Ukrainian names: origin and meaning

From long ago Ukrainians thoroughly chose names for their babies, because they knew – child’s destiny may depend on chosen name. While choosing a name, parents wanted to guarantee a numen protection. That’s why Ukrainian princes and hetmans had glorious names such as Izyaslav (one who gets his glory) and Bohdan (one who is given by God). Here you will find Ukrainian baby names with transliteration.

Ukrainian names origin

The etymology of Old Ukrainian (pre-Christian) names can be easily traced. Names for children were chosen according to family life circumstances. For example, a long-desired child got the name Zhdan (from the word “zhdat’” – “to wait”), surprise baby – Nezhdan (“ne-” – negative prefix + “zhdat’” – “to wait”). The first son in a family was named Odynets’ (“odyn” – “one”), the third – Tretyak (“tretiy” – “the third”).

Names with negative connotation were given in order to protect children from malign forces (for example, Gore – meaning “misfortune”, Zahvoray – from “zahvority” – “take sick”.

At the end of X century Kievan Rus’ adopted Christianity, and Christian names of Greek, Latin, Hebrew origin replaced Old Russian names, though Old Russian names were in use along with new Christian names for a long period of time.

Modern Ukrainian names

The list of contemporary Ukrainian names consists of:

  • Byzantine Christian names loaned along with Christianity adoption in X century. The most popular Ukrainian names such as Ivan, Oleksiy, Petro, Kateryna, Fedir are Christian names.
  • Old Russian names: Volodymyr, Rostyslav, Vsevolod, calques from Greek – Bohdan, Ukrainian female names Vira, Lyubov, Nadiya, some names of Scandinavian origin – Igor, Oleg, Olga.
  • Names, loaned from West Slavic and South Slavic languages: Vanda, Ruzhena, Vlasta, Kvitoslava.
  • New names appeared in Soviet times (XX century): Ukrainian girl names Volya, Svoboda, Slava, Liliya etc.
  • Names loaned from West European languages: Arnold, Albert, Zhanna, Artur, Eleonora. Such names became usual due to popular books and films.

Regional specific features

Although the Ukrainian names system is the same for the whole country, regional specific features can be found (especially in the Western Ukraine due to territorial and political, geographic factors).



For example, among the common Ukrainian names in Zakarpattia there are loans from:

  • Hungarian (Pishta, Tibor, Feri, Imbri);
  • Czech (Vozhena, Vlasta);
  • Polish (Bronya, Kasya);
  • Romanian (Floriy, Liana, Nikora);
  • German (Rudi, Vili, Termina, Terta).

Some common names in West Ukrainian dialects have different spelling: Dmytro – Gmytro, Marysya – Maryshya, Antin – Gantin.

Ukrainian women (girl, female) names

Name Origin Meaning
Alina (Аліна) Greek Light
Alla (Алла) Scandinavian Handywoman
Anastasiya (Анастасія) Ancient Greek Resurrection
Bohdana (Богдана) Slavic Given by God
Bohuslava (Богуслава) Slavic Glorifying God
Bozhena (Божена) Slavic God’s
Daryna (Дарина) Slavic God’s gift
Ganna (Ганна) Latin/Greek/Hebrew Favor, Full of grace
Galyna (Галина) Ancient Greek Calmness
Inna (Інна) Latin Fast-flowing stream
Iryna (Ірина) Ancient Greek Peace
Ivanna (Іванна) Hebrew/Greek/Latin God is gracious
Kateryna (Катерина) Greek Pure
Khrystyna (Христина) Ancient Greek Follower of Christ
Kseniya (Ксенія) Greek Hospitality
Larysa (Лариса) Ancient Greek Sea-gull
Liliya (Лілія) Latin Lily
Lidiya (Лідія) Greek Woman from Lydia/Beautiful
Lyubov (Любов) Slavic Love
Lyudmyla (Людмила) Slavic Nice to people
Mariya (Марія)/ Marichka (Марічка) Hebrew/Greek/Latin Beloved/Star of the sea/love
Maryna (Марина) Latin Of the sea
Myroslava (Мирослава) Slavic Glorious
Nadiya (Надія) Slavic Hope
Nataliya/Natalka (Наталія/Наталка) Latin Blessed
Nina (Ніна) Slavic Dream, dreamer
Oksana (Оксана) Ancient Greek Foreigner/Hospitable
Oleksandra (Олександра)/Olesya (Олеся) Ancient Greek Protector of man
Olena (Олена) Greek Sun light
Olga (Ольга) Old Norse Holy
Polina (Поліна) French Little
Ruslana (Руслана) Turkic/Persian Lioness
Sofiya (Софія) Ancient Greek Wisdom
Solomiya (Соломія) Hebrew Peace
Svitlana (Світлана) Slavic Pure, light
Tamara (Тамара) Hebrew Palm tree
Tetyana (Тетяна) Latin From Roman clan name ‘Tatius’
Valentyna (Валентина) Latin Healthy, strong
Vasylyna (Василина) Greek Queenly
Victoriya (Вікторія) Latin Victory
Vira (Віра) Slavic Faith
Vitaliya (Віталія) Latin Vital
Vladyslava (Владислава) Slavic Holding glory
Yaroslava (Ярослава) Slavic Fervent worship of God
Yelyzaveta (Єлизавета) Hebrew/Greek My God is abundance
Zlata (Злата) Slavic Gold, Golden
Zoryana (Зоряна) Slavic Stellar

