Short names in Russian

Short Russian names. Learn more about:

  1. Russian names in general
  2. Short forms

Russian names in general

In Russian, we have many different name forms. We can divide them in 4 broad groups:

Name + patronymic (in very official situations or with a boss)
Name (people we do not know well)
Short name (conversation)
Short name with a suffix (to express feelings, e.g. love or disdain)

It is very difficult to translate Russian names in other languages, as these differences are specific, and the meaning cannot be easily conveyed.

Short forms

We have these variants of short names in Russian:

1. Short form (Natalia – Natasha)
We use this form in conversation with friends and acquaintances. It does not show emotions. However, if someone wants to be serious or to say something important, he may use the official name, which is written in documents.
2. Short form without a vocal in the end (Natash)
It is the colloquial form of a short name. We use them when we address a person in an informal situation.
3. Diminutive form of the name for showing affection (Natashinka, Natusik, Natulya)
These forms are made by using suffixes. There are many of them and they can be various. We use these forms to show our emotions, i.e. we show our affection for that person
Parents and grandparents usually use these forms for their children and grandchildren respectively. Also, they are used when people have close relationships, like close friends or a couple.
4. Form with a suffix -ka (Natashka)
It is used when you want to look down on a person. Earlier, it was used in villages, but now it is not used so much. If you use it, you show your annoyance.
5. Colloquial rude form (Nataha)
It is used in villages, and usually by people who are not very educated.

I recommend using only the official name and a short form. Foreigners can easily make a mistake and express something incorrectly.

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