Svetlana (Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian Cyrillic: Светлана; Belarusian: Святла́на; Ukrainian: Світла́на) is a common Slavic female name, deriving from the Slavic root свет svet, which translates into English as "light", "shining", "luminescent", "pure", "blessed", or "holy", depending upon context similar if not the same as the word Shwet in Sanskrit. The name was coined by Alexander Vostokov and popularized by Vasily Zhukovsky in his eponymous ballad, first published in 1813. The name is also used in Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, and Serbia, with a number of occurrences in non-Slavic countries.[2]

In the Russian Orthodox Church Svetlana is used as a Russian translation of Photina (derived from φως (phos), meaning "light" in Greek), a name sometimes ascribed to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well (the Bible, John 4).

Etymologically, similar names to this are Lucia (of Latin origin, meaning "light"), Claire ("light" or "clear" in French, equivalent to Spanish Clara), Roxana (from Old Persian, "little shiny star, light"), and Shweta (Sanskrit, "white, pure").


The Ukrainian equivalent is Svitlana (Світлана), the Belarusian, Sviatlana (Святлана), the Polish variant is Świetlana and the Bosnian, Croatian and Montenegrin variant is Svjetlana.


Russian language diminutives include Sveta (Света) and Lana.

Sveta also means "saint" in Bulgarian. The Slavic element Svet means "blessed, holy, bright".

Serbian language diminutives of the name are Sveta (Света), and Ceca (Цеца, pronounced Tsetsa).


See also