For my sins, I'm a huge fan of the TV-show "The Americans" - a show about two deep-cover KGB-agents living as a family in the USA with their children, set in the beginning of the 1980s. The Americans (Wikipedia)

The agents goes under the names Elizabeth and Philip Jennings (not their real Russian names obviously), while their daughter is Paige and their son Henry.

What would be suitable "Russianated" names from these English names (eg. like Peter=Pjoter)? I guess "Paige" would be a bit of a challenge...

Any good ideas (or a good source for English-names to Russian-names)?


An alternative, would perhaps find a Russian name with similar meaning to the English ones... According to http://www.behindthename.com/ :

Paige: (feminine) From an English surname meaning "servant, page" in Middle English. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδιον (paidion) meaning "little boy".

Jennings: From the given name Jenyn, a medieval diminutive of Jen, itself a Middle English form of JOHN.

  • Elizabeth - Елизавета, Philip - Филипп. Others have no correspondence.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 18:40
  • Many names of Germanic origin also have a traditional (as opposed to phonetic or orthographic) transcription to Russian: e. g. en. Henry, ger. Heinrich, fr. Henri → rus. Генрих, however the result does not look like native Russian name. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 20:07
  • @Dmitry Alexandrov Henry is never translated as Генрих except for kings.
    – Anixx
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 3:20
  • @Anixx, to be more exact, nearly never. Some historic non-royal Henries from distant past are traditionally Генрихи in Russian.
    – ach
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 9:02
  • 1
    Yet when you do try to "rusificate" Генрих is better then Генри (at least it can be declined)
    – Viridianus
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 15:57

2 Answers 2

  • Elizabeth - Елизавета
  • Philip - Филипп or Филип
  • Henry - Генри, probably Геннадий (Гена)
  • Paige - прямой русский перевод паж, but there's no such russian name, so closest by pronunciation and also by meaning is Полина - Paulina originated from Pavel/Paul - small/little
  • Jennings can be translated to any of the Russian surnames derived from rare or colloquial forms of Иван/Иоанн, for instance «Ванюшкин», «Вашутин», «Жанов», «Ивасин», «Ивашов».

  • Henry - a child should better be called «Гера» or «Геша» (both may be familiar forms of Генри).

  • Paige - sounds a bit like «Паша», which is a familiar form of a long series of names, both masculine and feminine, «Полина» is among them.

In general, one should note that most Russians have both formal and familiar forms of their names, that are used in different situations. It is very likely that Елизавета would be always called «Лиза» by her husband and friends, and always with a patronyme (like «Елизавета Васильевна») by some others. So you probably need more than one name for each character if want to disguise them as native Russians.

Btw, Kurufin.ru has a good database of Russian names and their European counterparts. It does not list Paige, but you can check Elisabeth, Philip and Henry there.

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