All about Lydia

Here’s another great post from Onomastics Outside the Box. 🙂
I honestly didn’t realise this name existed in so many languages! I like Lydia, perhaps not love but it is definitely a pretty name, with Biblical roots and feminine sounding, so there’s no reason for me not to like it. It has some elegance and sophistication to it. I also like our Polish Lidia, I guess I like the sound of it more, but the nickname Lidka which most Lidias go by ruins it completely to me and makes it sound shallow and kind of auntie-like, if you get what I mean.
Do you have a favourite form? I find the sami Livli very interesting.

Onomastics Outside the Box

Dissident Russian writer Lidiya Korneyevna Chukovskaya, 1907–1996

The English, German, and Greek name Lydia means, simply, “from Lydia” in Greek. Lydia was a region on Asia Minor’s west coast, reputedly named after legendary King Lydos (of unknown etymology). Today, Lydia is in western Turkey.

The name briefly appears in the Bible, on a woman whom St. Paul converts to Christianity. It didn’t become common in the Anglophone world till the Protestant Reformation.

Lydia was #77 when the U.S. began keeping name records in 1880, and stayed in the lower Top 100 till 1899. Over the ensuing decades, it gradually dipped in popularity, but never sank lower than #329 in 1973. From lows came highs, and in 1979 it rose to #296 from #324. In each succeeding year, Lydia was steadily more popular, till it re-entered the Top 100 in 2011. In 2018, it was #89.

Other forms of Lydia include:

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All about Elizabeth

It always amazes me how many forms this name has, and even more so how many very diverse nicknames and variants it has in English! And that’s one of the reasons why I really like it a lot. I like most of the forms of this name. Which are/is your favourite(s)? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

Though I’ve had prior posts about my favourite forms of the name Elizabeth, and its many nicknames, I’ve never had a post devoted to the name in its entirety. This post will also only focus on derivatives of the standard form Elizabeth, not related names Isabel and Lillian (unless those are a language’s only forms of Elizabeth). Despite their origins, they’ve for all intents and purposes developed into their own independent names.

Queen Elizabeth I of England in the 1560s, artist unknown

The English name Elizabeth comes from the Hebrew Elisheva, “my God is an oath.” Its historic popularity stems in large part from the fact that this was the name of John the Baptist’s mother. Traditionally, it was much more common in Eastern Europe (in its variety of forms) until another famous bearer (pictured above) appeared in the 16th century and made the name popular in Western…

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My Jackophilia.

Recently, one of my penfriends asked me whether I have ever written a post about my Jackophilia – that is, why I like the name Jacek, and Jack, and many other Jac- names, and why I have such a soft spot for people with those names – and if there’s any backstory to it. And it’s only then that I realised I’ve never written a post about that. The reason is quite simple, because there is no backstory, nothing that I could clearly point out or no particular event that has started it out. But I thought I’d write a bit more about my Jackophilia anyway.

