"Modest" is a common Russian name, most famously known as the name of the composer Mussorgsky.

Does the etymology of this name have any relationship to the English/Latin etymology of the word?

1 Answer 1


Not a surprising answer but yes, it does. Here's a link to academic source on Модест. Here's an English link, which is not academic, but well, this is true :)

There are at least two saints, both of them are recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church. One is мученик (martyr) Модест, the other one is святитель Модест. It never was very popular in Russia but earlier, like in 19th century, it definitely was at least more popular than now.

Also, it actually was used more in Polish-Russian families rather than in families without Polish/Polish Jewish roots.

  • Thanks for the answer, but do you have a source for the claim?
    – March Ho
    Nov 5, 2015 at 0:17
  • For which exactly part?
    – shabunc
    Nov 5, 2015 at 1:43
  • The initial claim that the etymology is related. The main reason I asked this was because I didn't know enough Russian to search such etymological dictionaries as I was able to for the English etymology.
    – March Ho
    Nov 5, 2015 at 2:17
  • 1
    @MarchHo had added a couple of links.
    – shabunc
    Nov 5, 2015 at 3:55

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