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[Opinions] Ilya, and some other Russian names
I posted recently about Olga. I am in a Russian name phase lately because at this festival there was a group of 5 Russian speakers and I was bowled over by awesome the entire time.(Their names were: Ilya, Olga, Andrey, Tatiana, and Bayr. Bayr is pronounced "By Ear" with a Russian accent. He said it was some sort of tribal name? or something? and that he was half Mongolian? or something? and he had gotten made fun of a lot in school for being half mongolian with a crazy name. I like all of their names anyway.)Ilya is the Russian form of Elijah. Think Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. It is not a girl name actually. He pronounced it "Ill-ya" as in "Killya" or "Willya." The way that that pronunciation makes the tongue go makes it so it is often rendered three syllables. (This is the way I say a lot of -ia names. I think "-ya" and pronounce "almost i a." Julya, Cecilia, etc.)Anyway I think it is a great name and almost every time I talked to him I would be thinking "ILYA AWWW ILYA" because I think it is an incredibly cute name / word / phonetic entity.The pet form is Ilyusha but he did not use it and I only used it twice. BUT ISNT IT CUTE AWWWHis middle name is Felixovich
So anyway I have been thinking about some more Russian names because I went through a phase with them a while back.Mikhail I don't like that much but I love Misha
Maria I love Mashka for
Gavril I think is my favorite, and I love the nickname Ganya
Dmitry I love, and Mitya and Dima
Aleksandr nn Sasha
Alexei is growing on me, will someone sell me on it?
Anastasia I have always liked but sometimes feel it is a bit too cliche-exotic
Lev I love
Ivan and Vanya I have long loved
Modest I am absolutely crazy about, despite how silly it is
A couple random ones like AfanasiyI know Russian name discussions pop up every so often on here but I am still curious about whether you guys can "feel" Russian names and if so which ones you like
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I love Russian names, too. Russian names just seem to extra spice, like Russian music. My ear can usually recognise music done by Russian composers just because of they style in which they were written.I must say that it is nice to find someone else who appreciates Olga as much as I do. :) My favourite Olga-combo for the last two years has been Olga Violet Lavinia (though I went through an Olga Violet Christabel stage for a while). My favourite pet form is Olishka, though I also love Olya. Thankfully, in Russian, hypocoristics (which is probably the more correct term for the names we're labelling as 'nicknames') aren't exclusive. It's normal for one to have many hypocoristics, so little Olga could be Olishka, Olya, Olenka, etc. There's a saying in Russia that the more nicknames you have, the more loved you are. :)Alexei is very nice, and the pet form Alyosha is so precious.Maria, of course, is a favourite of mine. Of OTMA, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaievna has always been my favourite, and when I think of this name, Maria's saucer eyes always come to mind. Of her sisters, she was considered to be the most kind and thoughtful. Once when she was a little girl, she was caught by her mother stealing a couple of cookies, and the Czarina thought she should go to bed without any dinner as punishment. Her father, however, said, 'I was always afraid of the wings growing. I am glad to see she is only a human child.'So, while Maria may be bland and boring to others. I associate it with all those amiable, lovable qualities that were so oft written of the grand duchess. Mashka is a cute pet name, but then I'm biased. :) I also like Masha and Marushya.

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This message was edited 6/18/2008, 10:52 PM

