Eastern Europe is a large area in Europe covered by many different countries in groups such as the Baltic Nations, the Central European Nations, the Balkan Nations, the Southeastern European Nations, and then those simply designated as Eastern European. All of these groups include countries that are at times considered part of Eastern Europe. This means there are many different cultures, languages, and climates all contributing to this single area, making it a fantastic place to find interesting and unique names. Each of these countries brings something unique and wonderful to the plate so if parents cannot find it in a name here there are many more to explore in the countries of Eastern Europe.
Eastern Europe includes countries that appear on this name list such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and Poland. It also includes many countries which do not, Albania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Romania and many more. The names and languages of the countries I listed have gotten a bad reputation for sounding harsh or being difficult to say or spell. Take a look at some of the names on the list each one is beautiful in its own way and parents can always find beauty in a language if they are open to it.
Milena is a gorgeous girl’s name that has a Czech origin. This sweet feminine name means, “love, warmth, and grace.” The name Milena is sited on Nameberry as having two variations of pronunciation the first mill-EH-na, the second mill-AY-na. Whichever way you say it Milena still sounds sweet and beautiful.
The name Milena has gained popularity in the United States making it onto the top 1000 girl’s name list. However, the name is currently only at number 832 on the list still hovering near the bottom. The name Milena is one of the top names in Poland according to Nameberry.
Bela is a simple unassuming name that has a Czech origin and is utilized as both a girls and boy’s name. The name Bela is pronounced Bay-la and means, “white.” While Bela is a unisex name it is easily confused with the wildly popular Bella in the United States so it is likely to be considered more feminine. The name Bela has not made it onto the top 1000 name chart for either boys or girls, however, the more popular Italian cousin Bella currently sits at number 50 on Nameberry.
For a girl, this is essentially a spelling variation on the popular Bela however it does offer some uniqueness in spelling and it gives the meaning of “white” as opposed to the traditional Italian name Bella’s meaning of “beautiful.” Whether for a boy or girl the sweet Bela is perfect and out of the box offers simplicity and originality.
Shari is a girl’s name that has an origin in Hungary. This Hungarian name means, “Princess.” The name is listed on Nameberry as being an Anglicized variation of Sari another Hungarian name. It is also a variation of Sarah which makes it the perfect way to honor a Sarah in your life without having to repeat the super common name.
The name Shari has not gained popularity in the United States however it has a sound similar to names like Cherri or Sherry. These names have fallen out of favor in recent years but the edgier spelling of Shari may be enough to modernize the name and bring it back into the spotlight. With a meaning like princess but a bold and edgy spelling and sound, this is the perfect balance of femininity and strength, perfect for your new little warrior princess.
It may not look like it but Sandor is actually a variation on the common Greek name Alexander. Sandor pronounced SHAN-dor, which actually when you say it sounds quite similar, is the Hungarian diminutive for the ever popular Alexander. Alexander itself is a Greek name and means, “defending men,” which translates over to Sandor as well.
Sandor is a perfect twist on a fan favorite. Sandor keeps the strong bold sound and feel of Alexander but shortens it and gives it a uniqueness and an edge. The name Sandor is perfect for the nickname Andor and does offer some versatility such as Sander, Sandar or even Sandyr. However, you spin it Sandor is unique, bold and absolutely gorgeous.
A variation name, the name Ilona looks nothing like the name Helen that it is cousins with. Ilona is the Hungarian variation of the common and classic Greek name Helen. Ilona is given the same meaning as Helen, “bright, shining light.” This bright and beautiful name is a more feminine and lyrical version of the classic Greek name it stems from.
Ilona has not been used much in the United States despite its use in Eastern Europe. The name has not made it onto the top 1000 names chart yet. The name Ilona is sweet and lyrical a perfect feminine name with a bright and beautiful meaning that is just rare enough that your child will be the only one in the class with it but still recognizable and easy enough that people will not struggle with it.
