On the example of the hero of the famous Soviet film, we know that Georgy Ivanovich is Gosha, he is Goga, he is Zhora, he is Yura. Such confusion can lead a foreigner into a stupor, but it does not surprise a Russian person. But what are the names hidden under the affectionate children's nicknames from old films and books, sometimes it is not so easy to figure it out.
The tradition of giving children affectionate family nicknames is very old. This was accepted among the aristocracy, and we know that the great autocrat Nicholas II was called Niki, and his royal wife was called Alix. Elizabeth of Bavaria even in history remained as Princess Sisi, and her sister Elena was reduced to Nene from childhood. A little later, in Soviet times, such "alterations" began to sound a little different, but in essence they have not changed. If now it is customary to call a person by his full name already from the cradle, then earlier Kotki, Bobki and Alki ran around the yards. However, at times this name-making followed very winding paths, and today it is difficult to figure out what is hidden behind this or that nickname.
Interestingly, such names were often unique. Volodya, for example, could be reduced to Lodi or Volka - so that the hero of L. Lazar's story "The Old Man Hottabych" is in fact most likely Vladimir (although maybe Voldemar). The name Elena was transformed into Lyusha, Lenka, Lenochka and even Yolochka, Yolka. The well-known Mura from Chukovsky's poems is Maria (the writer's youngest daughter), and Lyolya and Minka, about whom Zoshchenko wrote, are actually Olya and Mikhail.
It is difficult to explain even the generally accepted abbreviations to modern children, whom the kindergarten teachers call hollow names. Many are surprised how Alexander could turn into Shurik (even the letters do not match here), Anna into Nyura, and Masha into Marusya. Previously, no one was surprised if Kostya's name was Kotka, and Oleg's name was Alkoy. But Nikolaev could also be called Kokami - this, of course, was better hidden from his comrades. In the courtyard environment, there were contractions, and Kok's grandmother's favorite turned into Kolyana on the street. Often, parents specially changed national names to make it easier for others to communicate with the child - for example, Naila could turn into Nelia, Rachel (according to Raisa's passport) was called Lela at home, and Wolf was simplified to Volka.
In Nikolai Nosov's stories, we come across unusual names. Bobka, who tore his pants and then sewed the patch himself - this is most likely Boris. Sly Kotka, who did not want to build a hill, when he grew up, probably became Konstantin. True, sometimes writers asked difficult tasks. In 1937, Ian Larry wrote a book about the amazing adventures of Karik and Vali. With Valya, everything is clear, but Karik still remains a mystery - he is Oscar, Makar or even Ikar - there is no exact data, and different opinions are expressed.
By the way, Krapivin also features Oscar, whom everyone calls Oskoy. But Totosha and Kokosha from Chukovsky's fairy tales are, most likely, Anton and Nikolai, although it seems to some that Totosha is the girl Victoria. The confusion is reflected even in the illustrations, where one of the little crocodiles is painted either as a boy or as a girl - as the artist likes best.
The real names of the beloved brothers from the story of Arkady Gaidar also remain a secret. What the real names of Chuka and Geka were is not really clear, so various versions are being discussed.Most likely, Huck is a modified Sergei, who transformed to Sergeika, and then to Geika (this is another name that appears in children's literature of those times). Chuk may have descended from Vladimir. This is not so obvious at first glance, but if you call Volodya Vovchuk, and then remove all the most important letters from the word, you can get it.
On the Internet, you can find references to the family of the geologist Seregin, who, allegedly, was Gaidar's neighbor. He had two sons (Volodya and Sergei), who became the prototypes of these wonderful heroes. There are, however, more exotic versions: the name Chuk is even derived from Chukovsky, and Huck - from Hector or Huckleberry Finn.
Nicknames to the members of the Romanov family were given by the people, and these names were not always so cute: the regal "Bulldogs", "Ducks" and "Pineapple"