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You really want Lenin for a namesake?I can understand Tchaikovsky, but Lenin carries some pretty heavy baggage, and given today's culture, more people are going to remember Lenin than Tchaikovsky. Sorry. My mind immediately jumps to Ilya Petrovich, the fiery-tempered lieutenant in Crime and Punishment. Kind of a jerk, but deep down he's okay.Misha, to me, sounds very feminine. I know that it's a male name in Russia, but in America, it's pretty much reserved for the girls, and disagreeing with it isn't going to change it. It'll just get little boy Misha teased. Mikhail is great, though.Maria is lovely, but Mashka looks morbid and kind of cruel. I don't care for it much, but you'll probably be the only one using that nickname.Gavril is great. Gabriel is, in the eyes of a lot of people, overused, and this makes a nice alternative.Dmitry has a wonderful sound, but I much prefer Dmitri or Dimitri. Great choice. Ethnic, but with flair. Mitya and Dima are not great for me, though. Mitya sounds girlish and Dima is too close to demon for my taste.Aleksandr nn Sasha is fantastic. Alexei is great for me, but I have family connections to the Romanov family, so that may be a little biased on my part. It's a fantastic name, though. Anastasia is one of my all-time favorite girl names. Love it, love it, love it. Also, the nn Anya is on my PNL and would stand well on its own.

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I think that people who would make the connection between Ilya and Ilyich would probably be educated enough to think of Tchaikovsky as well as Lenin. I just used them as examples to familiarize youguys with llya as a name.Hitler's father was Alois. I love Alois and am irritated about Alois and Adolf being such good names. Father is where the connection stops though! I'd so use Alois. And Ilya.I don't think Misha is known enough among Americans or at least the grade school demographic as a female name to invite much teasing. My sister's middle name is Mischia prn like Misha actually, but I still don't see it as exclusively feminine, any more than I see Ilya or Vanya or Pasha as feminine.I prefer Anya for Anna actually! I like Stasia and Nastasya for Anastasia.That is nice that it means heart in Hebrew! It is a sweet simple thing.I only like Olga as a first name actually.Thanks!
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I have a relative named Alois, but he goes by his last name. His son is named John Alois.
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Sorry I couldn't answer your post about Finnish names! It was very interesting, and I had alrewady ideas, what to write. I think I'll PM you tomorrow morning before going out. You had good luck with the Russian speakers - both Ilya and Andrey are on my PNL, and Tatiana is another name I adore. They're all, including Olga, pretty random (actually there are only about fifty Russian names for both genders that are used on 90% of people. "Russian" names, like Aglaia, Nikandr, Akulina, Panteleimon or Praskovya aren't actually used like at all, though in the last ten years there is a nationalistic trend of using very rare folk-related names, like Vasilisa, Dobrynya, Yegor, Gleb, Uliana and so on.) Think Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. It is not a girl name actually.
- Ilyich is in both cases the patronymic name. You may know that, but I've seen too often people thinking that Ilyich is an actual name. The pet form is Ilyusha but he did not use it and I only used it twice.
- Your Ilya came from "a good family". Ilyusha is the more... um, not upperclassish, but... Oh, just take a look at this wiki-article - I mean that people who are related to this "social class" use Ilyusha, but the slang/lowerclass form you see more often is Ilyukha. The same thing with Aleksei - Lyosha is the "educated" form, Lyokha the form you hear on the streets.I love Ilya very much because of the associations I have with it and the soft sound. My friend's (Fyedya - or Fyodor Vladimirovich.) elder brother is Ilya, my mom's best friend's dad, who was a good friend of my grannddad was Ilya Gesselevich, a nice scientist who stays often at us is Ilya and a great ballet teacher I happen to know is Ilya.