Dacso is a bold and commanding variation on a demure and soft overly used name, Daniel. This Hungarian variation gives some edge to the classic Hebrew name. Daniel has retained popularity in the United States for years and is currently sitting at number 15 in popularity according to Nameberry. The name Daniel and therefore Dacso means, “God is my judge.”
Dacso has some definite benefits. It has a strong bold sound that is unlike anything else popular in the United States right not. Dacso is a great way to incorporate the name Daniel in a subtitle way. The name while not very versatile in terms of spelling offers the nickname Dac. The name also has an edge and boldness without the formality of the classic names like Daniel.
Aliz is the Hungarian variation on Alice but sounds more similar to Elise. Aliz is a girl’s name that means, “noble,” because of its relation to the classic German name Alice. The name Alice is extremely popular in the United States sitting at number 70 on Nameberry and it has held its popularity for many years. Aliz, however, does not enjoy the same popularity.
The name Aliz enjoys an anonymity that makes it the perfect name to honor someone named Alice or even Elise due to its similar sound. The utilizes a z which is unique and there is also the option to spell the name Alyz to make the name even more creative.
Misha is a name that comes from a Russian origin. The name gets its meaning from its relation to the name Mikhail and then in run Michael which means, ‘who is like God.” Even though the root of the name is Michael which is more commonly used as a male name is actually unisex as is Misha.
The name Misha has not gained popularity in the United States and has not yet made a place for itself on the top 1000 names. The name Michael, however, has held popularity for years and currently sits at number 12 on the top 1000 boy’s names according to Nameberry. Michael has not made the top 1000 girl’s names. This sweet twist on Michael may be the perfect option for a name to honor the Michael in your life, avoid the nickname Mike or Mikey and give your child a unique sounding name whether male or female.
Ksenia is a Russian girl’s name that is a variation on another rarely heard name, Xenia. Xenia is rarely used in the United States. This Greek name which Ksenia is derived from and with which it shares its meaning, means “hospitable, welcoming.” Ksenia may be derived from Xenia but it has a sound that is much more reminiscent of names like Kenzie or Kelsey.
The name Ksenia has a beautiful spelling that is unique and the Ks combination is one rarely used in the United States. Even so, the name has a familiar sound that makes it easy to understand. The perfect balance of familiar and exotic Ksenia is just rare enough to make your child the only one with this name in her class.
This short and plain looking name packs a punch in meaning. The name Lev has a Russian origin, and can also be traced back to Hebrew origins. The name means, “heart or lion.” This short three letter name has an extremely bold and impactful meaning which is so contradictory to the appearance of it. Lev is pronounced leev.
The Lev gets its connection to the heart and lions through its relation to the name Leo. The name Lev is the Russian variation of Leo and the Leo zodiac sign is the Lion and there is often an association given to the heart. While Leo currently sits at number 61 on Nameberry the name Lev still remains relatively unknown making it a perfect diamond in the rough for your little lion. This would also be a perfect name for those parents interested in Tomboy names for girls, Lev could easily be unisex.
Mika is a name with a diverse origin and history. The name Mika can be used as either a girl’s name or a boy's. The name, when used for girls, has an origin that is Hungarian, Russian or Japanese. As a boy’s name, however, it is thought to have an origin in Scandinavia. So it is hard to pinpoint an exact origin but in part, the name Mika was from Eastern Europe.
The name is said to mean “beautiful fragrance,” when used as a girl’s name and when utilized as a boy’s name it is said to be a diminutive or nickname for Mikal or Michael. Even with all of these origins and connections the name still has not gained enough popularity to make it onto the top 1000 names chart for either girls or boys. The name Mika has been in the spotlight, however.
With just the right amount of strength and sass, Mika is a fantastic name for anyone. The name is short but offers the spelling variation of Myka or Mykka to allow for a change and modernization.
This is a Russian name that definitely looks rough around the edges. The name Kirill is a boy’s name that is a variation of Cyril. The name Cyril is a Greek name, which gives the name Kirill its base and its meaning: “lordly.” While the name Kirill has belonged to two famous Russian ice dancers it has not hit the spotlight in the United States yet.
