Anna Chapman (and Fermanova) Inspire Baby Names: But These Russian Spy Names Are Better

Amy Keyishian
1

russian nesting dollsWant your baby girl to have an exotic spy name? Who doesn't? (Okay don't respond to that!) But when a second sexy Russian spy turned up also named Anna, it seems it's the hot name du jour.

Anna Fermanova and Anna Chapman -- quite tame. Where are the Pussy Galores? The Mata Haris? Spies, especially Russian ones, are supposed to be exotic! Anna doesn’t even sound mysterious. It rhymes with "banana," for heaven’s sake. So, I went on a hunt for other Russian female spies to see what kind of names turned up ... for inspiration. The first one I thought of was the most famous, Ethel Rosenberg. Helluva spy, but not much of a name (confession: I actually love the name Ethel, but in no way do I find it sexy). Of course, her spy ring also brought us Russell McNutt and (I kid you now) Semen Semenov, but I digress. 

A little digging (hey, I can reconnoiter like the best of ‘em) brought me some pretty intense names from the annals of Soviet and Russian spy-dom. See if any of them float your lodka, or just check out our list of the most popular Russian girl names.

  • Ursula Kuczynski, code name Sonia, recruited agents and ran a spy ring in ‘30s-era Shanghai.
  • Agnes Smedley was in a love triangle with Ursula’s husband and worked with the Soviets to support the Chinese Communists.
  • Melita Norwood, code name Hola, used her work as a nuclear researcher to send state secrets to the USSR.
  • Leontine (Lona) Cohen was part of the Portland Spy Ring that gathered British military secrets.
  • Maria Konnenkova dated Albert Einstein to find out about the Manhattan Project.
  • Yelizaveta Zarubina recruited hundreds of other spies and turned on her own husband.
  • Yelena Kozeltseva exposed Nazi agents.
  • Zoaya Voskresenskaya, code name Madame Yartseva, warned Stalin that the Germans were about to invade Russia. (He didn’t listen!)


Of course, you might not want to necessarily name your kids after Russian spies. But Russian names really do have a certain flair! According to Nameberry, the Russian-inflected names in the Top 100 Baby Names include:

Alisa
Anastasia
Angelica
Annika
Anya
Bella
Karina
Kira
Lara
Lia
Lilia
Mila
Nadia
Natalia
Natasha
Nina
Sasha
Sonia
Tanya
Tatiana
Zoey

What’s your favorite Russian name? Don’t you wish we had more exotically named spies these days? Discuss in the comments!

 

Image via beggs/Flickr

Read More