Type Surname (from occupation)
Other Forms FormsКалачников (Kalachnikov)
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Meaning & History
Means "son of the kalach-maker", derived from Russian калашник (kalashnik), a variant of калачник (kalachnik) "maker of kalaches" - kalach being a type of bread - combined with the patronymic suffix -ов (-ov). The Russian word калач (kalach) refers to a white bread traditional to East Slavs that is usually twisted into a wheel or padlock shape before baking, though historically it referred to any kind of white bread. Kalach itself may be derived from Old Slavonic коло (kolo) which meant "circle, wheel" or may come from a Tatar word meaning "to be hungry".This surname was used by Mikhail Lermontov for a character in his poem The Song of the Merchant Kalashnikov (1838), which was adapted into an 1880 opera by Anton Rubinstein. Most famously it was borne by Mikhail Kalashnikov (1919-2013), the Russian weapons designer who invented the AK-47 assault rifle, where AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova (literally "Kalashnikov's automatic device").