Oxana


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Hospitality.”

Pronunciation: (ahks-AH-nah)

Nicknames: Ox, Oxi, Oka, Xana, Xani

Ukrainian form of the Greek Xenia, meaning “hospitality “.

Xenia was a 5th century saint.

Female Variations:

  • Aksinya (Russian)
  • Ksenia (Polish)
  • Ksenija (Slovene, Croatian)
  • Oksana (Ukrainian, Russian)
  • Oxana (Ukrainian, Russian)
  • Senja (Finnish)
  • Xena (Modern)
  • Xene (Greek)
  • Xenia (Greek)
  • Zena (English)
  • Zenia (English)

Olga


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Holy, blessed.”

Pronunciation: (OL-gah); (AWL-gah)

Nicknames: Oli, Ola, Olgi, Olya

Details: Russian form of Helga. From the from Old Norse name Helgi, derived from heilagr meaning “holy, blessed”.

The 10th-century Saint Olga was the wife of Igor I.

Uliana


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Russian from Greek

Meaning: “Downy-bearded.”

Pronunciation: (oo-lee-AH-nuh)

Nicknames: Uli, Ula, Una, Iana

Russian form of Julius, possibly derived from Greek ιουλος (ioulos) “downy-bearded”.

Matryona


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Russian from Latin

Meaning: “Mother.”

Pronunciation: (mah-tree-OH-nuh)

Nicknames: Mona, Mattie, Trya, Tony

Detail: The name Matryona is related to the Latin root mater meaning “mother”.

Matryona’s Place (sometimes Matryona’s Home or House) is a story written in 1959 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It is the tale of an old peasant woman’s determined struggle against cold, hunger, and greedy relatives.

Rodion


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Russian

Meaning: “Song of the hero.”

Pronunciation: (RAH-dee-on)

Nicknames: Rod, Rodo

Detail: Rodion comes from the Greek name Heroides meaning “song of the hero” from heros “hero, warrior” and oides “song, ode”.

Rodion is the central character of Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky.

Zorya


A girl plays with a tame wolf in the village of Nadbiarezha

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Ukrainian

Meaning: “Rising star.”

Pronunciation: (ZOHR-yah)

Nicknames: Zori, Zor, Zora, Zoro

Detail: The future of our universe rests in the hands of three young women, the Zorya. The most important task of these heavenly Slavic stunners is to guard over the doomsday dog who tries to eat the constellation Ursa Minor (the little bear). If the dog ever breaks free from the chain, the universe will end.

In ancient Slavic mythology, the Zorya are the guardian goddesses of sky and light. There was the morning star (Utrennyaya); the evening star (Vechernyaya); and the midnight Zorya (Polunochnaya).

Avdotya


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Russian from Greek

Meaning: “Pleasure; delight; to seem well.”

Pronunciation: (ahv-DOHT-yah)

Nicknames: Ava, Avda; Duni

Detail: Russian variation of the Greek Eudokia.

Dunja is a diminutive form of Avdotya.

Dunja also means “quince” in the South Slavic languages, a quince being a type of fruit.

In Crime and Punishment, Avdotya is as clever, proud, and beautiful as her brother Rodion, the protagonist, but she is also ethical and kindhearted. She is called Dunya (DOON-yah), Dounia or Dunechka for short.

Alena


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Czech / Gaelic Meaning: “Rock.”

Origin: French Meaning: “Bird; Hazelnut.”

Origin: Greek Meaning: “Bright one; shining one; defender of men.”

Pronunciation: (ah-LEY-nah)

Nicknames: Ala, Ali, Lena, Leni

Detail: Saint Alena was a Belgian martyr.

Variations:

  • Ailina
  • Aleena (English)
  • Alena
  • Alene (English and Czech)
  • Aleni
  • Alenia
  • Alenka (English, Russian, and Slavic)
  • Alenna
  • Alenya
  • Alyna (Russian)