Ukrainian men (boy, male) names

Name Origin Meaning
Anatoliy (Анатолій) Greek Sunrise
Andriy (Андрій) Ancient Greek Courageous
Anton/Antin (Антон/Антін) Latin From Roman clan name ‘Antonius’
Artem (Артем) Greek Unhurt
Bohdan (Богдан) Slavic Given by God
Bohuslav (Богуслав) Slavic Glorifying God
Borys (Борис) Bulgarian Successor
Boryslav (Борислав) Slavic Fighting for fame
Danylo (Данило) Hebrew God is my judge
Davyd (Давид) Hebrew Favorite
Denys (Денис) Greek Belonging to Dionysus
Dmytro (Дмитро) Greek Belonging to Demeter
Fedir (Федір) Ancient Greek Gift from above
Georgiy (Георгій) Greek Farmer
Glib (Гліб) Old Norse Hair of God
Grygoriy (Григорій) Greek Watchful
Igor (Ігор) Old Norse Protected
Illya (Ілля) Hebrew My God is He
Ivan (Іван) Hebrew God is gracious
Kostyantyn (Костянтин) Latin Constant
Kuzma (Кузьма) Greek Universe
Kyrylo (Кирило) Ancient Greek Masterful
Leonid (Леонід) Greek Son of lion
Maksym (Максим) Latin The greatest
Marko (Марко) Latin God of war
Matviy (Матвій) Hebrew Given by God
Mykhailo (Михайло) Hebrew Like God
Mykola (Микола) Greek Victory of people
Mykyta (Микита) Greek Winner
Nazar (Назар) Hebrew From Nazareth
Oleg (Олег) Old Norse Holy
Oleksandr (Олександр) Ancient Greek Protector of man
Orest (Орест) Greek He who stands on the mountain
Oleksiy (Олексій) Greek Defender
Ostap (Остап) Greek Steady
Panas (Панас) Greek Immortal
Pavlo (Павло) Latin Rare
Petro (Петро) Ancient Greek Stone
Pylyp (Пилип) Ancient Greek Fond of horses
Roman (Роман) Latin Of Rome
Rostyslav (Ростислав) Slavic To increase glory
Ruslan (Руслан) Turkic Lion
Sergiy (Сергій) Latin From Roman clan name ‘Sergius’
Stepan (Степан) Greek Corona
Svyatoslav (Святослав) Slavic One who worships the light
Taras (Тарас) Greek Son of God Poseidon
Tymofiy (Тимофій) Greek Honoring a god
Vasyl (Василь) Greek Royal, kingly
Vitaliy (Віталій) Latin Vital
Vladyslav (Владислав) Slavic Holding glory
Volodymyr (Володимир) Slavic Of great power
Yakiv (Яків) Hebrew Seizing by the heel
Yaroslav (Ярослав) Slavic Glory of the sun
Yevhen (Євген) Greek Noble


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