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Can foreign names be used as a basis for patronymics?

If, for example, an Englishman whose first name is Donald becomes a citizen of Russia and has a son there, will that son have the patronymic Доналдович? And does François' son become Франсуасович? Etc.

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Absolutely.

In Russia, almost every document about a person includes a patronymic, so everyone needs it. If your father has foreign name, you still have a patronymic. If your father is unknown, your mother gives you some patronymic soon after your birth. If she doesn't know the father's name, she may give you her own patronymic. If a baby is found, and nobody knows who is his father or mother, they give him some random patronymic.

For example, Harry Kasparov (Гарри Каспаров) has English/American name Гарри. It is not a Russian name. Each of his sons is Гарриевич, and each of his daughters is Гарриевна.

Besides, there are many Russians who are ethnic Georgians, Armenians etc, and their fathers had non-Russian names. All these Russians have patronymics. For example, Абе́л Ге́зевич Аганбегя́н (Abel Aganbegyan), who is ethnic Armenian.

PS:

As per comments by Danila Smirnov and Tzakrevskiy, if a child with rights to Russian citizenship is born in a country that does not use patronymics, he/she does not receive a patronymic when applying for the Russian citizenship. However, Danila Smirnov writes:

I just happen to know someone who was born in another country and did not have a patronymic in his birth certificate when he was registered for Russian citizenship. When he got his passport at 14 years, he had a dash in his "patronymic" field. On the other hand, it did cause some problems, so he had to legally change his name to get one.

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    As far as I know: not in the official names. Like, a guy with a powerful mother might be called in this way to emphasise the humour. This is a very informal thing and also a mid-untasteful joke. It never happens in official documents. The other thing is if you want to trace a heritage, typically the kid has the last name of the mother (which "should" be the last name of the father, whose patronymic the kid bears). So, the legacy can be traced into women with same last names as their kids. – Oleg Lobachev Nov 12 '17 at 21:48
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    @oz1cz, only as a joke. In 12 century, there was a Rus prince Олег Ярославич whose mother Настасья was his father's mistress, so he was nicknamed Настасьич. In similar manner, lurk.ru today jokingly calls the web designer Артёмий Андреевич Лебедев "Артёмий Татьянович", because his mother, Татьяна Толстая, was a famous writer. Some russian family names derive from matronymics, but it is not clear (to me) how serious it was. I don't know of any single case when one was officially called by matronymic, even though after the WWII many children were raised without fathers. – user31264 Nov 13 '17 at 1:20
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    @Herrgott Sure they can. Although traditionally it is given based on father's name, in absence of a stated father, mother chooses a patronymic which is written in the birth certificate. And it can be anything, really - names are somewhat regulated (since this year), but no regulation on patronymics for children with no stated father exist. The officials that give out certificates generally do not care about what your baby is called, as long as everything is according to their regulations. – Danila Smirnov Nov 13 '17 at 8:29
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    @oz1cz: in fact, if used jokingly, you can safely derive patronymics from almost any masculine word (e.g. "Самолет Самолетович"). Also, in extra-informal situations (usually only between very close friends), one can be humorously addressed by "Батькович/Батьковна" (from "батька", resulting roughly in a 'Daddyson'), e.g. "Ну что, Василий Батькович, пошли чай пить?" – Vadim Landa Nov 13 '17 at 8:41
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    @user31264 I just happen to know someone who was born in another country and did not have a patronymic in his birth certificate when he was registered for Russian citizenship. When he got his passport at 14 years he had a dash in his "patronymic" field. On the other hand, it did cause some problems, so he had to legally change his name to get one - so while it is possible (and not required by law at birth) to not have patronymic, having one does make life easier. – Danila Smirnov Nov 13 '17 at 10:44

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