Traditional Ukrainian Girls' Names

22.05.2017

The name determines a person’s fate. This statement refers to any culture in the world. Throughout history, giving a name to a newborn child has been the most important issue because of its incredible value for saving cultural heritage.

The names of people from other countries cause pretty much interest, that’s why today we’re going to speak about Ukrainian girl names to understand their meaning better.

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The origin of Slavic names

Ukraine belongs to the group of Slavic countries together with Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovenia, Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries. All of them have an extremely rich history and some common name-giving traditions.

Ukraine has been the heart of the Eastern Slavic culture. About 1500 years ago, the distinctive Slavic names were used for naming babies on the territory of Kievan Rus. They traditionally represented the features of appearance or certain character traits. Some ancient traditional Ukrainian names were inspired by natural phenomena or even the names of plants and animals as people believed that every creature represents a certain power which is inherited by the person that bears that name. A few of them still exist and are quite common Ukrainian names nowadays, for example:

  • Zoryana (means ‘stellar’),slavic-woman
  • Ludmila (‘beloved by people’),
  • Svetlana (‘bright earth’),
  • Bogdana (‘given by God’),
  • Zhadana (‘desirable’).

There also was a tradition of giving two names: the first one was fake to scare away the evil, and the second one was genuine and used among the family and relatives.

The most beautiful and powerful names given to children were the Slavic gods’ names like Lada, Kupala, Morena. When Christianity came to Kievan Rus, the traditional Slavic names gradually disappeared. The pagan names were even banned by the church, which was not surprising. Since then, the Ancient Greek and Hebraic names have been given after birth and baptism.

Nevertheless, the tradition of giving the original Slavic and even pagan names is gaining popularity among Ukrainians today. Moreover, some traditional Western European names came to Ukraine in times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. That is why contemporary Ukrainian female names are so diverse. Let’s check out some of them!

The most popular Ukrainian girls' names

Nowadays, the traditional Greek and Latin names are in trend. The most common Ukrainian names for girls are:

Tatiana. Probably the most popular name among the Ukrainian girls. Coming from the Latin language, it is a female version of the Sabine king’s name Titus Tatius. The name Tatiana means ‘mistress’; it is heavily revered by the Orthodox and Catholics. The short and informal versions are Tanya, Tanechka, and Tanyusha. Girls who have this name are usually elegant, wise, and energetic personalities. The most famous among them are Tatiana Liberman, also known as Tina Karol (a singer) and an outstanding dancer and TV-star Tatiana Denisova.

Anastasia. In Ukraine, this worldwide name is pronounced as it is written. It has a Greek origin and stems from a word anastasis that means resurrection, so this name’s meaning is ‘brought to life’. It is widely used in Ukraine as well as in Russia because of its melody and sacredness to the Orthodoxy as well. The diminutive form of the name Anastasia is Nastya, more tender and informal version – Nastenka. The Ukrainian women called so are incredibly positive and cheerful. The most famous Ukrainian woman who bears this name is a singer Anastasia Prikhodko.

Oksana. There is a common opinion that this name is a Ukrainian conversational form of the name Kseniya. This cute and melodic name has a Greek origin and means ‘hospitality’. Indeed, the name bearers are open-hearted and hospitable. Moreover, they are very active so they always try to use their skills to the fullest. A famous beautiful Ukrainian woman named so is a television host Oksana Marchenko.

Katerina. About 400 years ago, this name was extremely rare on the territory of Ukraine and Russia, but now, this is one of the most popular ones. Katya is a short form of the name, but in conversations with foreigners, they would not mind calling them Catherine or Kate. Translated from Greek, the name means ‘purity’ and ‘innocence’. When you closely meet a Ukrainian woman called Katerina, you will find out they are extremely intelligent, inventive, and glamorous. A gifted and charming TV host and a former fashion model Katerina Osadcha represents a vivid example of the bearer.

anna-sedokova

Yulia. You may not believe in coincidence, but we assure you that the brightest and kindest women in Ukraine are called Julia. Maybe it can be explained with its cute meaning from Greek – ‘fluffy’. Another version of name’s origin is a Latin word Iulia which means ‘July’. But the first one is much nicer, isn’t it? Most girls called Julia seem to be naïve and simple-minded, but in fact, their advantages are sincerity and kindness. They are also extremely creative people. The most famous of them in Ukraine are a singer Yulia Sanina and a politician Yulia Tymoshenko.

Anna. One of the most religiously significant names that is popular in Ukraine is Anna. It was a name of Jesus’ grandmother, so with the adoption of Christianity it has become widely used. Name Anna in Hebrew means ‘grace’ or ‘benevolent’. The Ukrainian form of this name is Ganna or Hanna, the nickname is cute and gentle – Anya. The women called Anna are extremely hardworking, passionate, elegant, and sexy. Look at Anna Sedokova, a famous Ukrainian singer, to make sure.

Recently popular names in Ukraine

The traditional Ukrainian names with Slavic, Greek, or Latin origin are definitely in favor today. Nevertheless you can meet a Ukrainian girl with a western name. This tendency was common mostly in the western region of the country as for the long time, it has been influenced by the European Catholic culture. Now, this trend is rapidly increasing. Such names like Amalia, Gabriela, Daniela, Karolina, Dominica, Stephanie are common today although they may seem strange and foreign to most of the Ukrainians. Another popular tradition of the last decades is giving rare Biblical names like Magda, Azariah, Martha (pronounce ‘Marfa’), and Eve.

The most recent trend is giving exclusive western names popular in English speaking countries. They are Charlotte, Beatrice, Gloria, Juliette, Janet, Clementine, Nicole, Susanna and many others. Some say it destroys a genuine Ukrainian culture, so the trend of giving ancient Slavic names is also increasing as opposed to the western ones.

As you may see, the traditional and recently popular Ukrainian names are very melodic. Nevertheless, whoever you meet at Ukrainian dating sites, be sure this woman is hot, beautiful, smart, skilled, and sincere regardless of name-giving traditions.

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