Why do some Russian last names end in -in, and others in -ov? It turns out that this question is of concern to many Russian people, because the bearers of such surnames are most often Russians.
In this article we will try to answer these questions as accurately and clearly as possible. Fans of the Russian language will be interesting.
How did Russian surnames on s and s appear
Surnames with suffixes or s are two thirds of the indigenous citizens of Russia. Experts say that in most cases such names are of descent. Many of them originated from the middle names. For example, Vladimir, the son of Stepan, was called Vladimir Stepanovich.
After the surnames acquired official status in the 13th century in Russia, they began to be given by the name of the eldest in the clan. So it turned out that the son, the grandson, and the rest of the offspring became the Stepanovs.
At the same time, Russian surnames could also be given by nicknames. For example, if a person was nicknamed Curly, then his descendants got the surname Kudrin or Kudryashov.
An interesting fact is that Russian surnames could also be given by occupation. So, the miller's son received the surname Melnikov, the son of the driver, Yamshchikov, and the joiner, Stolyarov.
Surnames with a suffix -e formed from the names, nicknames or activities of people ending in a soft consonant. That is, the son of Yuri was called Yuryev, the son of a man, nicknamed Nightingale, Soloviev, and the son of a weaver, Tkachev.
How did the names on -in or -yn appear
One third of Russian surnames end in suffixes -in or -yn. As in the previous case, they also come from the names, nicknames and occupations of their ancestors, as well as from words ending in -a, -i and from feminine nouns ending in a soft consonant.
For example, the surname Fomin comes from the “son of Thomas”. Today in Russia you can often meet such names as Kuzmin, Ilyin, Savin or Nikitin.
In turn, nicknames or professional activities could lead to the formation of such names as Pushkin, Krupin, Medin, Sinitsyn, Golovin, etc.
In conclusion, I would like to note that, according to the statements of philologists, surnames can not always unconditionally indicate the nationality of a person or his ancestors. For a precise definition, you will need to initially examine the meaning of the word that lies at the root of the last name.