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[Facts] I need help understanding Russian patronymics
I understand the differences and how the patronymics are named for the father's first name, but why is it that the final letter in some patronymics isn't included? For example, the patronymics of Nicholas II's children were Nikolaevna (for his daughters) or Nikolaevitch (for his son), even though Nicholas' name in Russian was Nikolay and Nikola isn't used in Russia last I checked.And in the case of Catherine II, why was her patronymic Alekseyevna if her father was named Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst?I hope someone can answer this. Thank you.
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I don't speak Russian, but the construction of the patronymic follows rules for suffixes that may involve changes in the final syllables. This happens in other languages as well.As for the patronymics, foreign princesses would be given new patronymics when their father's names did not exist in Russian (such as Christian August) - usually it was Feodorovna, after the Feodorovskya Icon. In Catherine's case, her new patronymic was probably an hommage to Catherine I (Marfa / Yekaterina Alekseyevna); it may also have been chosen out of devotion to St Alexis or the many Alexis/Aleksey in the imperial family.

This message was edited 7/26/2017, 4:19 AM

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