Introduction: hydronyms due to their specificity have a high linguistic and cultural significance. They reflect different aspects of human society. Semantic and etymological analysis is a necessary stage in the development of regional toponymy and an effective way to obtain diverse information leading to an understanding of the cultural code of the nation. Objective: semantic and etymological description of the substrate hydronyms of the Lower Konda. Research materials: names of water geographical objects identified in written sources, geographical maps. Results and novelty of the research: as a result of the study, it was found that the substrate hydronymy of the Lower Konda includes russified names of Khanty and Mansi origin with the absolute predominance of the Khanty names. The polylinguality of toponymy is determined by the ethnic composition of the population of the Lower Konda. The semantics of hydronyms reflected the worldview of the indigenous ethnic groups. The principles of nomination of the onyms are typical: according the properties of geographical object, related objects, and connections with people. They reflect a universal feature of human thinking to identify the typical and the unique in an object, to perceive the totality of names as a system, to see their connections and relationships. The specifics are the semantic content of onyms, the presence of hybrid lexemes, and names with double motivation. The scientific novelty of the work consists in the fact that for the first time the hydronymy of the Lower Konda is subjected by complex semantic and etymological analysis, and its specific features are revealed. © 2020 Ob-Ugric Institute of Applied Researches and Development. All rights reserved.