August 18, 2021

What's in a Name?


What's in a Name?
Surprising to some, Russia is way more than just Moscow!  Photo by Marjan Blan via Unsplash

We all already know that Russia is full of so many weird and wonderful places, but Yandex.Maps most recent study of their database has given us an even deeper appreciation for all the different places one can visit within the giant country herself. 

The report begins by discussing the different types of municipalities in Russia. Of all the different places listed in Russia, less than 1.5% of them represented cities or suburban-type settlements. The rest of the 98.5% of Russia is a combination of various village types. Some specific types of villages can only be found in certain regions, such as auls in the Caucasus and South Siberian region.  

Most interestingly, the report also took stock of different municipality names. There were a total of 82,000 unique place names in all of Russia, the most common of which was Alexandrovka (unsurprisingly), with a total representation of separate 333 locations. 

Some rather amusing place names only occur once on the map, such as (in translation) Big Peas, Good Bees, or Meringue (unfortunately no New York though).  They also named the place with the most letters (and no hyphens or spaces to separate them). Measuring in at a whopping 23 letters in Russian, Verkhnenovokutlumbetyevo takes the title (and no, don't ask us to pronounce that, please). 

Much easier to type into your GPS are the two-letter named places in Russia, of which the country has many, including several Yams and Yars (spelled with two letters in Russian). In Russia, there are settlements that begin with every letter of the alphabet, except of course for the hard and soft signs. Most frequently, places begin with the letter K and least frequently, the letters that make the vowel sounds for Y (in Cyrillic Ы) and the short I (in Cyrillic Й).

The study also took the time to show us how to get to and from some of these more unusual, yet somehow related places. For instance, you can easily find the route from Ordinary to Happy Life with the help of Yandex.Maps. Alternately, it can take you from Big Grief to Consolation, or if you are feeling really adventurous, from the Moon to Mars

 

You Might Also Like

Locating Lotuses
  • July 26, 2021

Locating Lotuses

Did you know that wild lotus flowers are native to Russia? Well, here's an interactive map of where to find them in the Astrakhan region.  
Regions Measure Up
  • February 23, 2021

Regions Measure Up

RIA Novosti's annual survey, ranking each Russian region by residents' quality of life, has some not-so-surprising results.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955