The Great October Revolution succeeded, spring was approaching, and couples were in a more patriotic mood that ever before. The fashion of revolutionary names was born.
Ranging from the Slavish Vladlen and Volen, through Jewish-sounding Izaida and Izil’, all the way to Georgian-style Krarmija and Lagshmivara, ‘traditional’ Soviet names remained highly regional and ethnicity-specific, despite being constructed of Bolsheviks’ names & slogans.
The fad lasted most of the first half of the twentieth century, roughly until the Great Fatherland War, as WWII is known in the CIS. By then, most of the more ridiculous names disappeared entirely, but some of the better-sounding concoctions remain in active use to this day.
You can find our selection of some of the more interesting exemplars below, or check out a more comprehensive list at Soviet-Empire.
komsomol, komintern, kommunizm
Three “C” – Comsomol, Comintern, communism
I wonder whether this is where W3C took inspiration for its name.
O. Yu. Shmidt na l’dine
O. Yu. Shmidt on a flake of ice
As if Otto Yulyevich Schmidt’s name wasn’t complicated enough as it is.
Valentina Tereshkova – pervaja zhenshhina-kosmonavt
Valentina Tereshkova is a first woman cosmonaut
Many of the names were praising specific events and accomplishments of the Soviet people. In the above example—first woman in space.
Ura, Yura v kosmose
Hurray, Yuri’s in space
I doubt that there are many Russians who can spell or pronounce this name without diligent practice, but it’s hard to blame the parents—how can you think of practicality when Yuri’s breaching the atmosphere!
Pervyj sovetskij stratostat
First Soviet airship
What about the Last Soviet airship?
Pomni reshenie s‘ezdov
Remember the sessions’ decisions
One thing’s for sure: with a name like this, you’ll never forget!
Privet delegatam s‘ezda partii
Greetings to the delegates of the party’s session
Was this the name of the Chief Party Greeter?
Pjatiletku v chetyre goda
Five year plan in four years
This could have been a nice replacement for the renowned Stakhanov.
Ya s Leninym i Krupskoj
I’m with Lenin and Krupskaja
Classic example of names praising Soviet leaders, in this case—Lenin and his wife.
Vladimir Il’ich ne umrjot nikogda
Vladimir Il’ich will never die
Which leads us to our next name…
Lenin umer, idei zhivy
Lenin died but his ideas live on
Hello! It’s-a-me, Mario! I mean, Luigi! No, Luidzhi!
Lenin, Oktjabr’skaja revoljucija, industrializacija, elektrifikacija, radiofikacija i kommunizm
Lenin, October Revolution, industrialisation, electrification, radiofication and communism
If you don’t believe that the above monstrosity is real, I personally know a person who’s classmate was called Electrification (Электрификация).
District’s printing press
Looks like Gutenberg’s invention had a much more pronounced effect on society than he might ever have expected.
Da zdravstvuet smychka goroda i derevni
Glory to the ties between the city and the countryside
Last but not least.
Have you ever met someone with one of the names from the list? What are some crazy names where you live?