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Russian nicknames and terms of endearment
Illya Kuryakin - spy with a spade!
kinosino wrote in little_details
I'm looking for a nickname that an older mentor-type guy would call a teenager named Artem that he's... pretty close to and all but adopted. Both are Russian, in a modern American setting (so if the nickname gets used in front of others, it'll go right over their heads anyway). It'd be nice if it were something Artem's (probably Ukrainian) mother called him as a child, but it's not necessary. I like the sound of Artemka (it brings up plenty of hits on Google, so I know somebody uses it), but I've been having trouble finding nicknames for this particular name - hopefully because it's a little less common, not because it's just plain undiminutivable - that's just not possible, right? Or should I just go with something else entirely like zhukochka or myshechka (at least from the mother)? Actually, mentor-guy's brother-in-law is going to get called one of these two things (probably the latter), so if anyone could suggest less... cutesy-chka forms of those, I'd appreciate it.

An edit: Random Wikipedia delving the other day informed me that the snipers trained by Vasily Zaytsev were called zaichata ("bunnies"). Toying with calling a couple of kids some variety of "bugs", if it's even the sort of thing you could call kids. (End edit.)

And while I'm here, mentor-guy has a young niece with the name/nickname Candy. Anything cute and plausibly Russian she could be called? Some work with Google suggests Konfeta (or Konfetka?) to me. Also, since the circumstances of her birth were... somewhat unusual (mad science ahoy!), how likely is it that her (also Russian) parents would just flat-out name her Konfeta-or-whatever once the adventure settles down and they get around to naming her? They're globe-trotting types, but would likely raise her somewhere near her babysitting uncle, if living in the US helps the kooky names factor any. I'll settle for Candy, though, if Konfeta would be the Worst Name Ever - though some of my characters do end up with some odd names, so I'm not opposed to a name that makes people go "well, it works for a fictional character..." or such.

(Icon, aside from being of a Russian character, is unrelated.)

Artemka would work (pronounsed more like Artyomka), though Tema (pronounced "tyoma") is probably the most common one.
"ZajchOnok" ("little hare", actually, but the meaning is pretty much the same as "little bunny" in this context) is not uncommon term of endearment, as well as "kotYOnok" ("little kitten"), "sOlnyshko" ("little sun" or "dear sun"). I can't think of anything bug-related that would be commonly used, but if you want to, "ZhuchOk" would mean "little bug" (from "zhuk" = "bug"), "pauchOk" - "little spider", "kuznYEchik" means "grasshopper" (not "little grasshopper", don't let the suffix confuse you here, b/c this word was originally derived from the word "smith", so it's like "little smith" :) to begin with), "komArik" = "little moskito".
Now, you would need a reason to call a child one of these. For instance, "zhuchok" would fit a black-haired boy (althoug a rather common name for a female black dog iz "Zhuchka", so I don't know if you want to use this at all.) "Kuznechik" seemes the cutest to me, it would fit the boy who likes to jump a lot. Now, "komarik" is actually a character in a well-known children's poem by Chukovsky, in whick a spider captures a fly and wants to kill it, naturally, and a moscito (komarik) sweeps in, kills the spider and marries a fly. (keep in mind this is actually a children's poem in a Dr. Seusse kind of style, so it's not as stupid as it sounds :)
Hope this helps.

Yes, I've seen the name with and without a diacritical-mark-I'm-too-lazy-to-recreate here, and I wasn't sure if it was a different form of the same name or just Internet simplification. The yo-less version seems more common in the Ukrainian references I poked around in, which would fit his surname anyway, but could just be coincidence. I've grown rather attached to -ka by now, though, so as long as it's at least valid I think I'll go with it.

As for the bug pet names, it's for a boy and a girl, siblings, and the bug connection has to do with their mother, a beekeeper. I suppose I should ask for bee names, but the girl's more into ladybugs and fireflies and the boy likes butterflies (a family of budding entomologists!), so I figured a collective insect-type name would be simpler (though I think I may have picked up a word meaning something more like "beetle"?). Big help though, thank you! It's hard to find the pet names that don't end in the fluffier, more-lettery endings.

I've seen the name with and without a diacritical-mark-I'm-too-lazy-to-recreate here, and I wasn't sure if it was a different form of the same name or just Internet simplification.

It's the same name, but ё is often replaced by е in modern writing. It's not really an internet-only phenomenon. It's still pronounced -yo- though.

(My sense is that -ka could be seen as condescending when used for a teenaged boy, but I'm not a native speaker, so if a native speaker says it's okay, then I'm probably just wrong.)

Ah, so nobody's gonna come along and whack me over the head with a giant trema for leaving it out? Excellent. Though the circumstances of Artem's upbringing will probably result in him putting up with the mispronunciation, but Dmitri would definitely get it right.

