By Katya Tylevich
Aw. If it isn't little Privatizatsia ("Privatization") and darling Viagra, two Russian newborns who stand almost no chance of leading happy childhoods thanks to the names bestowed upon them by their loving parents. In Soviet times, it was not unusual to have a friend named Stalina or an enemy named Ninel (read it backwards for a "come on" moment). In fact, early Bolsheviks were suckers for "Red Baptisms" which branded miserable young souls with names like Melor (acronym for "Marx Engels Lenin October Revolution"). Today, the Moscow registry office notes an increase in modern equivalents of politicized or otherwise attention-getting monikers. Patriotism is stimulus for a name like Kosmos ("Space"), of course, but there's also the idea that a child named for a prescription boner drug will stand out next to a ho-hum Volodya or Katya, and profit for it. Might as well just name the kid "Opportunist" and be done with it.
Since Russian parents are now in the market for eyebrow-raisers, perhaps we can be of service. Below, our votes for Russian names -- some Soviet, some literary, some straight up old school -- that we want to see get more wear. Listen up, members of Nashi. We know you've been procreating.
In alphabetical order:
Akulina (f.) -- "Akula" means "shark," so this is like "sharkessa"
Agafon (m.) -- So you want to name your child "Agatha," but you can't pronounce the "th" sound, and your child is a boy. Russia has a solution.
Barikada (f.) -- from the word "Barricade"
Elektrifikatsiya (f.) -- literally means "Electrification"
Kim (m.) -- Another anglicism? No, an acronym for "Communist Youth International" [Коммунистический интернационал молодёжи]
Oktyabrina (f.) -- from the word "October" as in "October Revolution"
Vladilen (m.) -- as in "VLAdimir Ilyich LENin"