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Thread: Is this a Russian surname?

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    Is this a Russian surname?

    I was watching a Russian film, and saw the surname "Nikulin" among the credits, spelled exactly that way. Can't remember what the Russian spelling was, I read the subtitles. Would you say that sounds like a Russian name, or not Russian? My grandmother had this name before she was married. It is not a common name in Sweden, but it does not sound particularly foreign either, just not a common Swedish surname. Now I am curious if one of her ancestors might have been Russian - perhaps hundreds of years ago. Or maybe it is just a German name.. (that's what I assumed, although I never gave it any thought until now).

  2. #2
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  3. #3
    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    yes, this is quite a typical Russian name.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Thanks!! That's interesting. I guess some of her distant ancestors must have been Russian then although I never knew about it. Tons of Swedish surnames end with -in, so it never really seemed unusual or noteworthy to me until I noticed the name in the film. She has never mentioned anything about Russian ancestry, sadly she died earlier this year, so now I can't ask about it.

    Actually, I have seen the actor Yuri Nikulin in some older comedy films, surely a very talented actor!

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    To add suffix -ин in Russian is one of the ways to form possessive adjective from noun:
    мама - mom
    мамин - mom's

    Is it the same in Swedish?
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  6. #6
    Hanna
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    Oh! Hmm... In Swedish, this ending for a surname makes no sense, it means nothing. Yet it is quite common. Practically all other common endings in Swedish surnames mean something.

    -son (most common, "son of")
    -dal (valley)
    -berg (mountain)
    -ström (river)
    -bäck (stream)
    ... etc

    The -in ending is also common, but I think the meaning has been lost in time, or maybe the names are originally foreign. This type of names are quite common though so it seems a bit unlikely. Some common names like this are Bolin, Dalin, Salin, Modin, Molin, Nordin, Vallin, Melin, Kalin. The emphasis is always on the end syllable.

    It's been interesting, as I've been studying Russian, to find that Russian surnames also are based on descriptions of the place where a family might have lived. Most Finnish surnames are also formed this way. In English, it is more common with surnames based on ancient professions but that is less common in Swedish. Not sure about Russian.

  7. #7
    Властелин
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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    To add suffix -ин in Russian is one of the ways to form possessive adjective from noun:
    мама - mom
    мамин - mom's

    Is it the same in Swedish?
    That could possibly mean ancestors of those with these surnames ending in "in" could have belonged to somebody who possessed them?

  8. #8
    Старший оракул
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Some common names like this are Bolin, Dalin, Salin, Modin, Molin, Nordin, Vallin, Melin, Kalin. The emphasis is always on the end syllable.
    Putin, Lenin, Stalin. The stress on the first syllable.

    There are 2896 entries for name Никулин and 3230 for Никулина in the Moscow phone book.

    P.S. Иванов - 41496, Иванова - 47890

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