I was kind of worried about the -ka ending from what I'd read myself, but since he doesn't use it all the time, usually only when teasing or being ridiculously sweet and fatherly, I was hoping it'd turn out alright (especially with the connection to Artem's mother).

Ladybug in Russian would be too cumbersome and not appropriate - there are two words that mean, literally, "God's little cow", and shortening it to anything cow-related would not work for obvious reasons :)
"Firefly" is "svetlyachOk", it is actually kind of cute as a nickname. There is also Russian name Svetlana (Sveta for short), that is derived from the same root meaning "light". This word would also work for a boy. Also, "pchyolka" (little bee) would work for a girl, but not a boy (it is feminine).
The word that means "butterfly" in Rissian (babochka) also has feminine gender and would not be appropriate for a boy except as an attempted insult, but you could use "motylyok", that means "moth" (in some cases it is used when talking about a smaller butterfly). There is also "machaon", ("ch" is pronounced as in "Chameleon") which is a specific kind of butterfly and the word is male.
Good luck!

I knew there was a reason I wasn't considering specific insect names too seriously - I probably saw ladybug and grasshopper somewhere and decided Russian insect names just didn't work that way. Already figured there wasn't much of a way to masculinify the word for butterfly - the boy keeps that interest pretty secret anyway, since butterflies aren't exactly manly around here either (he's still young enough to care about teasing). Firefly and bee work great though, thanks a lot!

And bee being feminine makes complete sense now that I think of it, heh.

Agreed with most of above.

Artem: Artemka (Artiomka/Artyomka): Tyoma (most closest pronounce would be the German one like Töma); Tiomochka (Tömochka/ Tyomochka).
Bug names are not really common in use as a kind of pet names. But if you wish you can use them as they were written above by jgofri (but NOT Zhuchka — it's can be rude).
Candy — yes, Konfetka is a right translation but there is no official name in Russian like this. It can be only used as kind of name someone in the family calls her. Just give her a more common name and let her to respond for Konfetka.

P.S. Excuse my broken English

Ah, thanks a lot! Konfetka was most likely going to have an actual name anyway (I've been using Feodora so far, at least as a placeholder), but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. I wouldn't have so many questions if it weren't for my bad habit of coming up with characters' extended families and their quirks... the bugs, for example, are from the non-Russian side of Artem's family, so any nicknames for them would be pretty facetious to begin with.

I'm afraid that I can't help you with your actual question, but you must know how much I love your icon, however unrelated it may be. I've only seen a little of it, but the Man from UNCLE rocks my world.

Heh, I'm in the same boat. Haven't gotten to see much of it, but it's half the reason I suddenly have a story in my head crawling with Russian characters now (the other half being Metal Gear Solid 3). But who can resist such fun icons?

You have a Waverly icon, too... marry me. >_>;

Yeah, I've seen maybe ten or twelve episodes, from the first and second seasons, and it's easily my favorite spy-related thing, television or otherwise. Oh, that automatically makes me interested in your story - will it be online somewhere, or are you aiming to publish? (Tangentially, a friend and I want to write an epic MFU/The Avengers/The Prisoner/possibly Bond crossover fanfic someday - but that is for another time...)

I'm also pretty fond of Get Smart - but then, I've actually gotten to see more of that. Can't stand Inspector Gadget though, darndest thing.

I'm probably shooting for the same old online-and-someday-I-will-be-published-and-famous! type thing that a lot of silly dreamers believe in. It'll be awhile though, what with plotting and the naming of obscure characters, not to mention those pesky hey-I-could-draw-this-right ambitions - somebody's got to draw a five-foot-tall B-cup superheroine at some point and it may as well be me. Yes, superheroes, beekeepers (she is also a superhero), and secret agents "globetrotting types", oh my.

Well, when you get around to writing it, I'll award you five Internets for working in a reference to Jet Dream and her Stunt Girl Counterspies, the fantastically campy co-feature from the MFU comic books. Sample dialogue: " one can cage Raven Red! I'll escape to flame you out for keeps, Jet!" "Quoth Jet Dream... 'Nevermore'! That means never again, sister! Bye bye birdie!" It is fantastic.

Get Smart is one that I've always wanted to see, but just haven't gotten to. My mom always says that I'd love it, and from what I've heard, it sounds brilliant.

Ahh, yeah, I'm the same - starting online seems like a good way to get noticed, at least. And yes, I know how that feels - seems like all of the really good ideas have so much research and plotting involved, not to mention all of the little ideas that happen in the process. As for short B-cup superheroines and beekepers, I approve of these things! However long it takes, I hope that I'll be able to see the results somehow.

Five whole Internets! You have yourself a deal. I'd heard of Jet Dream et al, but never seen it or read any direct quotes... that is just magical.


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