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Is Aliosha a name by itself or just a way the relatives and friends of a child or boy whose name is Alekséi may refer to him?

While we are at it, where can I find a list of Russian names and the typical variations of the names that apply when the individual thus named is young? I heard once of a certain connection 'twixt the names Vladimir and Volodya...

Let me thank you in advance for your insightful replies.

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Алёша is a diminutive form of Алексей.

Here is a list of names and their different forms (although it's too comprehensive for its own good, as a result most of the names there are WTF-level obscure):

http://www.gramota.ru/slovari/info/petr/imsm

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by the way, while nowadays Aliosha is a diminutive form of Aleksei, back in the day, centuries ago, it used to be name in itself, check out this wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alyosha_Popovich.

talking about lists of names, to be honest, it's impossible to put up one that will cover all the possibilities.. name in Russian changes depending on voice, intonation, other feelings that require inserting suffixes and prefixes, the length you've know the person, closeness to them, and many other factors..

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    ну так это ж просто так его в былинах зовут, понятное дело, что не Алексей Левонтьевич Попович - это не значит что это было отдельное, параллельно с Алексеем существующее имя.
    – shabunc
    Jul 25 '17 at 8:09

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