A primer on Belarusian names

My large Zyuganov family is Belarusian, so it’s only fitting I continue my “A primer on __________ names” series with Belarusian names.

Transliteration:

If you can read Russian, you can learn to read Belarusian very quickly. It’s even closer to the Russian alphabet than Ukrainian, though like Ukrainian, Belarusian also pronounces the Geh as an H. Also like Ukrainian, there’s a Geh with an upturn (Ґ) which is pronounced like a G. It’s only used for foreign words and names. Unlike Ukrainian or Russian, there’s no letter И (I), but only І і, a letter which disappeared from Russian in 1918. There’s no Shch letter as there is in Russian, and there’s a short U (Ў), which is unique to the Belarusian alphabet. It’s sort of similar to the Polish Ł sound (i.e., W). The combination letter сь is pronounced SH. The final letter, Я, is pronounced as Ya but may be transliterated as Ja. Penultimate letter Ю is likewise pronounced Yu but may be transliterated Ju.

Patronymics:

Like Russians and Ukrainians, Belarusians too have patronymics. The ending -avich/-avna is used for names ending in consonants (e.g., Aleksandravna, Avturavich), and -yevich/-yevna is used for names ending in vowels (e.g., Syarheyevich, Dzmitriyevna). There are, again, a few names which take irregular patronymical forms, such as Foma (Fomich, Fomichna) and Pyatro (Pyatravna, Pyatravich). I honestly had to stumble onto the little information I could find. If you’re Belarusian, feel free to fill in more details or corrections!

Surnames:

The most common endings for Belarusian surnames are -vich, -ka, -enka, -ak, -enya, -onak, -yonak, -yuk, -chuk, -uk, and -ich. There are also a number of -skiy/-skaya names, and since there was such Russian domination over the region for so long, and proximity to Poland, it’s not unusual to find native Belarusians with surnames of Russian or Polish origin. Similarly, since the Belarusian language wasn’t really developed or widely used till the late 19th and early 20th century, it would be very common for older Belarusians, and Belarusians in bygone eras, to have had Russian or Polish forenames as well.

Common names and their nicknames:

Female:

Adarka, Odarka (Darka)
Adelyayda (Adela, Adusya) (Adelaide)
Ahata (Agatha)
Ahnesya (Agnes)
Aksana, Aksenya (Oksana)
Ala
Alena (Alinka)
Alyaksandra (Alesya)
Alzhbeta (Elizabeth)
Anastasiya, Nastassya (Nasta, Nastulya, Nastusya, Stasya)
Anna
Arkadzya (Arcadia)
Arshula (Ursula)
Bahumila (Bogumila)
Bahuslava (Bahusya) (Boguslava)
Balaslava
Branislava
Bratsyslava
Chaslava (Cheslava)
Dabramila
Daminika (Dominique)
Darya, Darja (Darka)
Fanya
Frantsishka (Franya) (Frances)
Habrusya (Gabriella)
Halina (Halusya)
Hanna (Hanka, Hanula, Hanusya)
Hela (Helka)
Iryna, Aryna (Irene)
Izyaslava
Kalina, Kulina
Karalina (Karusya)
Katsyaryna (Kastusya, Kasya) (Katherine)
Kazimira
Khryshtsina (Khryshtsya) (Christina)
Klaŭdzya (Claudia)
Larysa
Laŭra, Laŭrela
Lyubava (Lyuba) (Amy)
Lyudmila
Lyutsyna (Lucina)
Magdusya (Magdalena)
Mahareta (Margaret)
Malanya (Malanka) (Melanie)
Marta
Maryya, Maryja, Marya, Marja (Mara, Marka, Maryla, Marysya)
Matruna (Matryona, Matrona)
Mikhalina
Milalslava (Mila)
Miraslava (Mira)
Nadzeya (Nadezhda; Hope)
Natallya (Natala, Natalina)
Palaha (Pelagia)
Paraska (Priscilla)
Paŭla, Paŭlina (Paŭlinka)
Rada
Radzislava (Radusya)
Raina
Razala (Rosalie)
Renya
Ruzha (Rose)
Ruzhana (Rosanna)
Slavamira
Stanislava
Tadora (Theodora)
Taresya (Theresa)
Tatsyana (Tatyana)
Uladzislava (Uladzya) (Vladislava)
Ullyana (Juliana)
Valera (Valerie)
Valyantsina (Valentina)
Vasilina
Vera
Veranika
Vitala
Volha (Volya) (Olga)
Yanina (Yanya, Yanusya)
Yuliya (Yulya)
Yustyna (Yusta) (Justine)
Zdzislava
Zvenislava