With an extremely strong sound and a regal and commanding meaning, the Kirill has nothing soft about it. If you are looking for tough and edgy look no further this name has it all. This rough and tough name may be a little too rough as it has not yet made it onto the top 1000 boy’s name list. However for those looking for a strong and bold name that is not common this may be the perfect name for you.
Galina is a beautiful name with a melodious sound and the beloved Lina ending. The name Galina is attributed to an origin in Russian or Slavic languages and the name is considered to be the feminine form of Galen. Galen is a unisex Greek name meaning, “calm, healer.”
This sweet beautiful name offers extreme versatility. If you want to make it less feminine switch it Galen, the base name which drops the a. The name Galen is also perfect if you want to use this as a boy’s name. The names can also be paired as Galina and Galen for twins. Galina also offers the nickname Gal or Lina. Spelling variations are also prevalent for this sweet and beautiful name, Galinna, Galena or Galyna to name a few. If you are looking for a name you can customize to fit you perfectly, Galina has almost endless options.
Ilari has a Russian and Basque origin. For those like me who had never heard of Basque, it is a group of people who lived in Spain and France in an area that border the Bay of Biscay and their language is the origin of certain names including this one. This happy little name has a meaning that matches its sound, the name means, “cheerful.”
This name breaks all of the rules that parents in the United States follow when choosing boy’s names, even when they don’t know they are doing it. The name is lyrical, and light. It is happy and the name doesn’t command attention or have an over-masculine or formal feel, it is subtle. This is the perfect name for a modern parent searching for a name that breaks the outdated rules.
Amaliya is one of my favorite variations. This gorgeous name romanticizes the plain Jane name, Amy. Amy is a fan favorite name in the United States and it is another name that has held its popularity for years, currently sitting at number 174 on Nameberry’s top 1000 girl’s name. Amaliya is a Russian variation on the beloved French name Amy that takes the name to another level and creates something beautiful and romantic.
This sweet, romantic name gets its start from Amy and it gets its meaning of, “beloved,” as well. Despite being a gorgeous variation on a relatively plain classic the name Amaliya has not gained much traction in the United States. Amaliya offers nicknames such as Mali, Liya, and Ama. Spelling variation is limited however to things such as Amalliya. Gorgeous and with precious nicknames Amaliya is perfect for your beloved.
Shura is the Russian variation on the classic Greek name Alexander. The name is similar to Sandor which is the Hungarian variation. The name means, “defending men.” Shura is a unisex name however it remains relatively unknown in the United States.
With a strong meaning, the name Shura has a surprisingly smooth and steady sound. The name Shura can also be a short form of Sashura, which is an interesting variation and could be a great way to lengthen and feminize the name.
Alyena is another variation where the Russians took a classic name and made it more feminine and beautiful. Alyena is the Russian variation of Helen. Helen is a Greek name which means, “bright, shining light.” Another name that is a variation is Ilona the Hungarian variation of the name Helen. Helen currently sits on the charts at number 418 according to Nameberry.
Alyena is a beautiful name which is a great way to honor someone in your life with the classic, old-school name Helen, without having to repeat the plain and overused name. Alyena does over the ability to customize the name a bit more than some other names. There are spelling variations such as Alyenna, Aliena, or Alyynna. There are also the nicknames Aly or Lena that are obvious for this name.
Pasha is a Russian boy’s name that has a similar sound to the unisex Sasha. The name has a unique fact, according to Nameberry, it is traditionally given to a boy born on Good Friday. The name has a meaning of “small.” Also, the name is the Russian diminutive of Pavel, which is the Russian variation of the Latin name Paul.
While Paul has a place at number 225 on Nameberry’s top 1000 list, Pasha and Pavel have not enjoyed the same success. This name may have a tiny meaning, but it has a strong sound and a unique look. Perfect for your new little one, Pasha is a unique name that is sure to be one of a kind.
This melodious name is Polish in origin. The name Kalina is a girl’s name means, “viburnum.” Viburnum is a unique meaning that requires further explanation. Viburnum is a class of shrubs that is an extremely diverse in size, shape and even behavior. These plants can have beautiful flowers with berries.
