Russian towns: common, unusual and funny names

According to statistics, there are 170 thousand of cities, towns and villages in Russia. It is simply impossible to know all of them, even if you study the map meticulously. Some of these towns and villages have rather bizarre, funny or hard to pronounce names. Let’s have a closer look!

Most popular names

We shall start with the most common names. 44% of towns and villages in the country have replicated names. About a third of them are formed from the personal names: Aleksandrovka (Александровка), Mikhailovka (Михайловка), Ivanovka (Ивановка) and so on. Aleksandrovka is, perhaps, the most popular one: there are 166 towns and villages called Alexandrovka in the country!

Nature devoted names

Second by popularity are the names devoted to nature — various animals, plants and landscape objects. Here come Kalinovka (Калиновка), Orlovka (Орловка) and Ozerki (Озерки) with the most common being Berezovka (Березовка) and Sosnovka (Сосновка).

Names related to religion and Soviet times

There are also many towns with religious names, for example, Pokrovka (Покровка), Voznesenka (Вознесенка) or Troitskoe (Троицкое). Furthermore, there are plenty of names referring to the Soviet era: Octyabr’skoe (Октябрьское) or Pervomaiskoe (Первомайское).

Hard to pronounce names

There are those, that are not funny but rather challenging to pronounce: Йошкар-Ола, Александровск-Сахалинский, Петропаловск-Камчатский, Анжеро-Суджинск, Белая Холуница, Борисошлебск, Городовиковск, Железногорск-Илимский, Заводоувск, Козьмодемьямск, Петровск-Забайкальский, Сясьстрой…Real tongue twisters!

Interesting fact

Did you know the station Polovina (literally: Half), that is located 104 kilometers from Irkutsk, halves the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok?

Funny names

We have left funny names for desert as there is no shortage – the list is truly endless. How about living in Старые Черви (literally: Old Worms) or in Веселая жизнь (literally: Fun life)? If your Russian is good enough, you might also find the following names hilarious: Голодранкино, Козявкино orАдово. There is indeed an abundance of those funny names: Добрые Пчелы (literally: Kind Bees), Большие Пупцы, Козлиха (literally: Goat), Батарейка (literally: Battery), Комары (literally: Mosquitoes), Хомяки (literally: Hamsters)… We can be here all day!

Have you ever come across a Russian town with an interesting name?

Team EBC