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Yeah I actually like all of their names pretty well.
Odd that they are random. Ilya is Ukranian, and I think that Olga and Tatiana are as well. That might have something to do with it? LOL yeah I was telling my friend Janine about Ilya and she said "What's his full name" and I said "Ilya" and she said "That is a nickname" and I said "No it is the Russian form of Elijah think Tchaik and Lenin" and she said "Oh. I thought it was a nickname for that" and I said "BAHAHHAHA NO FOOL, ILYICH IS THE PATRONYMIC BAHAHAHAHHAHA" and she said "Ha ha ha."That is interesting about the intelligentsia using Ilyusha. Ilya's family actually came to America when he was nine because "it just sucked" and "there weren't many prospects." Now they make concrete factories or something and are - fairly well off? I know Ilya went to Yale. Of course he is Ukrainian. And when I asked if there was a nickname for Ilya when I was grilling him about his name, he said "The diminutive is Ilyusha." So I dunno if his family uses it or what.Ilyukha and Alyokha are fun too. Wow names are fun when they are not Hayden and Jace.His midd- well. The conversation went thus. His English was perfect so I was surprised to find out he was, like, 4real Russian (did not yet know he was Ukranian).
Me: "Do you have a patronymic middle name too?"
Him: "Of course!"
Him: "Felixovich." (Probably it was Feliksovich. Whatev. I like x's.)
Me: "AWESOME I am def telling all of my namenerd friends about you"
Other people in the car: "Oh what does that mean"
Him: "In most eastern european countries it is traditional to use the father's first name with the suffix -ovich, which means 'son of,' as the son's middle name. So my father is Felix (Feliks), and my middle name is Feliksovich."

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Oh well, Ukraine is still very related to Russia – you can live there easily without knowing Ukrainian like at all, so all the names Ukrainians use tend to be Russian. One little exception seems to be Oksana – all the Oksanas I’ve known have been originally from Ukraine. :PI didn’t actually mean that only intelligentsia is using Ilyusha. Ilyukha sounds very street-related compared to Ilyusha, if you know, what I mean. It is like using “bad” words – you will never call yourself Alyokha among grandparents as well as you will never use vulgar words. Of course Ilyusha and Alyosha (Andriusha – Andryukha, Vanyusha – Vanyukha, Markusha - Markukha) are also the “official” nicknames. :) My mom, who is very proud of her belonging to “intelligentsia” would never call anyone of her friends Ilyukha. Btw, I just thought I could add about nickname usage something. Actually there are two categories of name-nickname relationships.
1) Names like Andrei, Ilya, Yeva, Mark, Zhanna, Nikita, Oleg, Yan, Vera, Igor, Zoya. When people with those names introduce themselves, they never say: “I’m Olyezhka” or “I’m Verochka”. Those pet forms are too familiar and they aren’t used as often as nicknames for the names of the second cathegory.
2) Aleksandr, Yevgeny, Olga, Yelena, Yelizaveta, Mikhail, Anna, Grigory, Yuri, Darya, Maria, Konstantin, Anastasia, Stanislav.

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This message was edited 6/19/2008, 11:28 AM

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I like mine- Natalia. I even have a Russian surname, heh, altough I'm not Russian. I like Andrej -my brother's name, Tatiana -my cousin's, Svetlana, Alexei, Ilya, Nicholai... I don't like Vladimir or anything ending in -mir/a, -slav/a, cos it's always shortened... At least here in Slovakia. I think that nicknames such as Vlado, Miro just sound dumb...

This message was edited 6/18/2008, 3:20 PM

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I like all of those names actually. A lot. Natalia is growing on me a lot lately.-Slav is a very awkward and slimy sound to me, but Mir is fun and sweet and I think Miro is adorable. I wish I liked Slav though!
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Ilya is great for someone else. It makes me think of Ilya Kuryakin, which is a positive association. (Come to think of it, Ilya's partner Napoleon Solo is a positive association too, particularly for a namenerd.) :-) For those too young to know what I'm talking about, check it out:'s not so hot for me. I have all the requisite stereotypical images in my head, sorry. Andrey's handsome, though I prefer Andrei or Andre (depending on the combo). I've never heard the name Bayr but it sounds cool. Tatiana's on my PNL.I have several Russian names on my PNL, actually, more male than female.Aleksei / Alexei - love this because of my son Alex. One of his nn's is Alexei, and has been for many years. I choose to spell it with an X or KS depending on what it's paired with (Derek Aleksei compared with Alexei Fox)Denis - I love the origin; I posted about this a while back and most of the feedback I got was negative; most people prefer this name spelled with 2 N's, though pretty much the same people admitted they didn't like it either way. As with all my other faves that have alternative spellings (like Alexei above), I spell it with one N or two depending on what it's paired with (Denis Alexei versus Dennis Connor)

