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Subject: Re: Russian Names - 1920s and 1940s Era
Author: klundtacular   (Authenticated as klundtacular)
Date: January 23, 2013 at 8:44:02 PM
Reply to: Russian Names - 1920s and 1940s Era by damsel
Have you tried looking into censuses from that time period? I'm guessing Vera and Olga and Helena would be good no matter what the time period.

However I have a couple of questions (as I've studied Russian naming conventions a tiny bit).

1) Palvovich is not the surname? If it is not, the middle name is a patronymic, i.e. based off of the father's first name. The patronymic for children whose father's name is Sergey/Sergei would be Sergeyevich (boy), and Sergeyevna (girl). So the MC's brother's name should be Ivan Sergeyevich -surname-. MC's sister's name should be Natalia Sergeyevna -surname.

Middle name patronymics became in use when Russia standarized last names when they did their first census. They had patronymic last names until then.

However, the female last names are different than the male last names because they are feminine nouns owned by a male noun. Commonly female last names end with -a. So Ivan's last name might be Putin then Natalia's last name would be Putina or it could be Ivan Petrov and Natalia Petrova. If you already know this, sorry for being reduntant.

2) Are all your characters born in Russia/USSR? When picking how to spell a Russian name in English who was born in Russia you actually need to think about the person who wrote the names down at Ellis Island (or whichever entry point into the US they used). Would that person spell the name Julia as Julia or as Yulia? If the sister, for example, was born in the US she would most likely have the spelling of Julia and the family would pronounce it as Yulia at home. However, if the sister was born in the US and they wanted everyone to pronounce her name as they would, she would have the name spelled Yulia. These are important things to think about when naming a character. Also if the sister was born in the US she would most likely have her father's version of the last name whereas if she were born in Russia/USSR she would have the standard Russian ending.

~Raging and quivering female mass of hormones and tosser of Dark Side Cookies™ (trade marked by Etoile)

This message was edited by the author on January 23, 2013 at 9:37:53 PM

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