A to Z of Soviet (and a few other) names


Inspired by the Blogging from A to Z Challenge theme reveal hosted last year by Mina Lobo, this year the reveal blogfest is being hosted by Samantha Geary JonesVidya SuryAnna TanCsenge ZalkaGuilie Castillo Oriard, with technical support from Jemima Pett and Mary Wallace. They’re all members of Team Danyanti.

My theme is going to be Soviet names, which I briefly mention on the post on my main blog. Since I’m such a Russophile, for over 20 years now, and love etymology, it’s a natural fit. A lot of new, invented names came about in the early decades of the Soviet Union, with a few later additions. They were most popular from about 1917-40, though a few stuck around longer than others (like Ninel), and others, as aforementioned, were created after 1940.

A lot of these names are amalgams of the first letters of words in political or scientific concepts or phrases, like “great worker,” “young naturalist,” “The Five-Year Plan in four years,” “daughter of a working people,” and “Day of International Youth.” Others were amalgams of the names of important leaders. One of the resources I used provided the names and their etymologies in Frenchified Russian, so I had to transliterate them into proper Russian sounds.

In the interest of equality, there’s a female and male name for each day. Some names I’d never recommend to anyone, like Traktorina, Uryuvkos, Elektron, or Trolezin, but others sound enough like real names to still use outside of a political context, like Damir, Velira, Orletos, and Iskra. Some coincidentally happen to be real names in other languages and cultures. For the letters where I couldn’t find Soviet names, I just used modern Russian names.

If you know the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, you know it’s missing five letters from the Roman alphabet—H, J, Q, W, and X. Those five days are wildcards, with names I just like or find interesting.


4 thoughts on “A to Z of Soviet (and a few other) names

  1. A-Z Challenge partner, Christine London here—just dropping by to see if the madness has yet set in (even before we begin) What is “A” for? Hmm…
    Hope to see you around the A-Z April world.

    Russian names? My writing brings me to search for Celtic names more oft than not, but Russian sounds very much the challenge. Best of luck! 😉

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