Why do Russians have “V” in their names?

This is an answer from quora.com and I think it could be interesting not only for those who don’t know Russian language or learning it.\n

Answer by Alice Tsymbarevich:


-ov(a), -ev(a) and -in(a) are suffixes denoting “of the”, “belonging to” (-ov does sound a bit like of, doesn’t it? Easy to remember!). They are mostly added to first names or professions, showing an etymology that the first bearer of this surname was:\n- Ivan/ov = of Ivan’s family (cf. English Johnson)\n- Petr/ov = of Pyotr’s family (cf. English/Scandinavian Peterson)\n- Kuznets/ov = of the smith’s family (cf. English Smith)\n- Tsar/yov = of Tsar’s family/circle/property (cf. English Kingsman)\n- Medved/ev = of the Bear (could be a nickname for some dude in the past that became a nickname for his entire family)\n- Mark/in = of Mark’s family (Len/in, Put/in, Solzhenits/yn – the same suffix)

-sk(i/aya) is the suffix that also shows belonging, popular in Western Russian and Polish surnames (Russian examples would be Vladimir/ski, Bel/ski). Surnames and adjectives combining those two suffixes are pretty frequent, e.g. Petr/ov/ski, Hvorost/ov/ski.

\nThe same goes for the names of Russian towns.\n\nWhy do Russians have “V” in their names?

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