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Thread: Endings for names?

  1. #1
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    Endings for names?

    Is there a specific meaning behind "pet" names? Or, the endings, I mean... For instance, I know a girl named Julia (Well, actually Yulia, or юля), who is pretty much the whole reason I am learning Russian (insert whipping sound here!) and I have seen her name written as Jul'ka, Ulyacik, Yulenka, and a couple others...
    Is each name unique in how you can change it, or is there some sort of guideline to this?
    Thanks,
    -Fantom
    "Alright, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me, so let's just figure this out and I'll get back to killing you with beer."

  2. #2
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    Some names are different in the way they change with the endings, but just add various -я, -ка, -енька, юшенька, -ик, -ёк and so on. They don't have any specific meaning other than describing something as small(or diminutive). For example, дом - house, домик - little house. "-ito" in Spanish, "-chen, -lein" in German, "-tje" in Dutch, "-ette" in French are all examples of diminutives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    Some names are different in the way they change with the endings, but just add various -я, -ка, -енька, юшенька, -ик, -ёк and so on. They don't have any specific meaning other than describing something as small(or diminutive).
    Absolutely not true. Different endings produce different connotations - some sound cute, some sound ugly. I suppose there can be no rules here, hell, I can't even think of any simple guidelines. You've got to have the feel of a native speaker I suppose. Take that jolly well rogered name of Yulia for instance - there's a world of difference between Yul'ka, Yulen'ka, Yulyasha, Yul'chik, Yul'chonok and Yusik:

    Yul'ka - impolite, not cute at all
    Yulen'ka - sounds kinda rustic (
    Yulyasha - sounds extremely rustic, a-la 'Alyonushkaaaaa' (
    Yul'chik, Yusik - cute, but will probably go down well only with a petite Yulia, you wouldn't really call a piece of lard that
    Yul'chonok - this one's a play on "volchonok" (wolf cub) - kinda cute if the bearer is a petite foxy one, when applied to a piece of lard can sound extremely sarcastic and therefore can be rude and earn you a slap in the face

    Here's another example:
    домик - little house (sounds cute)
    домишка - little house (sounds disparaging)

    Bottom line: one should be very careful when building diminutives - adding an incorrect ending may produce an undesirable result. You may easily come up with a form which sounds impolite/patronising/disparaging/etc. and the Russians may think that you really mean it, especially if your Russian is good. Always consult a native speaker - until you've lived at least 10 years among us, don't even dream about building your own diminutives.

    * - mind you, in parts of North Russia the attituted is somewhat different, also, they have Yul'cha, but I personally find that one ugly, but in their dialect it sounds OK.
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    I know there is a difference in shade of meaning; he was asking if the endings themselves had some intrinsic meaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VendingMachine
    ...
    Yul'ka - impolite, not cute at all
    As for me it's ok to use Yul'ka in two cases:
    1) If everybody calls a person Yul'ka
    2) If it is said with right intonation ( like pretending that you're angry a little bit ) which isn't an easy thing to do for a person who just started learning russian.

    Quote Originally Posted by VendingMachine
    Yulen'ka - sounds kinda rustic (
    Or Yulechka
    I think it's ok, if it is said playfully (and not very often) or if adressing to a child. But it indeed sounds rustic if used in other contexts

    Quote Originally Posted by VendingMachine
    Yulyasha - sounds extremely rustic, a-la 'Alyonushkaaaaa' (
    I don't like it at all

    Quote Originally Posted by VendingMachine
    Yul'chik, Yusik - cute, but will probably go down well only with a petite
    Yulia, you wouldn't really call a piece of lard that
    I don't like it at all. Yusik sounds to me like сюсюкание.

    Quote Originally Posted by VendingMachine
    Yul'chonok - this one's a play on "volchonok" (wolf cub) - kinda cute if the bearer is a petite foxy one, when applied to a piece of lard can sound extremely sarcastic and therefore can be rude and earn you a slap in the face
    ...
    And it sounds kinda patronizing also.

    So my advice on this matter:

    Use Юля most of the time
    Sometimes (in right contexts) it's ok to Юлечка, Юленька or Юлька but not too often anyway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    I know there is a difference in shade of meaning; he was asking if the endings themselves had some intrinsic meaning.
    As a matter of fact they do. Particular endings are used to add particular shades of meaning.
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    Denis
    I'm afraid I disagree - my perception of those Julia nicknames is totally different from yours, and believe you me, there are many who would share my point of view (but of course there must be loads who'd agree with you rather than me). But this only proves my point - don't meddle with diminutives if Russian's not your mother tongue. At least ask around if what you've come up with sounds OK.
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    Fantom605, why don't you ask Julia herself about all the names she's given, and which ones can be used be whom to whom etc. If you don't already speak with her openly, it'll give you an ice-breaker.

  9. #9
    JJ
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    VM, my wife's sister is Юлия, she is younger than me for 9 years so I call her Юлька and it's ok.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    VM, my wife's sister is Юлия, she is younger than me for 9 years so I call her Юлька and it's ok.
    You're a rude git. Sorry.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by VendingMachine
    ... But this only proves my point - don't meddle with diminutives if Russian's not your mother tongue. At least ask around if what you've come up with sounds OK.
    VM, that's my point too

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