Origins and Meanings of the Most Popular Names for Russian & Ukrainian Girls

Dear friends,

What’s in a name? The name a parent bestows upon their child is of special significance. Wrapped in the names a parent chooses to identify their child are a mother and father’s hopes and dreams for their child, perhaps a bit of family history, and personality traits they may have already identified in their newly born little one. In Russia and Ukraine, several names have risen to the top to become the most popular girl’s names, these are: Natasha, Elena, Tanja, Olga, Katja, and Oksana. Read further to uncover the meanings and origins of these well-loved titles.

Natasha: The popular Russian/Ukrainian name Natasha began as a pet version of the name Natalia. Natalia was originally bestowed upon girls born in December or around Christmas. Natalia is derived from a word that means “natal day” or “birthday” in relation to the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Elena: The name Elena has a Greek origin, and its meaning may be “bright,” “clear,” or “bright light.” Another version of this popular Russian girl’s name is Alyona (e.g., I call my sister “Alyona“). In 2004, Elena was among a list of the top five names given to baby girls in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tanja: The name Tanja is a variation of the name Tanya; it is also a shortened version of the monikers Tatiana and Titania. Tonja and its variations are thought to be derived from the ancient Roman family name Tatius. However, the meaning of the name Tatius has been lost over time.

russian girl

Olga: The popular name Olga is rooted in the Old Norse name Helga and means “blessed” or “successful.” Along with being a popular girls name in Russia and Ukraine, Olga is also used in Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Iceland, and Latin America.

Katja: Katja is the shortened version of the name Katherine which means “pure and unsullied.” Katja is also related to the name Katya. Along with being a popular name for baby girls in Russia and Ukraine, Katja, and name related to Katja, are popular in Germany, Netherlands, and Scandinavian and Slavic-speaking countries.

Oksana: Oksana is a popular name that originates from the Hebrew language and means “praise God” or “God is with us.” An earlier form of Oksana is the Greek name Xenia which means hospitable.

Questions? Feel free to ask Krystyna, your Ukrainian dating expert 🙂 (s. here: Contact Krystyna)



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