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I've seen a few places in Russia with the ending -ово. For example Иваново, Кемерово, and Домодедово. Does anyone know the origin of this ending? For example, is it related to the adjectival ending -ого, or perhaps a modified version of the -ов ending that we see in Russian surnames? Спасибо.

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By intuition, whaterverово in the names of different places means "a place with a lot of whatever" of "a place that belongs to whatever".

  • Иваново is a typical name for a village that accommodated quite a lot of people with surname Иванов (which in turn means потомок ивана, иванов сын) at the point of time when that village was given the name.
  • Домодедово means roughly the same, I suppose. However, Шереметьево is a place that was somehow related to the Sheremetev family (an example again by intuition: земля графа Шереметьева => шереметьево место => Шереметьево).
  • Кемерово is a place that possesses kemers ("кемер" is a Turkic word for hill).

Though the explanations are quite different, there is still a common idea.

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Скорее всего это происходит от следующей конструкции: Село чьё? Иваново, где Иванов - это фамилия. Таким образом слово село придаёт средний род географическому названию, по средством ответа на вопрос о принадлежности. Для сравнения: Деревня чья? Ивановская. Слово деревня придаёт женский род и формирует другое название.

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It is the neuter equivalent of the masculine -ов seen in some Russian family names. -ов- itself is just a way of turning a noun into an adjective. Neuter is the default (and also agrees with место and село). In turn it is again treated as a noun.

It is not especially related to -ого.

There are equivalents in many other Slavic languages, for example the city of Велико Търново or the village of Aleksandrovo.

It is not so different from the process for creating names like Новосибирск.

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