Aelita and Avangard


For this year’s A to Z Challenge, my theme is the invented names which were so popular in the early decades of the Soviet Union. For letters which had no associated names, I used modern Russian names borrowed from other languages and cultures. Since there are five Roman letters which don’t exist in Russian Cyrillic (H, J, Q, W, X), those days are wildcards, with various names I like or find interesting. In the interest of equality, each day features both a female and male name.

Some of the names I’m going to feature are definitely not names I’d ever recommend to anyone! Some work outside of the historical setting, like Velira and Damir, but most of them are best left to the dustbin of onomastics history.

Aelita is the title character of Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy’s 1923 sci-fi novel about an engineer and retired soldier who travel to Mars. Martian society very much resembles capitalism, with a huge gulf between haves and have-nots. Aelita is a Martian princess whom the lonely engineer falls in love with. The book was made into a film in 1924, which I wasn’t so wild about.

Avangard means, obviously, “avant-garde,” more of an intellectual name than one with any apparent political overtones.

Sources consulted: (penultimate post) (male) (female)

4 thoughts on “Aelita and Avangard

  1. Cool idea! I love omnastics…when I was pregnant I spent hours just reading about the histories of different names. lol Can’t wait to see what you come up with throughout the month!

  2. I find it all very interesting. When I was pregnant I considered Anastasia, if I had a girl. Turned out to be a boy. But the name, Anastasia, like the name of the Russian princess thought to have escaped the horrible fate bestowed upon her family, held an element of mystery to me. Also, I like the sound of it.
    Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading every word.
    Silvia @

  3. I’ve never read the novel Aelita, but as a dyed-in-the-wool cinephile, I actually own a copy of the 1924 film. I thought it okay, but more as a precursor to the sci-fi films that came after it, not so much as a full fledged narrative.

    Just wanted to stop by and say hi to a fellow A to Zer.

    See ya ’round the web. All Things Kevyn

  4. Oh wow, I love your theme 🙂 For someone from a country that belonged to the Soviet Union, all my knowledge of Russian names comes from the Russian literature we read in school. I am eager to find out more! 🙂
    Also, naming your child Avangard is just asking for a hipster. Wow.
    Happy A to Z! 🙂
    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Tales of Colors
    MopDog – The crazy thing about Hungarian

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