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FOR REAL: Tanya is a Russian diminutive of the name Tatiana. This is a feminine form of the Roman name Tatianus, which is of unknown origin. Many baby name books list Tanya as meaning "fairy princess." This comes from a type-- someone down the line connected Tatiana with Titania, the name of the queen of the fairies in William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night. Titania is unrelated to Tatiana; it is probably based on the Greek Titans, and related to the word "titanic." However, "fairy princess" is a nicer meaning than "unknown," so baby books continue to print it!

related names: Tatiana, LaTanya, Tazio (Italian masculine form of Tatianus)

Other recorded spellings: Tonya, Tania, Tonia