Locative Names

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All in all, Russian locative names, names based on places, are not very common in period. This is part of the reason it can be hard to see what the rules are for constructing such a name. It is also because Russians (much like the English) seem to like to use strange, archaic, and even foreign forms in their place names. Here is my attempt to make sense of it all. It is a work-in-progress.

There are four different types of toponymic bynames per Wickenden. He includes unmarked locatives in the Noun Type (Type II), but I think it is useful to separate them out to make them easier to find since the topic of unmarked locative bynames creates a fair amount of angst in SCA heralds.

I. With Prepositions. The Russian equivalent of Ann of Cleves, William Attewell, etc. Arguably non-existant in Russian.

II. Nouns. The Russian equivalent of LondonerMuscovite, etc. Much more common than above. Appear in 12-13th cent. and die out by end of Middle Ages. Became the basis of some surnames.

The cliff notes version of constructing the Noun Form in Wickenden is, if the city name ends in a hard consonant, to just add -ets. (All Russian consonants are considered hard consonants except sh, zh, ch, shch, and ts.) However, there are lots of exceptions to that rule such as alternate endings and consonant shifts, and there are many place names that don't end in hard consonants.

The best option is to try to find the modern Russian version of the word - it's a good place to start to look for the period version. And even if we can't document that exact form in a period source, it's way more likely to be a period Russian word than something non-native Russian heralds would cook up.

III. Patronymics. Using the patronymic form of a place name to indicate one is a sort of "son of Kiev", eg. Kievich. Also include patronymics derived from Type II Noun bynames such as Novgorodtsev (patronymic) from Novgorodets (noun) from Novgorod. Appear in 12-13th centuries and many survive as modern surnames.

IV. Adjectives. In English, toponymic adjectives and nouns are hard to tell apart, e.g. I'm an American (noun) vs. I'm an American (adj.) citizen. The difference is quite distinct in Russian: amerikanets/amerikanka (noun) vs. amerikanskij/aya (adj.). Such names first appear in 11th cent. but only begin to be common in the 13th cent. By the 14th-15th cent. was the accepted form in court documents when legal residency was to be recorded and was the most common toponymic form by late period. Tended to evolved into surnames.

Adjectival locative bynames take the same form as standard locative adjectives, i.e. there is no difference between the adjective when describing an object vs. used as a byname. Most of the time, one can just add the adjectival ending to the place name, but NOT always!!!!

a. If the place name ends in a consonant, then generally add -skoj or -skii (masculine) and -skaya (fem), eg. Bolkhov -> Bolkhovskoi, Belogorod -> Belogorodskyi. Consonant mutations may occur, eg. Galich -> Galitskij. The modern Russian adjective form is -skii, not -skoi. -skoi would be genetive case, not nominative case. But there are several examples of placenames using the -skoi ending in Wickenden, esp. in late period. As early forms of -skoi found in Wickenden's 2nd edition: Davydov'skoi dated to 1386 as the de-patronymed form of Davydov'skogo, Iskoi as a martyr in 13-14th century Church Calendars per Wickenden, Khorvatskoi is the 1087 de-patronymed form Khorvatskogo, Paskoi is dated to 1421, Polotskoi dates to 980.

b. If the placename already ends in -sk', just add the -oi/yj/ii/aya ending, eg. Polotsk -> Polotskoi, Polot'skyi.

c. If the place name ends in -vl', well, I only have two examples so far, but it looks like one just adds skij, etc. although one of the examples dropped the final l, eg. Iaroslavl -> Iaroslavskii (dropped l), Putivl' -> Putivl'skii.

d. If the place name ends in ts, the one example I have so far just adds kii/kyj/kaya, eg. Gorodets -> Gorodetskaya.

e. If the place name ends in -a, one must modify the name in various ways to get rid of the -a before adding skoi/skii/skyi/skaia.

  1. Usually, one just drops the -a before adding the adjectival ending, eg. Poltava -> Poltavskii.
  2. But if dropping the a would create an awkward consonant blend, then filler vowels must be used - apparently using the same rules Wickenden discusses in Appendix B: Dictionary of Name Roots. Eg. Moskva -> Moskv -> Moskov -> Moskovskij.
  3. In addition, sometimes consonants mutate in the process, eg. Kaluga -> Kaluzhskij.

V. Unmarked. Using the unmodified placename as a byname (or given name), as in the English example of Matthew Paris. A variation of Type II in Wickenden's scheme.

In the following tables:

Terms from Wickenden are in standard font. Bolded terms are from Wickenden's article Locative Bynames in Medieval Russia.

Terms from Sreznevsky are in italic font and have been "normalized" to my modern Cyrillic transliteration system.

