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Russian Family Names

Learn About Russian Last Names


Babushka or Matryoshka Nesting Russian Dolls
Aleksandar Vrzalski/E+/Getty Images
Russian family names or last names are not very different from last names everywhere. They result from generations of use and sometimes have meanings that have been obscured by time. For example, the last name Medvedev derives from the Russian word for bear, medved. One difference English speakers have to be aware of is that last names for females will carry feminine endings, such as a, aya, or ina.

In Crime and Punishment, the main character is referred to by his family name, Raskolnikov. Rodion Raskolnikov has a mother and a sister. His mother's name is Pulkheria Raskolnikova. His sister's name is Avdotya Raskolnikova.

Below are some examples of other Russian last names or family names. Male and female versions of these names are given:

  • Tolstoy, Tolstaya
  • Pushkin, Pushkina
  • Antonov, Antonova

More about Russian names

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