Prince Ivan “Repnin”
Mikhailovich Obolensky

This Russian family name originated with a member of the Obolensky royal family. Prince Ivan was given the nickname Repnyna, which is Russian for “bad porridge.” It must have been an insult.

House of Repnin

From Prince Ivan, they would become a princely house, with prominent members such as Nikolai Vasilyeich Repnin, who would become a statesman responsible for the dissolution of the Polis-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

There is not a lot written about this house, except perhaps from living descendants who carry the Repnin name, such as French citizen Michel Repnine.

What I find interesting about this surname is that it continued to percolate this line from the Obolensky family. It is almost as though they have re-appropriated it as a subversive reclamation. I can imagine if my surname meant “bad porridge,” I would probably retort “I’m the type of porridge that is so BAAAD, no one would dare devour me.”



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