Terms from Lomonosov are in Blue. His rules for constructing locatives from place names are below the tables.

Terms from Karnovich are in blue italic. (pp 46-47).

Terms from Royal Titles are in Green.

Baecklund is in green italic.

Terms from Modern Russian are in Red.

City ending in -ov/-ev/ovo With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes
Azov Azovskij Azov Not labeled as a toponym
Belev Belevets Not labeled as a toponym.
Bolkhov Bolkhovitin" Bolkhovskoi
Boriso-Glebov Borisoglebskaia Sloboda
Bortnikovo Bortnichskoi
Chernigov Chernigov'skij Chernigov, Chernigova, Chr'nigova
Ivashkovo Ivashkov'skii
Kanev Kanevets Not labeled as a toponym.
Khvostovo Khvastovskoi
Kiev Kievlianin, Kiianin Kievich, Kyianinov Kievskij Kiev
Kolganovo Kolganovskoi
Korelovo Korelovskoi
L'vov L'vovyanin L'vovich L'vovskij
Mikhajlov" Mikhajlovets"; Mikhajlovka
Odoev Odoevich, Odoevtsova Odoeva
Porkhov Porokhovshchik
Pskov Pskovitin Pskovskoi, Pskovski, Pskov'skij
With Preposition Noun Patronymic Adjective Unmarked
Riapolovo Riapolovskii, Riapolovskoi
Rogachev Rogachovskii
Rogov Rogovskii
Romodanovo Romodanovskoi, Romodanovskii
Rostov, Rostov",  Rostovets, Rostovka, Rostovets"; Rostovka, Rostovets Rostovtsov Rostovskii, Rostovskoi, Rostovskij
Rzev Rzevskii Rzeva (Type?) "of the city of Rzev"
Rzhev Rzhevskii
Serpukhov", Serpukhovets",
Teliatevo Teliatevskii
Turov Turovets Turov
Vasharovo Vasarovitin
Vel'iadovo Vel'iadovskoi
Venev Venevitin"
Verznevo Ver'znevskii
Verderev(o) Verderevskoi "inhabitant of Verderevo"
City ending in -a With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes
Baga Bazhenin" and Bagan"
Bolgariya Bolgarskaya
Borovaia z Borovyie derevni
Dvina Dvinyanin"
Gertsegovina Khertsegovin, Kher, Kheron "Hercegovinian"
Irdma (River) Irdmin
Istoma Istomka Istomich, Istomin Istoma
Kaluga Kaluzhka Kaluzheninov Kaluzhskij Kaluga, Koluga
Kisnoma Kir'stnom'skoi
Kolomna Kolomian'ka Kolomin Kolomenskij Kolomna


Kostrominich, Kostromitin, 

Kostromitin" and Kostromich";

Kostromkin, Kostrominich, Kostromitinov Kostromskoj Kostroma
Kunesta is Kunesti
Ladoga Ladozhanin", Ladozhanka Ladogin Ladoga
Leshmina Leshminskoi
Luzhna Luzhnik (?) Not labeled as a toponym
Preposition Noun Patronymic Adjective Unmarked
Mana Maniak, Man'iak
Melecha (River) Meletskii
Mel'nitsa Melnits'kii
Molva (River) Molvanin


Moskvitin, Moskovka, Moskvitin", Moskvich" Moskvin, Moskovchich, Moskovkin, Moskvina Moskovskij, Moskovskaya,Moskovskij Moskva
Mostovaia Mostovskii
Neledina (River) Neledinskii
Onega Onezhanin"
Pestovskaia Pestovo (-> ?) Pestoskii
Pinega Pinezhenin" Pinega
Poltava, Ltava Poltavskii Not labeled as a toponym
Potrocha Potrech
Preposition Noun Patronymic Adjective Unmarked
Samara Samarin, Samarina
Sarskaia Sarskaya
Shakhova Shakov'skoi
Shiriatskaia Shiriatskii
Sotnitsa Sotnitskii
Tal'sha Talshanin
Tolstikova Tolstikovskii
Tula Tulyak ?
Ukhtoma (city and/or river?) Ukhtomskii "inhabitant of Ukhtom River area"
Vaga Vazhenin"
Vereya iz" Verei
Vezhishcha Vezhishcha p. 43
Viatka Viatski same as Vyatka
Viaz'ma Viazma
Vilna, Vilnius Vil'nia "of Vilnius"
Vokshera Voksherin
Volga (River) Volgin Volga
Vologda Vologzhanin"
Vyatka Vyatchanin", Vyatchanka Vyatski
Zhmuda Zhmuttskii
City ending in -vl' With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes