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I am young.I think I watched some Man from UNCLE when I was really little like 6-7 and not since then.Denis better Denis better! I think I'd probably like all the names you'd pair Denis with more than Dennis too, though.Same with Elena being oft-interchangeable with Helena. I am starting to like Elena more lately. I used to think it was really really pretty, and then one day I got really, really sick of how pretty and silky it was and dropped it completely, and am only recently over thinking it is barfworthy. Milena, though: nope! Elena is excused because it is Helen.Larissa is growing on me so much almost PNLing. I like that spelling more too, although I wish I preferred Larisa.I love Nadya/Nadia. And Nikolai. I am very irritated because I never really loved Nikolai but needed a Russian character whose name needed to be Nick for some reason and named him Nikolai. I was always uncomfortable with it though. Then I figured out Nikita would work fine. Now I like Nikolai better. Mad.Viktor Benedikt is soooo different from Victor Benedict.Anton goes on and off my PNL also, I think it is very handsome and clipped. Sergei is growing on me a lot. Vladimir I finally realized that I don't like much and am happy about knowing this.Thanks!
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You are certainly right, Viktor Benedikt is way different than Victor Benedict, and I can almost like it. The problem is that for some reason about myself that I don't understand, when I see Benedikt I want to prn it with a long I, like dike (as in "an embankment to confine or control water").
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Bayrбаяр Bayar is a Mongolian name meaning fortunate, happy, or rich. It's a very common and handsome name for Mongolians. Those naughty Russian children should be more appreciative of ethnic minorities!
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Thanks for this! I had forgotten what Bayr had told me it meant. I didn't know it was common either. He was talking in the van once about how he had moved around a lot and gotten picked on a ton because "that's the way Russians are," and that one of the things that had come up was "with ridiculous name..." I said Hey is it really considered ridiculous? and he said No it's not ridiculous, but it is rare.
Of course he was in St. Petersburg.It is rather ironic because he was an ethnic minority himself in St. Petersburg and is actually very racist against Koreans in America.I think it's a rockin' name, myself.
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I do like Ilya, actually.
The only other Russian names, that I can think of, that I like are Katya and Svetlana. I also do like the nn's Mashka and Masha.

This message was edited 6/18/2008, 11:21 AM

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Oh right! I forgot about Katya! I love it as a nickname for Katarina!I also LOVE Svetlana. I think once I went to the random name generator to "rename" myself and it came up with Svetlana and I thought it was ~*perfect*~ for me. I hear it has a slightly trashy image though and is very common.
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Vanya - I hate that this is masculine!
Ilya - I want this to be feminine too.
Vladimir (GP)
Dmitri (rather than Dmitry)

