In modern Russian, names consist of a GIVEN NAME (imia), a PATRONYMIC (otchestvo), and a SURNAME (familiia), but as Tumanova notes quite well: \"Russian naming conventions for early period are first name (baptismal name, usually that of a Biblical saint), followed by the everyday or common first name, patronymic, and rarely a surname. Russian naming conventions for mid to late period are first name, patronymic, and surname\" (1989: 4). More precisely, Russian names started only as a given name, adding the patronymic around the 10th century, and finally the surname (from the patronymic constructions) only in the late 15th or early 16th century. The surname did not become common, in fact, until the 18th century (Tupikov, 1903: 21-22).1
Russian names, as should be apparent, underwent a large number of transformations. The most important lesson to learn from this assertion is that for every rule, there is an exception and many of the so-called \"rules\" of Russian grammar need to be unlearned.
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