Would it be "Innusha or Innushka?

On the one hand, the diminutive of Katya is Katyusha. I'm writing a poem to the tune of that song, likening her to the "rocket launchers" of the same name that won World War II for Russia.

On the other hand, I see words like korobushka.

When do you have diminutives with or without the "k?"

  • 1
    Иннусик, Нусик, Инчик!
    – shabunc
    Jan 7, 2019 at 11:13
  • @shabunc: Those sound "masculine." Don't women's names usually end with "a?"
    – Tom Au
    Jan 7, 2019 at 11:43
  • it's all indeed legit, Натусик, Ольчик, Cветик, Людок, Нинок, names do end with -а/я but these are suffixes on top of the names Jan 7, 2019 at 11:51
  • @TomAu nope, it would be oversimplification
    – shabunc
    Jan 7, 2019 at 14:56
  • 2
    Be careful. You can't say for sure the lady likes all that. Нусик can be really annoying.
    – Elena
    Jan 7, 2019 at 18:55

4 Answers 4


I've never heard Иннуша, but it sounds totally natural to me, and I wouldn't bat an eyelid hearing it for the first time.

When do you have diminutives with or without the "k?"

The stressed suffix -уша/юша/иша I'd call endearing rather than diminutive. Diminutives, more often than not. would be words having the stressed suffixes -ушка/юшка/ишка.

I. So for Катя, the endearing form is Катюша, but the diminutive is КатюшКа
Валя - ВалЮша - ВалЮшка
Ваня - ВанЮша - ВанЮшка
Андрей - АндрЮша - АндрЮшка
Ира - ИрИша - ИрИшка
Марина - МарИша - МарИшка

II. However words suffixed with -ушка/юшка in which the stress falls not on the suffix, but on the immediately preceding syllable, do have an endearing connotation and not a diminutive one, e.g. бАтюшка, мАтушка, бАбушка, дЕдушка, тётушка, дЯдюшка, дЕвушка, сосЕдушка, Иннушка, Аннушка, Олюшка, Марьюшка, Глебушка, солОвушка, корОбушка, пОлюшко, нЕбушко, вОлюшка, голОвушка, зИмушка, сИлушка, also сОлнушко (dialectal variant of сОлнышко).

A shift in the stress within the words of the 1st group also gives them an endearing rather than diminutive connotation, e.g.

ВанЮшкаdimin vs ВАнюшкаendear
АндрЮшкаdimin vs АндрЕюшкаendear
КатЮшкаdimin vs КАтюшкаendear

The suffix-stress pattern in which the stress immediately precedes the suffix, as in the words of the second group, seems to not be productive any longer — it's an indicator of antiquated language.

To me it's obvious that the applicability of these suffixes depends on the morphology of the base word, but it's not easy to pin down and systematize their determinative morphological features.

Существительные с ударным суффиксом -ушк(а) могут иметь уменьшительно-уничижительное значение: комнатушка, избушка, кладовушка, пивнушка. Слова этого типа относятся к женскому роду, в том числе и мотивированные словами мужского рода: зверь – зверюшка, амбар – амбарушка, сараюшка. Тип продуктивный.

От этого типа следует отличать существительные с безударным суффиксом -ушк(а)/-юшк(а), -ушк(о) / -юшк(о), посредством которого образуются существительные со значением ласкательности: дедушка, дядюшка, вдовушка, женушка, зимушка; горюшко, морюшко, полюшко; pluralia tantum детушки, козлятушки. Сюда же относится суффикс -ушек: воробушек, соловушек (вариант соловушка), камушек, хлебушек (вариант хлебушко).

Source: ZDROBNĚLINY V RUŠTINĚ (Уменшительно-ласкательные суффиксы в русском языке) by Josefína Marchevková, p. 28
Тж. "Суффиксы субъективной оценки в русском языке и в русской разговорной речи" by Оути Пухакка, pp. 18, 19
Русская грамматика §§ 420, 421

  • 1
    Наша радость была бы неполной... ) I think, we should add -очка, -ечка for Танечка, Ванечка, Леночка, Ирочка, Инночка, Анечка, Юрочка, Димочка, Вовочка, and -енька for Катенька, Оленька, Петенька, Алёшенька, Серёженька, Володенька.
    – Elena
    Jan 7, 2019 at 10:22
  • i only focused here on specific suffix mentioned in the question because it's impossible to encompass the unencompassable Jan 7, 2019 at 10:24
  • But really the most frequient are the variants with -чка and -енька, than all the rest.
    – Elena
    Jan 7, 2019 at 10:32
  • not sure what the argument here is Jan 7, 2019 at 10:33
  • It is seen from the heading of the question, that the author just needed a correct diminutive for a name. Correct is a variant which will be recognized and accepted by the name-holder.
    – Elena
    Jan 7, 2019 at 10:36

Инночка. Innochka. Иннушка is also possible.

Btw, asking someone what their preferred diminutive is is a win-win strategy. )))))

  • I am writing a poem to her, likening her to the song "Katyusha," and the "rocket launchers" of the same name that won World War II for Russia. That's the context of the question.
    – Tom Au
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:11
  • A really flattering comparison. ))))) But it reminds me of youtube.com/watch?v=R8L64j_xvJE And... do you think it was katyusha that won the War? I'm never tired to be surprised at ideas about that, but it's another matter.
    – Elena
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:16
  • IMHO, one or both of two "Katyushas" won Russia the war. n the original song, Katyusha waits for, and inspires her soldier boy, kind of like Germany's Lili Marlene. In my version, the "Katyusha," (actually Innusha) rocket launcher follows behind her Russian infantry, and fires on the same targets as the soldiers do.
    – Tom Au
    Jan 7, 2019 at 20:26
  • 1
    @Tom In case of a song/poem I'd srtongly suggest to not use "Innusha" of course. For a non-native speaker it may sound like Katyusha but in fact personally when I saw your question I first thought of words like "копуша", "горбуша" etc. Very awkward. For the song I'd go with Иннушка (Инночка is a bit more childish) though as I understand this will probably make you to start from scratch due to the different stress point. Jan 7, 2019 at 23:18
  • @seven-phases-max: Why don't you turn your excellent comment into an answer that I would probably upvote and possibly accept.
    – Tom Au
    Jan 7, 2019 at 23:22

If it's suitable for your poem, "Иннуся" is also possible. I think this variant may also be suitable for the tune. By the way, ladies with this name are, for the most part, ok with this kind of diminutive, but it's personal.

  • 1
    Just recalled from my memory one more variant - "Иннуля" is also widely used.
    – Olek K
    Jan 11, 2019 at 8:18
  • When you say "...it's personal", do you mean that it's a personal choice, or that it's a bit personal/intimate?
    – CocoPop
    Jun 20, 2022 at 13:34

I know an Inna. She goes by Иннушка or Инночка.

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