Nameberry specifics that Kalina is known throughout Eastern Europe as a girl’s name but in Poland, it directly translates to Viburnum. The name Kalina offers variation and flexibility, Kaline, Kalena or Kaleene. There are nicknames such as Kal or Lina available as well. Despite all of this the beautiful Kalina has not made it onto the top 1000 names list in the United States. This beautiful sweet flower name is rare and perfect for any nature lover looking for a feminine unique name.
Kasper is not just a friendly ghost, it also happens to be a Polish name. The name Kasper is similar to the currently popular Jasper but it has a bolder sound. The name Kasper is Persian as well as Polish and it means, “treasurer.”
While the cousin name Jasper has made a place for itself on the top 1000 names chart, Kasper has not made it there just yet. The name has been seen in the spotlight in Eastern Europen where many Footballers have held the first name Kasper as well as Danish DJ Kasper Bjorke. However, the spotlight never seems to make it to the United States so this bold name remains a hidden treasure. The perfect name for the little one you treasure, Kasper is strong and bold.
Another example of a beautiful twist on a common plain Jane name, Jasia is the Polish variation of the popular name Jean. Jasia is a girl’s variation on the unisex Jean and it means, “God is gracious.” Jean is English and Scottish but comes from French as a variation of Johanna. Jean may have fallen off the charts recently but at one time it was popular and it is a well-known name in the United States. Jasia, however, its more feminine and melodious cousin is relatively unheard of.
Jasia is a beautiful short and sweet name which infuses life back into a name that has been forgotten due to its boring sound. Then name Jasia is the perfect way to honor the name Jean without having to be stuck with it. Jasia offers the alternate spelling of Jasya or Jazya, Jazia. There is also the nickname Sia or Jas available with this sweet little name.
Another interesting combination Idzi is the Polish variation of Giles. Giles is a Greek boy’s name which means, “young goat.” Idiz takes that meaning but changes the sound and spelling of the name entirely keeping only the meaning and gender the same.
Unlike anything currently popular in the United States today Idzi has a spelling and sound that make it extremely unique and exotic. This short name has a strong start with the Id but the Zi ending gives it a nice bright zip making it a bold but happy sounding name. Masculine yet not overpowering Idzi captures an ideal balance of command to fun, that many more formal names miss out on.
Delja is a beautiful Polish name that is pronounced DEHL-yah. The name means, “daughter of the sea.” Delja is the Polish diminutive of Kordelja which is a beautiful but formal and rough sounding name. The shortened Delja is much more melodious and smoother sounding.
Delja has not made it onto the top 1000 girl’s names in the United States and is still relatively unknown. However, that is not necessarily a drawback. In the case of this name, the fact that it is rare and relatively unknown makes it more exotic and mysterious. Ideal for parents who love the ocean this name will fit your little mermaid perfectly.
Aurek is the Polish variation of the Aurelius. Aurelius is a Latin boy’s name that means, “the golden one.” The name Aurelius has a beautiful sound but it is a bit feminine so Aurek is a perfect variation to keep the meaning, “the golden one,” while having a bolder more masculine sound.
Aurek is a beautiful name that has some possible variations such as Auryk, Auric or Aurec. The nickname Rick is possible for the name as well. This strong and bold name has a modern edge to it. The meaning is perfect for your baby who is bound to be your, “golden one.”
Arek is sharp and stunning and draws your eye. The name Arek is the Polish variation of the name Aaron or the name Armand. If you use it as the variation on Aaron, which is a Hebrew name, the meaning is “high mountain; exalted, enlightened.” Aaron holds a spot on Nameberry’s top1000 name’s list at number 46. Armand, on the other hand, is a French or German name, this name means, “soldier.”
Whether you are trying to honor or replicate a name, or you simply like Arek, this name has a sharp sound that is sure to draw attention. The name Arek has a sound similar to the popular Eric. It does, however, lack versatility it spelling and there are not many nickname options available.
References: nameberry.com, imdb.com, elitedaily.com, britannica.com, bhg.com