Are suffixes -ов and -ова on people's names equivalent of the suffix -son used in Germanic languages?

The suffixes -ич, -ича also imply the name of the father, on the patronimic. Are they, too, equivalents of -son (and -dottir in Icelandic), however used on отчество rather than on фамилия?

  • IIRC the ending ович/овна follows hard consonants. евич/евна is the corresponding "soft" ending. – Trey Feb 15 '18 at 1:09
  • -ов(а), -ев(а) are originally possessive suffixes that signify your "belonging" to... whatever: a person, a family, a place, etc. In rural areas of Russia it is still fairly common to ask a person (especially a child): "Ты чей?" ("Who [what family] do you belong to?") – Headcrab Feb 15 '18 at 5:35
  • Note that some Slavic surnames may end in -ич (both for males and females), but they are SURNAMES, not patronymics. Example: Анна Петровна Янукович - her surname is the 3rd word, the patronymic is the 2nd implying her father is Петр. Often some -ич surnames may be Jewish. – alexsms Feb 15 '18 at 7:39
  • Related russian.stackexchange.com/questions/14025/… – V.V. Feb 15 '18 at 19:53

I would say for -ов, -ова a closer analogy (in the sense of grammar) would be the surnames like Jones, Peters (in the sense that they are Jone's, Peter's children, a Russian obsolete form would be Иванов сын - son of Ivan, hence the modern surname Иванов, where it kind of lost its original son part). It just happens that -son names are popular in Germanic languages, while -ов is very popular in Russian, that's why it may be perceived as equivalent.

As for patronymics, the correct forms (depending of the stem) are -ович/-евич/-ич (male), -овна/-евна/-ична/-инична (female) - e.g. Петрович, Петровна. In modern Russian these forms derive directly from father's name (interestingly, even if the father is unknown or has a non-Russian name some patronynic will be used in their passport, maybe with some rare exceptions) so the name of the father is clear from them. I wouldn't say it's full equivalent of -son, because the name ending in -son says nothing of the father, but a Russian patronymic says it.

  • It looks like son and 's are equivalent in English surnames. There are Millersons and Smithsons, for example. But indeed -ов is more similar to 's grammatically as they both are not words on their own. – AlexVB Feb 15 '18 at 7:43

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