Vasilisa (name)

The Russian female name Vasilisa (Russian: Василисса, Василина) is of Greek origin (Greek: βασίλισσα, basilissa), a title similar to "queen" or "empress". It is the feminine form of Vasily, the Russian form of the name Basil.[1][2]

Princess Vasilisa the Wise or Vasilisa the Beautiful is a stock Russian fairy tale character. Here she is seen at the hut of Baba Yaga in Vasilisa the Beautiful.
PronunciationIPA: [vəsʲɪˈlʲisə]
Word/nameGreek, Russian
Meaningqueenly, Russian feminine form of Vasily or Basil.
Region of originRussia
Other names
Nickname(s)Vasya, Vasilisochka
Related namesBasilia, Basilissa, Basilla, Vasilia, Vasiliki (Greek); Vasilka (Bulgarian); Vasylyna (Ukrainian); Vasilissa

Its use was inspired by a third-century Christian child martyr, Vasilissa, and several other early saints who are venerated by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It was the name of several early princesses.

People with the nameEdit

Fictional charactersEdit

Today the name is also associated with a fairy tale princess because of its frequent use in Russian fairy tales. The princess Vasilisa the Beautiful or Vasilisa the Wise is a stock character in Russian fairy tales, including The Frog Tsarevna and Vasilisa the Beautiful. The character often rises in status from a peasant girl to the wife of a prince or is a princess who marries the hero after helping him to accomplish difficult tasks. Unlike other fairy tale heroines who wait to be rescued, Vasilisa often accomplishes a series of tasks that help her defeat the villain of the story. In the tales, the character is also usually a successful housekeeper, which helps her win the love of the prince.[3]

Fictional characters with this name include:

Similar namesEdit


  1. ^ Satran and Rosenkrantz (2007), p. 285
  2. ^ Superanskai︠a︡, A. V. (Aleksandra Vasilʹevna) (2005). Slovarʹ russkikh lichnykh imën : bolee 7500 russkikh imën. Institut i︠a︡zykoznanii︠a︡ (Rossiĭskai︠a︡ akademii︠a︡ nauk). Moskva: ĖKSMO. ISBN 5699109714. OCLC 62406626.
  3. ^ Tatar (2002)


  • Satran, Paula Redmond, and Rosenkrantz, Linda (2007). Baby Name Bible. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0-312-35220-2
  • Tatar, Maria (2002). The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. W.W. Norton and Company. ISBN 0-393-05163-3