Ukrainian names and other names popular in Ukraine



Each year, about 30 Ukrainian names are identified as the most popular among parents who have newborn babies in Ukraine. According to statistics of local Bureaus of Vital Statistics and Marriage Licensing, top baby boy names are Олександр (Oleksandr), Максим (Maksym), Владислав (Vladyslav) and Дмитро (Dmytro); top baby girl names are Анастасія (Anastasia), Анна (Anna), Софія (Sophia), Єлизавета (Yelyzaveta), Марія (Maria) and Катерина (Kateryna).

Ukrainian names and names of other origin that are also popular in Ukraine:

  • Baby boy names: Артем (Artem), Іван (Ivan), Ілля (Illia), Микита (Mykyta) / Нікіта (Nikita), Данило (Danylo) / Данііл (Daniil) / Данил (Danyl), Кирило (Kyrylo) / Кірілл (Kirill), Андрій (Andrii), Єгор (Yegor), Володимир (Volodymyr), Богдан (Bogdan), and Назар (Nazar).
  • Baby girl names: Ганна (Hanna), Дар’я (Daria) / Дарина (Daryna), Вікторія (Viktoria), Аліна (Alina), Вероніка (Veronika), Крістіна (Kristina) / Христина (Khrystyna), Юлія (Yulia), Олександра (Oleksandra), Валерія (Valeria), Діана (Diana).

Actually, not all these names are traditional Ukrainian names. Some are of foreign, especially Russian, origin. Ukrainians tend to show preference for foreign names, even if there are Ukrainian analogues of foreign names. For example, Ukrainians prefer Нікіта (foreign) to Микита (Ukrainian), Крістіна (foreign) to Христина (Ukrainian), Марк (foreign) to Марко (Ukrainian).

Foreign names account for about 20 percent of names given to newborns in Ukraine. Don’t be surprised to meet Ukrainians with such Western European names as Роберт (Robert), Ерік (Eric), Генріх (Henry), Фелікс (Felix), Альфред (Alfred), Герман (Herman), Еміль (Emile), Емілія (Emily), Агата (Agatha), Моніка (Monica), Ванесса (Vanessa), Кароліна (Carolina), Ізабелла (Isabella), Евеліна (Evelina), and Віолетта (Violet).

Aboriginal Russian names (such as Варвара (Varvara), Поліна (Polina), Аріна (Arina), Ніколай (Nikolai), Родіон (Rodion) and Акім (Akim)) are getting increasingly popular too.

Many newborn Ukrainians receive Eastern names, which is explained by the fact that Ukraine is a home for many national minorities. In particular, baby girls receive such names as Аміна (Amina), Лейла (Leila), Саліма (Salima), and Гульнар (Gulnar); baby boys receive such names as Хан (Khan), Абдул-Рахім (Abdul-Rakhim), Сімбат (Simbat), and Самір (Samir).

In addition, local Bureaus of Vital Statistics and Marriage Licensing note the increasing number of archaic Ukrainian names. Among archaic names most frequent are:

  • Baby boy names: Захарій (Zakharii), Лука (Luka), Любомир (Liubomyr), Радомір (Radomir), Єлисей (Yelysei), Матвій (Matvii), Лаврентій (Lavrentii), Макар (Makar), Савелій (Savelii), Борислав (Boryslav), and Аристарх (Arystarkh);
  • Baby girl names: Мстислава (Mstyslava), Злата (Zlata), Соломія (Solomia), Роксолана (Roksolana), Марфа (Marfa), Уляна (Uliana), and Василина (Vasylyna)

Another tendency is to give Ukrainian children biblical names: Адам (Adam), Єва (Eve), Мойсей (Moses), Давид (David), Каїн (Cain), Самуїл (Samuel), Лука (Luke), Аврам (Abraham), Рувим (Reuben), Рахіль (Rachel), Сара (Sara), Магдалина (Magdalene), and Есфір (Esther). This tendency is especially pronounced in western regions of Ukraine.

At the same time, there is a tendency towards a sharp decline in popularity of Ukrainian names that have been popular in the 1980s-1990s:

  • masculine: Сергій (Serhii), Леонід (Leonid), Григорій (Hryhorii), Георгій (Heorhii), Ярослав (Yaroslav), Михайло (Mykhailo), Василь (Vasyl), Валентин (Valentyn), Віктор (Viktor);
  • feminine: Світлана (Svitlana), Наталя (Natalia), Оксана (Oksana), Ірина (Iryna), Галина (Halyna), Олена (Olena), Ольга (Olga), Любов (Liubov), Ніна (Nina), Лідія (Lidia), Надія (Nadia), Лариса (Larysa), Ярослава (Yaroslava), and Майя (Maia).

Popularity of Ukrainian names differs from region to region. However, the name Марія (Maria) is one of the most popular Ukrainian names actually in all regions of Ukraine.

Source: Materials about Ukrainian names published on the website of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine

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_____________________________________________________________________ Website owner: Irina Lychak, self-employed freelance linguist, Russian translator, Ukrainian translator, Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine

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