Male:

Adam
Alizar
Alyaksandr
Alyaksey
Ambros
Andrey (Andruk, Andryk, Andrush)
Anton (Antonik, Antosh, Antuk)
Arkadzey (Arkadz) (Arkadiy, Arcadius)
Artsyom
Bagumil
Bahdan (Bodgan)
Bahuslaŭ (Boguslav)
Barys (Boris)
Branislaŭ
Budzimir
Chaslaŭ (Cheslav)
Dabramil
Danila, Daniley, Danyl (Danik, Danilik, Danish, Danylko) (Daniel)
Davyd
Dzmitry, Zmitser
Frantsishak (Francis)
Habrush (Gabriel)
Harasim (Gerasim)
Hilar
Hipalit
Hleb (Gleb)
Hryharey (Gregory)
Ihar (Igor)
Ihnat (Ihnash) (Ignace)
Illya (Illyash, Ilka) (Elijah)
Ivan (Ivash)
Kazimir (Kazik)
Kiryla
Kryshtop, Khrystafor (Krystush) (Christopher)
Ksaver (Xavier)
Ladzimir (Ladzik, Ladush)
Leanid
Lukhym
Lyavon (Lyavush)
Lyutsyyan, Lyutsyjan (Lucian)
Makar
Maksim
Martsin (Marush, Maruk) (Martin)
Matviy (Matviyko) (Matthew)
Mikhalay, Mikhail, Mikhayla, Mikhal (Mikhalik) (Michael)
Mikita (Nikita)
Mikola (Nicholas)
Milaslaŭ
Miraslaŭ
Miron (Miruk, Mirush)
Mitrypan (Mitrofan)
Mstsislaŭ (Mstislav)
Nykyfor
Pavel, Paval (Paŭlyuk, Paŭlush) (Paul)
Pilip, Pilipey (Philip)
Prakop, Prokip
Pyatro, Pyotra, Petruso (Petryk, Pyatruk, Pyatrush) (Peter)
Radzislaŭ
Rastsislaŭ (Rodzka, Rostsik) (Rostislav)
Ruslan
Samul (Samush) (Samuel)
Savastsyan (Sebastian)
Savel (Savosh)
Slavamir (Slavik, Slavuk, Slavush, Stash)
Stafan
Stanislaŭ
Symon, Tsimon (Tsimosh)
Svyataslaŭ (Svyatoslav)
Syarhey (Serhush, Syarzhuk)
Tamash (Thomas)
Taras
Todar (Theodore)
Tsikhamir
Tsypryyan, Tsypryjan
Uladzimir (Uladzish, Ulas) (Vladimir)
Uladzislaŭ (Uladzish, Ulas) (Vladislav)
Valadar
Valyantsin (Valentin)
Vasil, Bazyl (Vasilok, Vasilka)
Viktar
Yakiv, Yakub (Yakush) (Jakob)
Yan (Yanik, Yanka, Yanuk, Yanush)
Yaramir (Yarash, Yarik, Yarosh, Yarush)
Yaraslaŭ, Jaraslaŭ
Yazep (Joseph)
Yullyan (Yulish) (Julian)
Yury, Yuray, Yurey (Yurash, Yurka)
Zasim (Zosim)

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