This message was edited 6/18/2008, 12:13 PM

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I actually really love that Vanya and Ilya are masculine. I think the -a sound for boys is very dashing and very satisfying. Girls have plenty of -a names.
Anyway I think that a lot of nicknames in Russian are unisex so Vanya is probably as valid a nickname for Ivana as Ivan. Someone should probably correct me on that though.I like Dmitri too. Oh no I am going to have to have both on my PNL!
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I have a soft spot for Ilya...That was the name of my gymnastics coach for two years. I completely admired him and had a bit of a crush. :) I was eleven, I think. I called him Ilya (he pronounced it EEL-ee-ya) but he was occasionally called Ilyusha, as well. This is still one of my favorite Russian names!Coincedentally, his best friend (another coach) was Andrey (spelled Andrei) and the head coach was Tatiana (NN: Tanya). We also had another coach named Aleksandr (no NN.) I love Maria, Dmitri (a favorite since seeing the movie Anastasia when I was four!) and Anastasia.
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Awwwwwwwwwwwww.excuse me. Awwww. Awww Ilya the gymnastics coach.
That is really a weird coincidence that all of the names I met are also names involved with your Ilya.Dmitry is my favorite spelling because in the transcription of The Brothers Karamazof I read, that was the way the character's name was spelled. Dmitri is cute though and reminds me of Petri or Pitri from that series of dinosaur movies. Aww. What a cute name. Aww.
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I much prefer Dmitri - it looks a lot cleaner to me.
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Olga -not a big fan, old woman-ish name here (I've never met an Olga younger than 60)
Ilya -ok, but prefer the Croatian form Ilija
Andrey -like it, prefer Andrej
Tatiana -like it, also like Tajana
Bayr -not sure, seems a bit nicknamish to meMikhail -like it, prefer Mihael
Maria -I like it, also like Masha as a nn
Gavril -very bad association with the name Gavrilo (Gavrilo Princip was a Serb who assassinated the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and started World War I)
Dmitry -I love Dmitar
Aleksandr -like Aleksandar
Alexei -love it and Aleksej
Anastasia -love it and nn Alix
Lev -ok, prefer Lav
Ivan -love it, but it's very popular here and I'd never use it
Modest -ok, not for an English speaking country
Yaromir -prefer Jaromir, but nmsaa
Agafya -weird, nsaa
Afanasiy -even I have trouble with pronouncing this one, lol

