Why do some Russian surnames end with “-in”, while others – with “-ov”

Original surnames are considered to be those that end with “-ov”, “-ev” or “-in” (“-yn”). Why, then, are they most often worn by Russians? Where did the surnames for “-ov” or “-ev” come from?

Surnames with the suffixes “-ov” or “-ev” are, according to various sources, 60-70% of the indigenous inhabitants of Russia. It is believed that mainly these names are of generic origin. At first they came from patronymics. For example, Peter, the son of Ivan, was called Peter Ivanov. After the surnames came into official use (and this happened in Russia in the XIII century), the surnames began to be given by the name of the eldest in the family. That is, the son, the grandson, and the great-grandson of Ivan became Ivanovs. But surnames were given by nicknames. So, if a person, for example, was nicknamed Bezborodov, then his descendants received the name Bezborodov. Often given surnames by occupation. The son of a blacksmith bore the surname Kuznetsov, the son of a carpenter – Plotnikov, the son of a potter – Goncharov, the priest – Popov. Their children received the same surname.

Surnames with the suffix “-ev” were given to those whose ancestors bore names and nicknames, and also whose professions ended in a soft consonant – for example, the son of Ignatius was called Ignatiev, the son of a man nicknamed Snegir – Snegirev, the son of a cooper – Bondarev. Where did the surnames for “-in” or “-yn” come from?

The second place in prevalence in Russia is occupied by surnames with the suffix “-in”, or, less commonly, “-yn”. They are worn by about 30% of the population. These surnames could also come from the names and nicknames of their ancestors, from the names of their professions, and in addition, from words ending in “-a”, “-ya” and from feminine nouns with an ending in soft consonant. For example, the surname Minin meant: “the son of Mina.” The Orthodox name of Mina was widespread in Russia. The surname Semin came from one of the forms of the name Semyon (the old form of this Russian name is Simeon, which means “heard by God”). And in our time, the surnames Ilyin, Fomin, Nikitin are common. The surname Rogozhin recalls that the ancestors of this man traded guns or made them. Most likely, nicknames or professional occupations formed the basis of the names Pushkin, Gagarin, Borodin, Ptitsyn, Belkin, Korovin, Zimin.

Meanwhile, specialists in word formation believe that the name does not always clearly indicate the nationality of a person or his distant ancestors. To determine this with confidence, you must first find out what kind of word lies at its core.

Irina Shlionskaya

Source: russian7.ru

Good luck in finding.