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Thread: Russian Nicknames/Diminutives

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Russian Nicknames/Diminutives

    I only know a handful of Russian nicknames - please add any I didn't think of!! (& correct me if I am wrong about any!)


    Иван - Ваня
    Владимир - Володя
    Павел - Паша
    Дмитрий - Дима
    Николай - Коля
    Михаил - Миша
    Александр - Саша
    Василий - Вася
    Евгений - Женя
    Кирилл - Киря
    Виктор - Витя
    Анатолий - Толя
    Юрий - Юра

    Анастасия - Настя
    Дарья - Даша
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Deborski, doing this will bring the entire site down! Here, for ex., are a few more for Иван:
    Ваню́ша, Ва́нечка, Ваню́шечка, Ваню́шка, Ива́нушка, Ва́нька.
    Тhe book I'm looking at has 33 variations for Па́па - dad. I wouldn't be surprised if there were that many for every name. =:^)

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    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Deborski, doing this will bring the entire site down! Here, for ex., are a few more for Иван:
    Ваню́ша, Ва́нечка, Ваню́шечка, Ваню́шка, Ива́нушка, Ва́нька.
    Тhe book I'm looking at has 33 variations for Па́па - dad. I wouldn't be surprised if there were that many for every name. =:^)
    In other word's I opened up Pandora's box!!! Hey, I wonder what her diminutive was? Dora?
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    In other word's I opened up Pandora's box!!! Hey, I wonder what her diminutive was? Dora?
    Дора, Дорка, Дорочка, Дорушка, Дорушечка, Доряня, Доренция, Паня, Панька, Панечка, Пандоренция, Пандорка, Пандорочка, Пандорушка, Пандорушечка, Пандоряня, Пандоренция... maybe missed something.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    Дора, Дорка, Дорочка, Дорушка, Дорушечка, Доряня, Доренция, Паня, Панька, Панечка, Пандоренция, Пандорка, Пандорочка, Пандорушка, Пандорушечка, Пандоряня, Пандоренция... maybe missed something.

    LOL!!!
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    In other word's I opened up Pandora's box!!! Hey, I wonder what her diminutive was? Dora?
    Yes, you could probably write a drs thesis on Russian nicknames, lol! It is very complicated!
    How Russians address eachother in generak, is quite a very complicated matter!

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Yes, you could probably write a drs thesis on Russian nicknames, lol! It is very complicated!
    How Russians address eachother in generak, is quite a very complicated matter!
    It's not a bad idea. Or at least an interesting article for a travelogue

    Maybe someone can explain in greater depth how/when it's OK to use diminutives? I know I've accidentally committed faux pas a few times by blurting out a diminutive when I wasn't given permission to use it yet. It can be confusing when and when not to use them in Russian culture!
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    There can be dozens of emotionally charged diminutives (Витенька, Витюня, Витёк) for every name, which can be mind boggling. They are usually quite intimate, and it's safer not to use them if you are not sure if it's acceptable. Later, as you progress you'll be able to guess what diminutive will "fit" a certain name and create your own by transforming "short forms" of names.

    "Short forms" of traditional names (Петя, Витя, etc.) are much more "neutral", and do not sound too awkward even when used at the wrong setting. They are widely used and are usually limited to 1-2 for every name. It's entirely possible (and necessary) to learn to recognize most of them. A child, for example, almost always introduces himself by the said "short form", even when speaking to a stranger. So it's very useful to know diminutives for most popular names.

    Some examples of neutral diminutives:

    Алексей - Алёша,
    Сергей - Серёжа
    Пётр - Петя
    Фёдор - Федя
    Вячеслав - Слава (Слава also can be a diminutive for other names with "-слав" in it - Станислав, Владислав, etc.)
    Константин - Костя
    Иннокентий - Кеша
    Борис - Боря
    Леонид - Лёня
    Степан - Стёпа

    Елена - Лена
    Ирина - Ира
    Наталья - Наташа
    Ольга - Оля
    Светлана - Света
    Татьяна - Таня
    Мария - Маша
    Екатерина - Катя
    Анна - Аня
    Елизавета - Лиза

    There are some names, that can be used both as informal and as formal (with patronymics added). They still have other ("emotional" or joking) diminutives, of course.
    Examples:

    Андрей
    Игорь
    Максим

    Марина
    Жанна
    Тамара
    Marcus and Deborski like this.

  10. #10
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    Some Russian male and female names coincide in the short form. Александр / Александра - Саша, Валентин/Валентина - Валя, Евгений/Евгения - Женя.
    Кирилл, как мне кажется, краткого имени не имеет.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    It's intuitive, isn't it? When to use nicknames and which ones to use?
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    It's intuitive, isn't it? When to use nicknames and which ones to use?
    What do you mean?
    short names are used most times we use a nime without a patronimic. Their choice is usually limited, some people can prefer to be called in one or another way and introduce themselves like that.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    What do you mean?
    short names are used most times we use a nime without a patronimic. Their choice is usually limited, some people can prefer to be called in one or another way and introduce themselves like that.
    I see. So, only call people the names they introduce themselves by?
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    that's the safest strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    I see. So, only call people the names they introduce themselves by?
    Yes, usually it's a bulletproof way. You can't get wrong if you call a person by a name he gave you introducing himself.
    Meeting someone every Russian subconsciously evaluates the setting (formal, informal, semi-formal), the people (friends? strangers? younger? older? etc.), mood (friendly, stilted, etc.) and gives some version of his name, that in his opinion suits the situation.

    It's the same for English speakers, isn't it? A man can introduce himself as Mr. Jones talking his daughter's boyfriend, or Bob when he meets someone in a bar. The main difference is that Russians prefer "First name + Patronymic" to "Mr.Last name", and the list of diminutives is longer.

  16. #16
    Hanna
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    It is really sweet when people use a diminuitive though... Seems so to me, anyway!
    Isn't that a sign that you are good friends, or the person likes you?
    Or could it be construed as being rude or overly familiar?

    English, of course - has a fair number of nicknames too. I have noticed that the way that the nicknames are used vary quite a bit between the UK and US, with Americans using the nicknames a lot more, including kids nicknames for adults, i.e Johnny, Jamie etc
    And president "Bill". (real name, William). Here is an explanation for anyone interested
    http://www.cc.kyoto-su.ac.jp/~trobb/nicklist.html

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    Well, gromozeka explained that there are just short names, which are just a standart way to address people without using the patronymic. It can be impossible to address a teacher in this way for example.
    And there are also their derivatives, which contain special emotional shade.

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    So, we rarely call someone Александр, we call him Саша, or Александр Васильевич, for example. He can also be Сашка, Сашок, Сашенька.
    My name, Марк, does not have an official short form, but of course I can be called Марик, Маркуша and so on.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    Meeting someone every Russian subconsciously evaluates the setting (formal, informal, semi-formal), the people (friends? strangers? younger? older? etc.), mood (friendly, stilted, etc.) and gives some version of his name, that in his opinion suits the situation.
    This is what I meant by "intuitive."
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

  20. #20
    Hanna
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    Crazy example of Russians and their nicknames!
    The girl is called Alexandra. How could her nickname be Marussi?
    And what is the deal with Shura, Goga, Gosha..... etc! His actual name is given as Georgi.



    PS - I like this film! Recommended to all women!

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