisaveta.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2004, 08:12:43 PM »
Tatiana is not only the Greek "fairy queen" of Shakespeare, etc,
but also a  martyr saint of both the Eastern & Western churches. Her day is 12 Jan. I suppose that depends on which calendar one follows.
This might make one think of what the parents were thinking,a proud, healthy daughter....fantasy & martyr.
. In my experience, it is not a very common name given in Orthodox families.
Before anyone  jumps on me, I said -"in my experience"
I would think that all the daughters wre named after relatives & saints.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Suzanne

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2004, 07:21:52 PM »
I have read that Anastasia was named for Alexandra's friend Duchess Anastasia of Leuchtenburg, later Grand Duchess Nicholas Nikolayvich. The Duchess and her sister Militza were Princesses of Montenegro and they introduced the French mystic Phillipe Vachot to Nicholas and Alexandra. Vachot was thought to be able to predict the gender of a child and he predicted N&A's fourth child would be a boy. When the baby was born, she was a girl and named for the Duchess of Leuchtenburg.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2004, 08:51:33 AM »
St. Anastasia, martyr & patron of widows. 25 Dec, [n.s., 2nd mass]
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline DaneRomanov

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2004, 05:25:28 AM »
Hi, its me again, i was wondering, u know that Russian people have middle names like their father first name like Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna who father was Tsar Alexander III, and Tatijana Nicolaievna daughter of Nickolas, if my name is Dane can it be put like that or not?
DRomanov

Offline Lisa

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2004, 05:44:32 AM »
I am not sure to have understood the question... All the Russians have 3 names: name, patronymic and surname.
ex: Ilya Borisovich Romanov (Ilya, Boris's son)
     Alexandra Nicolaevna Bespalova (Alexandra, Nikolaï's daughter)
     ...

If you want to know your patronymic,you must create it with your father's name... Your children will be "Danovich" and "Danovna"... (I'm not sure that exits in Russian...) ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Lisa »

Offline DaneRomanov

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2004, 06:17:51 AM »
lol Thanks that really helped :D
Dane
DRomanov

Offline Lisa

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2004, 09:01:24 AM »
You're welcome!


1914, Sebastopol

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2004, 06:06:21 PM »
There seem to be so many foreign variations of the names of the Imperial family and their relatives. In private, didn't most of them use the English or French form of their names?

Alix, Alicky or Sunny instead of Alexandra Feodorovna.
Nicky instead of Nicholas or Nikolai
Alyosha or Baby instead of Alexei
Marie or Mashka instead of Maria, etc.
Minny instead of Grand Duchess Marie Feodorovna
Serge, not Sergei
Paul, not Pavel
Helen or Helene, not Elena or Helena.
Cyril, not Kyril.

I don't know what the other daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra called themselves habitually, but I notice that Anastasia often signed herself "Anastasie," and this was the name that her tutor used in his book about her. What other names were in common use in the family?

Offline Mandie, the Gothic Empress

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2004, 06:13:25 PM »
Anastasie is french for Anastasia.

Offline jackie3

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2004, 08:24:44 PM »
I've also heard of:
Tanya and Tatia for Tatiana,
Olya and Olishka for Olga N.,
Nastya and Shvibzik for Anastasia,
Mitya for GD Dmitri Pavlovich,
Sunshine for Alexei
and of course Ella was the common nickname for both GD Elizabeth and her namesake niece the ill-fated Elizabeth of Hesse.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by jackie3 »

Offline Katia

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2004, 12:03:17 AM »
I've read that Tatiana was often called "Governess" by her siblings, and Anastasia "Malenkaya" (the little one) by her devoted aunt Olga Alexandrovna.

Offline Lanie

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Re: Names, Patronymics, Nicknames and Name Days
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2004, 12:06:26 AM »
Maria Nikolaevna sometimes signed letters as "Masha," which is one of the Russian nicknames for Maria besides "Mashka". :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Lanie »