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Ukraine has been at the center stage of global news since early 2022 due to its unfortunate battle against Russia for independence. However, the seeds of this war stem back to 2014 and, truthfully, much further than that.
Ukraine is the second-largest country in Eastern Europe, with Russia bordering it to the north and east. Belarus, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Moldovia also share a border with the 230,000 square mile country.
Ukraine has long been ruled by the Russian empire but gained its independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It also spent a significant amount of time as part of the Austrian Empire, and it was during this time, for taxation purposes, that using surnames began.
Ukrainian is the most common language spoken by almost 70% of the population as their first language. On the other hand, 30% of Ukraine's citizens speak Russian as a first language, and a small percentage speak Hungarian.
If you’re looking to learn more about Ukrainian culture or want to know the meaning of your family name before choosing a baby name, then check out our list of Ukrainian last names and meanings.
Patronymic Family Names in Ukraine and Meanings
Patronymic Ukrainian last names often have a -ko, -enko, -chuk, or -vich suffix.
- Adamovich - Son of Adam. One of the most common surnames in Ukraine.
- Alekseev - Son of Aleksy or Alex
- Antonova - A Russian surname meaning son of Anton.
- Andrich - Derived from the name Andrji.
- Babich - A matronymic name referring to a grandmother or older woman.
- Bondarenko - Son of a cask maker.
- Davidovich - Son of David.
- Ivanko - Son of Ivan. It has Hebrew roots stemming from Yahweh.
- Ivanov - A Russian name meaning son of Ivan. Ivan is the Slavic version of the English/Hebrew name John.
- Kovalenko - Son of a blacksmith.
- Markovich - Son of Marko or Mark.
- Panchenko - This patronymic name stems from the personal name Panko.
- Petrenko - Son of Peter.
- Shevchenko - Son of a shoemaker.
- Stoylarchuk - Son of a carpenter.
Toponymic Surnames in Ukraine and Meanings
- Barno - An Italian name common in Tuscany. It may have been a nickname used to describe people with dark or olive skin or who came from Italy.
- Boiko - An ethnic name for people from the east Slavic tribes (Boyko) or Carpathia mountain people.
- Lyashenko - Stems from a slur for Polish people, lyakh.
- Litvinchuk - A name initially used to denote a Lithuanian or Belarusian person; it stems from the word litvin.
- Malinski - A Polish origin name referring to people from Malina in Poland.
- Polishchuk - A name referring to people who stem from the Belarusian and Ukrainian border.
- Zelinski - Green. It may have originated as a name for people from a green or lush area. It is also a common name in Poland.
Occupation Ukrainian Family Names and Meanings
- Archaki - This name has Greek origins and means lord or ruler.
- Bondar - Cooper.
- Bortnick - Beekeeper.
- Kolesnik - Wheelwright.
- Koroliuk - Stems from the word korol for a king.
- Kosmen - A Jewish name that refers to glass makers.
- Koval - Blacksmith.
- Kozar - Goat herder.
- Kravets - Tailor.
- Kushnir - Furrier.
- Melnyk - Miller.
- Ponomarenko - An occupational name referring to a sexton.
- Shvets - Shoemaker. A common Ukrainian-Jewish last name
- Tkachenko - Weaver or tailor.
Personality or Physical Trait Ukrainian Surnames and Meanings
- Aksamit - A polish name that means velvet.
- Balaban - To chatter.
- Bartosh - Stems from a nickname for Bartholomew.
- Borys - This name stems from Russian or Bulgarian, meaning to fight.
- Buchko - Noisy person.
- Chernenko - Black. It may refer to dark skin or dark hair and features.
- Dovzhenko - Long.
- Holub - Used in Czech, Ukrainian, and Belorussian to mean dove.
- Karmazin - Stems from the Arabic word for red.
- Kiska - Cat. Perhaps a nickname for a sly or stealthy person.
- Kozak - Stems from the Turkish word kazak and means free.
- Kryvonis - Curved nose.
- Rudenko - Red hair.
- Vovk - Wolf.
Popular Ukrainian Last Names on FamilyEducation: Bondar, Kushnir, Yurkovich