This message was edited 6/18/2008, 11:09 AM

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So Olga's old womanish in Croatia too? :P I think it has a permanent old-witch stereotype here.Wow, I wouldn't have made the connection between Gavril and Gavrilo Princip in a bazillion years. Thanks for pointing that out to me.Alix for Anastasia is interesting! I like Alix a lot also. How is it pronounced how you are saying it? I'm saying it almost identically to Alex.LOL Afanasiy I love its awkwardness. It makes me feel like I'm chewing on a stress ball or something.Thanks!
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Here Alix is 'Ah-lee-ks' and Alex is 'Ah-leh-ks'.Yup, Olga, Vera, etc. are very old woman-ish here. Like Ethel, Mabel, etc. in US/UK.
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I love Russian nicknames, how they are just so cute. Anushka, Mashka, etc etc. My favourite Russian "name" is Petrova, I know now it's a patriarch (sp?) but in one of my favourite childhood books (Ballet Shoes) they called the little adopted girl Petrova as she was from Russia. This was obviously a cultural mistake of the author but I loved that girl who dreamt of planes but danced against her wishes to make money for the family :)Aww tell Bayr his name is awesome and not to listen to those meanies at school :( All of their names are great but my favourite is Ilya. I agee with you how cute and boyish it is. Cute, but not girly cute.Hmm, another love of mine right now is Nevena. It's not Russian, but Bulgarian. I get a similar vibe from it though. And Olena, which is Ukranian. Some actual Russian names you might want to think about:Pavel "Pasha" :)
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OMGPavel Pasha. Must add.
Awwww omg omg omg omg. Love. Isn't Paul the cutest thing ever? Everything to do with it is cute. Paul Pavel Pasha I think -ova is a beautiful suffix and that it is rather too bad that it is a patronymic one. Petrova is so pretty even without having read the book :)
I am glad you think it is not girlish cute. Nevena is pretty. Olena is awesome. Helen is so great wtf.
You know I have never thought about Sonya before. I would have a bit of trouble with it since it is technically a pet form but I love the Sophie family and like it a lot as a nickname.Taras and Vikenti are both really neat also! Thanks a lot!
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I think Ilya is a great name.. and if I recall correctly, it was the heroes name in the russian myth of the Firebird. Ilya Ivanovitch I think..
My understanding is that the ovitch suffix means son of, so its awesome that his MN is Felixovitch!
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Did not know about anything Firebirdish. Yeah Felixovich! His dad is Felix I guess. Patronymics is fun!
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I might as well just get this out right at the beginning, so...
I LOVE RUSSIAN NAMES!Ok, now that we've put that out of the way, I must say that I totally agree Ilya is adorable and Ilyusha is even MORE adorable! Olga and Tatiani are too Romanov, abd Bayr sounds like a recneck trying to say bear. Andrey is find, but I love Andrei. And while we're on the topic of Russian names, I must say that I also love Pyotr and Vladimir. Here are my thoughts of the other ones.Mikhail -- Totally agree with you about Mikhail and Misha.
Maria -- Mashka is adorable indeed, but Maria is so blah.
Gavril -- Seems like the name of a sword from a mediocre fanfiction about Lord of the Rings, sorry.
Dmitry -- I have always and will always love this name. Nothing could ever change that for me.
Aleksandr -- I love this, especially nn Sasha! Though I do prefer Alexis prn uh-LEK-see. I'd use it in a second.
Alexei -- Well there we go, same prn as Alexis. Um, it's awesomely Romanov, minus the princess part? Does that sell it? Plus, it's so mysterious and... Slavic.
Anastasia -- I've always loved this, too, but feel it's a tad pretentious. I've stuck it with Antoinette for now, another one I love be find to be slightly cliche.
Lev -- I love it! I'd never even heard of it before, honestly. But I love Lvov, which is similar.
Ivan -- Ivan is another one of my absolute favorites. So much better than just plain old John!
Modest -- Moussorgsky! The Russian composer of Night on Bald Mountain! That's one hell of a song, by the way.
Yaromir -- I can't get over the "yar" for some reason, not sure why.
Agafya -- Reminds me of guffaw.
Afanasiy -- I reall like this. It's so unique and ethnic.
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Bayr is pronounced with the emphasis on the "y" actually - bie-EER, as opposed to BIE-eer (which is more redneckbear to me. Although a lot of people did call him Bear!)I was sittin' there foldin' laundry all by myself in the laundry room and Bayr walked in, walked over to a washin' machine, put laundry in it, and said "So I hear you're interested in names.""Yeah actually.""What can you tell me about mine?"Absolutely nothing! :(. "I think it's really cool, I love that it looks like Bear and sounds like By Ear. I have never heard it before though, what can you tell me about it?" then he said the mongolian stuff
Disagree about Maria blah :D
Really? Gavril "Ganya" the sword? I ... have never thought about it that way at all, huh. I have a totes different literary association.Agree with Anastasia and Antoinette. They are a bit cheap.
LOL I did not even think about the Yar part being funny. But it is. Seems like a big yawn. I like it.Agafya looks awkward, but say it a few times! It is pretty!Thanks!
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Yeah, to me Gavril just seems like the name some LOTR-obsessed boy would use in his own fanfiction involving all the same characters. Excalibur, Anduril, Glamdring... they're all names of famous literary swords, and just seem the same to me. I don't quite know why. But, now that I've said Agafya, you're totally right! It's gorgeous! I was definately struggling with pronunciation before because I was trying to turn it Welsh. It really DOES look Welsh, when you think about it. But then I looked it up and it's quite nice.And I've thought up a bit of story for our socially-lacking sword boy! Arwen, Galadriel and Eowyn are in battle killing all sorts of nasty orcs and other beasties, but they are losing. Aragorn, Legolas and all the other LOTR hotties come in to help, but of COURSE the orcs kill them. So our dear boy swoops in riding a dragon, wearing shining chain mail and clutching Gavril in his oh so muscular arms. This is HIS fantasy afterall LOL! He then slays all the nasties and saves middle earth and Arwen, Galadriel and Eowyn fall madly in love with him. The end!
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Wow Agafya does look Welsh. I am glad you like it better now :PThat is the best story ever! Especially when you are imagining Gavril as a hot Russian guy in a dostoyevsky novel and not a sword :P Yay for saving middle earth and being hotter than the LOTR hotties!That is SO random you associate Gavril with Glamdring and Anduril - oh I guess I see the similarity to Anduril though. Does it help any if I mention that Gavril is Gabriel but said quickly with a Spanish accent - also Gabriel in Russian and not a sword?
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