A popular Russian female name, Tatiana is actually of ancient Latin origins. A feminine form of Tatianus, which is a variation of Tatius, it is of uncertain derivation or meaning and is believed to be of Sabine origins.
The name was borne by an early Christian martyr, a Roman woman, who was persecuted under Emperor Alexander Severus (C. 230). Her devotion became especially popular in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, hence is why the name is so common in Eastern Europe.
Her designated name-day is January 12, and in Russia, this is considered a national holiday for students, known under its religious name as Tatiana Day, and in secular circles as Russian Students Day.
In 1755, Russian Minster of Education, Ivan Shuvalov, designated his mother’s name-day as Tatiana Day, in honour of his mother. That same year, St. Tatiana was declared the patron saint of students.
The name is believed to have been further popularized through Alexander Pushkin’s 1825 novel, Eugene Onegin, in which the lady love of Onegin is named, Tatyana Larina, (affectionately known as Tanya).
The name was also borne by one of the last Russian Grand Duchesses, Tatyana Nikolaevna Romanov of Russia (1897-1918).
In the United States, Tatiana did not catch on as a first name til the 1980s, thanks in part due to a popular line of perfume that came out. Currently, Tatiana ranks in as the 328th most popular female name, (2008).
Tanya and Tanja are diminutive forms that caught on as independent given names in the rest of Europe.
In the English-speaking world, its usage caught on in the 1930s, especially in the United States, when the same decade saw a large influx of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants. She currently ranks in as the 841st most popular female name, (2008).
The highest she has ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1974, coming in as the 46th most popular female name.
The Tanja spelling became especially popular in Germany between the late 1970s and 80s, this rendition is also used in Serbia, Croatia, Finland and Slovenia.
In Brazil, there is Tânia, which in part, may have been introduced via Ukrainian and Russian immigrants during the turn of the century and again between the 1930s and 1970s.
Tania and Tatiana are also used in Spanish speaking countries.
Other forms of Tatiana include:
- Taciana (Belorusian)
- Tatyana Татяна (Bulgarian/Russian)
- Tatjana Татјана (Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
- Taťána (Czech)
- Taina (Finnish)
- Tatienne (French)
- Tania (Hungarian/Italian)
- Tatjána (Hungarian)
- Taziana (Italian)
- Tatiana (Italian/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian/Slovak/Spanish)
- Tacjana/Tacjanna (Polish)
- Táňa (Slovakian)
- Tijana (Slovene)
- Tjaša (Slovene: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name, it ranked in as the 15th most popular female name in Slovenia, (2005)
- Tatiana Тетяна (Ukrainian)
Masculine forms are:
- Tanio (Italian)
- Tatiano (Italian)
- Taziano (Italian)
- Tazio (Italian)
- Tatianus (Latin)
- Tatius (Latin)
- Tacjan (Polish)
In Russian, the name has a myriad of diminutive forms, these include: Tanchik, Tanchita, Tanchos, Tanic, Tano, Tanya, Tanyufka, Tanyurik, Tantanya, Tasha, Tasik, Tata, Tatyanida, Taya, Tosya, Toussia and Totoshka.