Polina is either a Slavic and Greek form of Paulina (the feminine form of Paulinus, a Roman cognomen meaning “small” or “humble” via Latin paulus (little, small) derived from a PIE root word) or it’s a Russian diminutive of Apollinariya, the Russian feminine form of Apollinaris which derives from the name of the Greek god Apollo. The name is of uncertain etymology and meaning though the ancient Greeks often associated it with the Greek apollymi meaning “to destroy”. It’s also been associated with Doric apella “wall”, later referring to an assembly. Other possible theories regarding the name link it to Indo-European apelo “strength”, Greek apolusis “to redeem”, apolousis “purification”, apoloúōn “washing”, apolúōn “delivering”, aploun “simple”, and aei bállōn “always shooting (arrows)”.

However, it seems more likely that Apollo is pre-Greek in origin, perhaps related to Appaliunas, an Anatolian god  whose name possibly means “father light” or “father lion”, though it could also be related to the name of a Hittite god related to Aplu, a Hurrian and Hittite god of plague and healing; the name might be derived from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning “the son of Enlil”, a title given to the Mesopotamian god Nergal (who was the god of war, pestilence, and death), though I’ve also seen it listed as meaning “father light” or “father lion”. Appaliunas might also have a Luwian etymology (Luwian being an ancient language related to Anatolian and closely related to Hittite) from *appal- meaning “trap, snare, pitfall, ambush”.

Nicknames: Polya (Bulgarian)

Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Akkadian



  • Pavlina (Bulgarian, Macedonian, Greek)
  • Pavlína (Czech)
  • Paulina (Ancient Roman, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, Lithuanian, English)
  • Pauline (French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
  • Paulene (English)
  • Pauleen (English)
  • Paulína (Slovak)
  • Paulien (Dutch)
  • Pauliina (Finnish)
  • Paolina (Italian)
  • Paula (Latin, English, German, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Croatian, Ancient Roman)
  • Paule (French)
  • Paola (Italian)
  • Pavla (Slovene, Czech)
  • Paulette (French)
  • Pauletta (English)
  • Apollinariya (Russian)


Male forms

  • Paulino (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Paulinus (Ancient Roman)
  • Paulus (Ancient Roman)
  • Paolino (Italian)
  • Paul (English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian)
  • Bulus (Arabic)
  • Boulos (Arabic)
  • Paulo (Portuguese, Galician)
  • Pablo (Spanish)
  • Pavlo (Ukrainian)
  • Pavlos (Greek)
  • Paulu (Corsican)
  • Pavel (Russian, Czech, Bulgarian, Slovene, Macedonian)
  • Paol (Breton)
  • Paavali (Finnish)
  • Pauli (Finnish)
  • Apollinaris (Ancient Greek, Russian)


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