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Updated on April 1, 2012


Everything is labelled and named. That's the bottom line of this article. For example, my Jewish name is Neva. I asked my Russian Biologist friend what that meant. This is what she said, "First - what Nevsky means. It is refered to the Neva - the main river in St Petersburg. IT was the Neva far before St Petersburg was established, as this city is only 300 years old."

Whether your name is Russian, English, Chinese or whatever, we always wonder what's in a name! Sometimes a name works amazingly, fits you like a glove. Not only with names, but in life there are and were such coincidences that they cannot be just that without any regularity.

We must accept that one thing hooks to another thing. Remember the unwritten rule, which is known as a 'The Law of Double Events'. Events similar to each other use to happen at the same time or one after another one. That is so true in general life because it happens so often. Not that there were no single events of course, but so many double events that I truly accept that 'rule' though it is not scientific of course. But we are talking about What's In A Name, in the end it all relates so keep on reading!

A Russian Biologist friend of mine, who teachers at the Far East University in Russia said it best. "Yes, it's with names also! It feels sometimes like some power like electrical energy in the universe. Maybe some other kind of power. The longer and more I pay serious attention to the traces of the things and events, the more those things become clearer in my mind, especially a name. According to some data there is a kind of inertia or something like that. Events and names do not happen absolutely separately, but an event affects and the name may effect the event happening later or even the outcome," Olga said easily.

Maybe every thing will be explained later, after later, meaning when we pass and our souls fly to energy. My mind rings with "It will be explained later." But what is true and what is confirmed by experiments, for example on animals, They are trying to prove that nothing can happen without a trace in the future in the mind's of animals, any creature will answer to a name, or a tone of voice. Even sexual contacts of dogs and horses with mixed breeds spoil the future high breed kids from some other high breed partner. Even just contacts, without pregnancy afterwards, and even contacts of the male animals! "What's In MY Name?" I asked her.

Alexander Nevsky was a great Russian historical figure, living in 1220 - 1263! He was a Grand Duke of two Russian lands (at those times Russia was not a whole country but consisted of separate lands as most of the countries of the Middle Age period were organized). He had great battles with Sweden (1240 - Nevsky Battle) and with Germany - (1242 - Ice Battle, on the Ladoga Lake) for safety of western borders of Russia. Those victories were of a great historical meaning and value, so Duke Alexander got his historical name after Nevsky Battle - Alexander Nevsky.Wow, it's all in a name!

Olga also said that "...later he was considered a Saint, and Orthodox Church had a special Holiday - Holiday of Alexander Nevsky. His role in Russian history is tremendous!" We spoke also of another type of name, a name of an event, a bit of insight into the history of the destruction of the Jewish Nation in Russia.

According to my friend Olga, "The words ending with "sky" are adjective words in Russian, like if I want to say a word for American - I would say "Americansky" in Russian. As well as "Los Angelessky", "Washingtonsky", "Moscowsky", "Peterburgsky", etc... (there are some other ways of forming adjectives also). I told Olga that Neva was my Jewish name given to me by the Rabbi, which still applied to this article WHAT'S IN A NAME!

By the way, lost of surnames, originally Polish, but popular in Russia and all over the world, have the same grammar form like - Levinsky. You can write "ski", it is the same pronouncation. So - in English an adjective Nevsky maybe could be translated as "the Nevian" (like American or Californian). Or - the other example - Prince of Wales in Russian sounds like "Prince Wailesky".

"Now we come to the name "Pogrom" (pronounced with the second syllable accented - "po'grom") is a massacre. The most famous word combination with massacre is Massacre of St Bartholomew ("Bartholomew's Night"),"she said. "When it comes to massacre of the Jewish they somtimes take the Russian equivalent without translation - my Oxford Russian-English Dictionary gives it like "pogrom" in Russian - pogrom, massacre in English. You sure must another equivalent, not an absolute equivalent but still a more known word - Holocaust, but it is a bigger scare of the same awful thing."

Lots of Jewish families, with many names came to the USA (together with their kin) after the Pogrom, having left their parents as they were too old and got a place on board the ship going to the USA... They lived somewhere in the Southern area close to the Black Sea. Maybe even Russian or the Ukrainian area. Olga said, "I had a friend whose grandfather was a village tailor and got his Singer Sewing machine to the USA. My friend said that his grandfather used to help him with how to say and use the Torah when they both were sitting at that old sewing machine."

We spoke about the name Sasha, because I was reading a book about a Russian princess, the main character,a male named Sasha. It was about the days of Alexander and Nicholas, Czars of Russia. So Olga had that down pat too: "It's a short way to say Alexander (like William - Bill)." She also added: "By the way - a form ending with "-ka": Mashka, Sashka - is familiar but OK and even nice in some stylistical way for the kids or those who are much younger or very well known, close, loved, but really arrogant towards the others. Usually plain peasants and servants were called by their noble masters that way. But a mother can call her child that way in a loving manner!"

One if the Czars named Alexander (there were three Alexanders in Russian Romanov's Monarch Dynasty), Olga doesn't recall what exactly, but he was, as my friend says, "...was very much loved by his wife - a queen, what was not common for monarch families of course, but she loved him as just a woman, as a loving wife, so she used to call him Sashka when they were talking alone or in the closest family company."

So Danielle Steel did her own research in what's in a name too! Olga explained it all in a few emails. And to be so humble, Olga then added, in conclusion, "But lots of names of hotels, restaurants, industrial products, etc... in St. Petersburg are just given because of the river Neva. Nevsky Prospect may be the best example," she concluded. And so concludes this article on what's in a name.


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    • kathryn1000 profile image


      6 years ago from London

      I enjoyed that

    • profile image

      Lewis Hauser 

      6 years ago

      Very interestng article. All things have such different meanings!

    • profile image

      Captain P. 

      6 years ago

      The Best thing about this article for me is the nostalgia (re family roots) but also the fact finding about what some of the names meant, and how you tied it to geography

      I am not big on family tree stuff but I did organize a trip for my aunt, in 2011, over to Belarus- with my geographic leanings! If you "interviewed" a Chinese girl, for example, I would have not enjoyed it so much


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