Russian Boy Names
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Expecting our first this summer, a boy, and vacillating between a few different names. My husband is Russian and we lived there for several years and would like to avoid giving the baby a name that does not work in Russian at all—as my name, unfortunately, does not (“J” is transliterated “Dzh” into Russian and does not sound at all elegant at the start of a name!). At the same time, we plan to spend the foreseeable future in the States and my husband is particularly sensitive to the possibility of bestowing a name that is so Russian that it might make a future potential employer think twice to wonder whether our son is fluent in English/American culture. (My husband was so intent upon assimilation that he Anglicized his own first name.)
We’re also worried that many of the most common male nicknames (Mischa, Dima, Sasha, etc.) might read as feminine in English, so something that has a good English nickname is a must.
Add to this the fact that Russian naming patterns more closely resemble those in the States sixty years ago—that is, the top ten names probably account for 85% of babies born. All this to say, I have met dozens of people with the names: Andrei, Sergei, Dmitri, Aleksei and Vladimir…and inevitably have a negative association or two with the most popular names.
Our last name begins with an M and we’d like to do Michael as a mn (a family name on my side).
What do you think of:
Lev Michael M_____
Pavel Michael M____ (love the idea of calling a little boy Pavlik, but not sure that we’d want to use the grown up nn of Pasha in American schools)
Alexander Michael M___ (a family name on his side, has easy nn Alex or maybe Alek and the option for his grandparents to call him Sasha)
Nikolai Michael M___ (I think Niko would be an adorable nn in English, but is it my imagination or is that incredibly trendy right now? His grandparents could call him Kolya.)
Thanks in advance for sharing your impressions!
Thu, 04/19/2012 - 2:56pm