Yaroslavets"; Yaroslavets Yaroslavskij


Putivl' Putivlets Putivlich Putivl'skii Not labeled as a toponym
City ending in -gorod With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes
Belogorod Belogorodskyi also in W. grammar
Nizhnij Novgorod Nizhgorodets Nizhegorodskij
Novgorod Novgorodets, Nougorodets,Novgorodets Novgorodov, Nougorodov,Novgorodtsova, Novgorodtsev,Novgorodov Novgorodskij, Novogorodskij, Novogorod"tsski, Novogorodtskij
Vyshegorod Vyshegorodov
Vyshgorod Vyshegorodov duplicate/typo?
Zvenigorod, Zvenigorod" Zvenigorodets"; Zvenigorodskii, Zvenigorodskoi
City ending in -sk, -sk" With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes
Arkhangel'sk Arkhangel'skij Wickenden doesn't actually label this form as a toponym.
Drutsk, Driutesk, Driutsk Drutskii Not labeled as a toponym
Izborsk" Izborchanin
Kursk Kur'ianin


iz" Mozhajska Mozhaiskii
Myl'sk Myl'skii
Obdorsk Obdor'skij
Obolensk Obolenskova Obolenskii, Obolenskoi
Polotsk Polotsko, Polotska, Polotsanin, Polochanin Polotskoi, Polot'skyi Polots'k "of Polotsk"
Smolensk, Smolensk", Smolianin, Smol'nianin,Smol'yanin" Smolenskii, Smolenskij, Smolen'skij "of Smolensk"
Trubetsk Trubetskoi
City ending in -ets With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes
Donets Donets as a first name
Gorodets Gorodetskaya
(Novogorodets) Novogorod"tsski probably just an alternate spelling of Novgorodskij
Olonets" Olonchanin"
Toropets" Toropchanin"
Place ending in consonant With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes
Arbuzheves' Arbozhov'skii
Bagut Baguta
Bar Barskii Not labeled as a toponym.
Barukh Baroch
Boldyzh Boldyzhev, Bodyzhevich Boldyzh'
Borodin Borodinskii
Bulich Bulychev Bulych
Don (River) Donskii, Donskoi, Zadonskii (by the Don) "from the river Don region"
Preposition Noun Patronymic Adjective Unmarked Notes
Galich Galichanin Galitskii - under Iaroslavl' Galitskii
Gavino Gavinskoi
Kholm Kholmitin Kholmov Kholmskii, Kholmovoi, Kholm'skii,Kholmskij "hill"
Kurmysh Kurmyshev Kurmyshskaya Kurmysh Not labeled as a toponym
Kuzmin Kuzminskogo
Liubech Liubchanina, Liubechanin
Milovsh Milovsh
Murom Muromets, Muromets Muromstov
Preposition Noun Patronymic Adjective Unmarked Notes
Perm Permitin Perminov (Grishka Perminov, 1622) Permskaya, Permskij, Perm'skij
Podol Podolets Podolov Podolskii, Podol'nii, Podolskaya "inhabitant of Podol'sk region"
Pogost Pogoshchi "of the parish"
Radogoshch Radogoshchskij
Radonezh Radonizhskoi
Riazan Riazanets Riazanich, Riazanov, Rezanov, Rezanovich, etc. Riazanskii/aia, Rezanyi, Ryazanskij, Rezanskij (alt. spell?) Riazan
Shukhomash Shukhomsha
Starodub Starodubets Starodubov Starodubskii, Starodubski, Starodubskoi Starodub "inhabitant of Starodub"
Preposition Noun Patronymic Adjective Unmarked Notes
Vladimir Vladimirskij, Vladymerskij
Volodymyr Volodimirski, Volodimerskij alt. spelling of Vladimir
(Yugor?) Yugorski
Zhitomir Zhitomirich, Zhidimirich, Zhidomirich "of Zhitomir"
Zbarazh Zbarazhskii
Place ending in o, e, i, " or ' With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes
Arbuzheves' Arbozhov'skii
Belino z Belina
Beloozero, Belozero Belozerets Belozerov Beloozerskij
Cherkassii (?) Cherkas "Circasian"
Gorodishche Gorodisha
Iaropolch' Iaropolchicha
Iukhot' Iukhotskoi
Ivonino Ivoninskoi
Ivoninskoe Ivoninskoi
Kalitino Kalitinskoi
Kargopol' Kargopolets, Kargapolets Kargapol "crow's field"
Kashin" Kashinets"
Kazan' Kazanets, Kazanets Kazan'
Kem' Kemskii
Kivoi Kivoiskii
Kholmogory Kholmogorets", Kholmogor"
Klimshino Klimshinskii
Klin" iz" Klina Klintsov
Kuchki Kuchetskoi
Kunil' Kunilov
Kusakinskoe Kusakinskoi
Medyn' Mendynka (?) Medynstov
Miloslavskoe Miloslavskoi
Mozyr' Mozyrev Mozyr' Not labeled as a toponym, but is in the Locative Names article
Napol'skoe Napolskii, Napol'skoi
Novosil' Novosilets, Novosilits Novosiltsov, Novosil'tsov, Novosil'tsev
Porech'e Poretskii, Poretskoi
Priazhino Priazhinskoi
Prokhorskoe Prokhor'skoi
Pruzhinino Pruzhinskoi
Pupki Pupkovskii
Riapolovo Riapolovskii, Riapolovskoi
Sarai Saraev
Savino Saviniskii
Suzdal' Suzdalets Suzdal'skii, Suzdalskii, Suzdol'skoi, suzdalskoj "Suzdalite" "of Suzdal"
Preposition Noun Patronymic Adjective Unmarked Notes
Tfer" Tferitin" Tferski probably same as Tver
Tolmach' Tolmachev Tolmach'
Tver' Tveritin, Tverityanin" Tverev, Tverkov Tverskoi
Volyn' Volynets Volynstov
Vysheslavskoe Vysheslavtsev
Zamytskii Zamytskoi, Zamyttskogo
Zastolb'e Zastolbskii
Compound placename With preposition Noun Patronymics Adjectives Unmarked Sources/Notes
Nizhnii Novgorod Nizhgorodets Nizhegorodskij
Torzhok, Novyj Torg Novotorzhanin, Novotorzhets, Novotorzhets
Tsarevo Gorodishche Tsaregorodtsev
Ugleche Pole Uglechenin
Ust'-Shekhonskaia Shokhonskii
Velikii Dvor iz Velikogo Dvora
?Velikii Perm Velikopermskii "of Veliko Perm"
?Velikii Pogost Velikopogostskoi "great district"
?Velik... Pol... Velkopolskoi "of Great Poland"

