The word, as written in the title, is Немов (Nemov). This surname has caused me a great amount of confusion, as I initially thought "Nem" was a real, given name (Nem + ov = son of Nem, like Romanov, Simonov) and searched fruitlessly for it in Russian name-lists. Finally, asking a Russian friend, who told me that endings don't really matter in surnames: they're often composed of words that form a different meaning. An example being Bogolyubov (lover of God). His best bet, and he said he wasn't sure, was that Немов either meant "silent" or had something to do with Germans (who, interestingly, were called "the silent" because they did not speak proto-Slavic). So what's bugging me? In the few dictionaries online that I can find a result, they always suggest немой, meaning "dumb" - an odd choice of a surname, as would "German" be, but I'm not an expert on this. So I'm wondering if, being a surname and having the в rather than the й which makes it a whole new word, that alters the meaning as well?