The many forms of Magdalena

Do you like the name Magdalena?
For some reason, i’ve never been a fan. Despite (or maybe because) it’s been so popular in Poland since about 60’s I guess and that I know many really lovely ladies with this name. Well Magdalena is maybe not that very bad, and I slightly like that it’s so classic
and has so strong Christian conotations, but when it’s nicknamed to Magda… ughhh it really loses that tiny bit of charm it has for me. I love Madeline though, and even Madelaine (although slightly less since when someone made me realise it looks like Mad Elaine) and Madeleine. I also do like all those creative Madelyns, Madilyns and other Madelynnes, and some other forms as well. But Madeline is gorgeous! Oh, and there is also Dutch Madelief! Well I know it’s not linguistically related to Magdalena whatsoever, but it sounds similar and it’s one of my newest name discoveries. It means daisy in Dutch and I love it a lot! It’s beautiful.
So, how about you guys? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

The Repentant Magdalen, Philippe de Champaigne, 1648

Some people express surprise the name Magdalena, so popular for so long in Europe and parts of Latin America, isn’t particularly common in the Anglophone world. It is, but the onomastic connection may not be so immediately obvious. English-speakers know this name as Madeline.

Magdalena, used in German, Dutch, Romanian, Spanish, Catalan, the Scandinavian languages, Occitan, the Southern Slavic languages, Polish, and English; Czech, Slovak, Hungarian (as Magdaléna); Latvian (as Magdalēna); and Icelandic (as Magðalena), comes from the Latin Magdalene. That in turn derives from a title meaning “of Magdala.” Magdala is a village on the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kineret), meaning “tower” in Hebrew.

Though nothing in the Bible calls Mary Magdalene a prostitute, she’s historically been conflated with Mary of Bethany and an unnamed “sinful woman” who anoints Jesus’s feet in Luke 7:36–50. Since…

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2 thoughts on “The many forms of Magdalena”

  1. Being a “Meg” myself, I love Maggie, Meggie, Meggerz (that’s what one of my friends calls me… HA HA), Mag, Margo, Margaret, Margie, and Magpie (as a funny sort of name). Another funny nickname of “Meg” is Nutmeg, which I think is adorable. I like Magdalene as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, Meggesz and Magpie sound cool! 😀 My birth name was also one of the many forms of Margaret, and while I didn’t have anything against the name itself I really disliked it on myself, and one of the things I found particularly annoying about it was when people confused my name with Magdalena. Grrrrrrrr awful. As for some funny nicknames that I’d used back then when I used my birth name, one of my acquaintances called me Daisy, since the French word for daisy is Marguerite. I felt it didn’t suit me either but I found it funny and cute, and I do like the name Daisy.

      Liked by 1 person

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