Lomonosov says (http://www.ruthenia.ru/apr/textes/lomonos/lomon01/200-279.htm):

Article 231: Home or native-land indicating names for the most part end in ets", and especially those which end in v", and are akin to possessive: Rostov", Rostovets"; Mikhajlov", Mikhajlovets"; Serpukhov", Serpukhovets", also Yaroslavl", Yaroslavets"; Zvenigorod", Zvenigorodets"; Kashin", Kashinets".

Article 232: Not small number have native-land names in in", and most of all ending in a and ", river meaning or from river origin of name: Moskva, Moskvitin"; Kostroma, Kostromitin"; Vologda, Vologzhanin"; Vyatka, Vyatchanin"; Dvina, Dvinyanin"; Pinega, Pinezhenin"; Vaga, Vazhenin"; Ladoga, Ladozhanin"; Onega, Onezhanin"; Tfer", Tferitin".

Article 233: Ending in ets" and sk", place signifying name also more in native-land to in" incline: Olonets", Olonchanin"; Toropets", Toropchanin"; Smolensk", Smol'yanin"; Izborsk", Izborchanin".

Article 234: Many places name of native-land to do not have, esp. humble ones: Klin", Mozhajsk", Vereya and so on, and for that use above names in genitive singular with preposition iz": iz" Klina, iz" Mozhajska, iz" Verei.

Article 235: Others in native-land names are superfluous: Moskva, Moskvitin" and Moskvich"; Kostroma, Kostromitin" and Kostromich"; Kholmogory, Kholmogorets", Kholmogor"; Baga, Bazhenin" and Bagan".

Article 236: In feminine gender change the native-land-name ets" and in", to ka: Rostovka [Rostovets"], Mikhajlovka [Mikhajlovets"], Vyatchanka [Vyatchanin"], Ladozhanka [Ladozhanin"].

Article 237: Foreign native-land names end in ets" and in" but in them tend often according to the foreign ending, in their own language or of neighboring usage, and sometimes with Latin or Greek: Italiano, Italianets"; Ispanus, Ishtanets"; Frantzose, Frantsuz"; Neapolitanus, Neapolitanets"; Graecus, Grek"; Giudeo, Zhid"; Arabs, Arap"; Turka, Turok".

Article 238: Since many must be the native-land names, to them no rule not subject, about them any easy to judge, who uncountable multitude of lands, cities, villages, rivers, laces and other places appear. Thus, when for other rules grammatical, as far as Russian speech only is concerned, never to require exact/precise exceptions without trace, but for native-land-name is not possible to gather name fo all places and bring correction; for that must leave to general teacher of all - daily use.