Full Russian names are the middle name, the name, and the last name. And the middle name is what distinguishes the system of Russian names from the systems adopted in other countries. And as additional forms of the name, there are diminutive or nicknames.

The nickname could be given to a man at any age. It was associated with its owner even more closely than the name received at birth. The nickname spoke, for example, about some trait of a person or a place where he once lived. Most often the nickname was known only to the family and to some of the good friends, but in everyday life, it was used very actively.

Despite the fine line between ancient Russian names and nicknames, they were still not the same. It is very difficult to define the boundaries between these concepts. For example, Russian women gave their children names to protect them from evil or unkind acts. Such names were derived from words that denoted any plants, animals or household items – and, of course, were very similar to nicknames.

The year of baptism (988th) was a turning point for Russia. Since then, much has changed in the name of the name, predetermining the system of names for many centuries to come. Now the Russians, like the rest of the Eastern Slavs, who used to call their children personal names until the end of the 10th century, were forced to get used to the concept of “the christening name.”

Then there were most of the names, which to this day are considered modern Russians. The new orders obliged parents to give the children a name only through the rite of baptism – only so the name could be considered correct and real.

Christian names had a variety of origins – Latin, Greek, Hebrew, because the Byzantine Greeks gathered together the “representatives” of the peoples who came into contact with them. The saints included even some “general Slavic” (Vladimir, Vsevolod, Sviatoslav, Yaroslav), as well as Scandinavian names (Igor, Olga, Oleg). However, they were considered a privilege of the high class, and commoners, as a rule, they were not awarded.