Welcome to the bench

A short series of ideas and musings by Alex J. Volkov

J is not my actual middle name, in fact, you might be surprised to discover that people from the former Soviet Union countries don’t have middle names.

What they do have is a long name that consists of the following format:

Last name, First name, Name of the Father

So I would be Volkov Alexey Olegovich.

As you might guess from the above, my fathers name is Oleg.

Fathers name is called “Otchestvo” in Russian or Patronymic in English, and sometimes you would just use first name and then the Patronymic to respectively refer to someone.

This is most apparent in schools, where teachers are called by their first name / patronymic combo in class.

Russians also have a wide variety of “cutesy” name pronunciations or Diminutives.

Take my name for instance, Alexey.

Somebody with this name could be called Alyosha, Alyoshinka, Lyoshik, Lyoshka, Lyosha, Lyoha.

No one would call me by my full name. It is very rare.

In fact, when someone calls you by the full name as a child, you know you probably did something wrong.

If they use Otchestvo while they do it, then you’re in real trouble!

Alex Volkov·
1 min
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3 cards

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