Professor Maia Kipp, a native Russian and Chekhov scholar, speaks the place and people names from the play. For instruction in the Russian accent of English, see Paul Meier’s Website.
Recorded by Professor Maia Kipp, edited by Paul Meier, November 3, 2007; a revision of an earlier file made March 27, 2001. Running time 00:02:49.
Ivanov Nikolay Alekseyevich (Alekseyich* colloquial pronunciation, Kolya short/familiar, Nikolasha
Anna Petrovna (Anyuta, Anya short/familiar)
Shabelsky Matvey Semyonovich (Matyushka, Matyusha both endearing)
Lebedev Pavel Kirillych* (colloquial pronunciation ) (Pasha short/familiar, Pashenka endearing)
Zinaida Savishna (Zyuzuyshka endearing/playful/silly/made-up)
Sasha (Sashenka, Sanechka, Shurochka – all endearing; Aleksandra Pavlovna Sasha’s full first and patronymic names )
Lvov Evgeny Konstantinovich
Babakina Marfa Yegorovna (Marfusha short/familiar, Marfutka familiar/disrespectful, Balabalkina/Babakalkina purposeful distortions of Babakina’s last name/disrespectful)
Kosykh Dmitry Nikitich
Borkin Mikhail Mikhaylovich (Misha short/familiar, Mishel Mishelich joking/ironic/made-up)
Gavrila (Gavryusha short/familiar/endearing)
Other names, to which the characters refer in the play
Sarra – Anna Petrovna’s Jewish name before conversion
Dudkins-Budkins (joking/ironic/ made-up names, reference to Gogol’s Dobchinsky and Bobchinsky, the known gossip carriers in The Inspector-General))
Dobrolyubov (reference to a liberal literary critic of the 19th century)
Chatsky (reference to the leading character of Griboedov’s play Woe from Wit, a Byronic critic of society)
* Chekhov is not consistent throughout in terms of rendering patronymic names of his characters. Most of those on the character lists, as well as in the dialogues, are rendered in their full literary form with the endings –ovich, -yevich. However, some names on the character lists and in dialogues are rendered in their colloquial pronunciation/contracted form, with the endings of –ych, -yich. Asterisks (*) indicate each instance of the use of such a form.