My Dad’s name is Jacek, and since as long as I can remember, I’ve just loved this name, and, moreover, I thought that if I’d ever want to have a husband, he’ll just have to be a Jacek. I didn’t have any other criteria. I still remember very vividly when I told my grandma about that, I was maybe 5 or so, and she was shocked: “Oh, but if he’d be an alcoholic?! Would you still want him because his name is Jacek?!”. It wasn’t that I was in such awe of my Dad, I mean of course, he’s my Dad, I love him, but I don’t remember ever being quite as enamoured with himself as with his name, so to put it. 😀 All my toys that I felt were more masculine – teddy-bears, figurines, characters in my games – were named Jacek. Even if it meant that there was a whole family with a Dad named Jacek and his two or more sons, also all named Jacek. It’s probably good that there is no actual feminine form of Jacek in Polish (OK there is Hiacynta, but that sounds and looks different doesn’t it, and we’ll talk about that in a minute) or otherwise there wouldn’t be any diversity at all, and so at least females had their own unique names. I also felt immediately drawn to people named Jacek. Of course, I’ve met some Jaceks that I didn’t really get along with, and I am aware that there are some pretty nasty ones out there, all sorts of liars, thiefs, greedy, weak-willed, snobbish and two-faced people who don’t like to think more than necessary, but most of them are really cool, honest and reliable people. Also, I love book characters called Jacek. If ever in a book a character named Jacek was treated badly by someone, even just spoken negatively about, whatever, my heart broke into pieces. It still does, to an extent, even when that Jacek or Jack is a real villain. I remember when I was perhaps Zofijka’s age and read some young adult Polish novel, and there was a girl who was dating a Jacek, and at some point she just realised he’s not for her and she doesn’t really feel anything for him other than friendship. I knew her decision was right, it was clear in the book they don’t fit, yet I was almost crying reading how – in my view- she rejected him and he was so so sad. It was the name Jacek that also opened my eyes for the first time for this weird phenomenon which is the influence of names on personality, which I’m still passionate about and still figuring out. And as a kid I ust loved loads of words with jac in them. I still love the English ones: hijacking for example, it sounds like “Hi, Jack!”. Saint Jacek (or Hyacinth) has been my most favourite patron saint ever since. One of my first speech synthesisers was Jacek, and I still have him, it’s been over 10 years!!! And now it’s possible I’ll have to lose him. Oh well we’ll see… I love hyacinths – the flowers – but my favourite flower has always been muscari – and I’ve just recently learnt that they’re called blue grape hyacinths in English as well! – I’ve also heard that there is a gem stone called hyacinth, and if so, I really hope that some day I’ll be able to have one in my collection. My best friend was also Jacek.
Just as I started to take an interest in the etymology of the name Jacek, I was also curious if it exists in any other languages, and I asked people if they know how Jacek is in English. Most of them would confusedly say “Dunno, guess Jack…”. Jack didn’t sound even a bit quite as good as Jacek to me. But Polish people so often do such a weird thing that I can’t fully understand. When there is an a in an English word, they’ll make things more difficult for themselves and say it as e. So lots of people actually say Jeck, or bleck instead of black, or ket instead of cat. And Jeck sounded awful. But at some point there was a Jack in my ENglish textbook and then I learned that it’s JACK, and is written almost like Jacek, and I was over the moon! A lot of Polish Jaceks go sometimes by Jack, even just for fun, but those two names are not related at all. I’ve always wanted one of my musical crushes to be a Jack. Maybe someday it’ll come true. Lemme know if there are any musicians named Jack or something similar that you like, especially not too popular ones that I could like. 😀
Jacek (YAH-tsek) originated as a nickname of Jacenty (yah-TSEN-ti), but is now a short form, and a more common one actually, Jacenty is hardly ever used, it’s more common in the east of Poland in people born in 40’s or so, but it is NOT popular at all. I like the retro feel of Jacenty and I think it could come back, I mean I would like it to, not that I think it will anytime soon, with Jacek as a diminutive. Jacenty comes from the Greek Hyakinthos – Hyacinth – as in the Greek myth and as in the flower. – THere is also a more fancy, latinate form Hiacynt (HYAH-tsint), and the feminine Hiacynta (hyah-TSIN-tah). I’m not as fond of Hiacynta as I am of the male forms, and Hiacynt sounds a tiny bit too androgynous for my taste and lack masculinity a bit, but for a girl I really like Jacinda, and I love Hyacinth both for a boy and for a girl, even though normally I’m not a big fan of unisex names. There is also a theory that Jacek could be a Slavic name coming from an Old Slavic word that would be something like jać – which means to ride, and thus could mean good rider or something, how cool! – But that doesn’t really sound convincing and believable. There is also something like Jack (YAHTSK) in Kashubian language, it is apparently a Kashubian variant of Jacek, and another one is Jacy (YAH-tsi).
Jack, meanwhile, as I hope you Anglophones know without me telling you that 😉 is a nickname of John, which evolved via an earlier diminutive Jankin, which then became Jackin. So not quite an equivalent of Jacek etymologically but who cares. For me it is like Jacek very much, the feel of the name is very similar despite it sounds differently and has vastly different roots.
I love that there are so many expressions, fairytales, nursery rhymes and all with Jack in it, it adds to the feel of the name, that it gives to the personality of a bearer in my opinion.
I don’t like every single name that has Jac in it, for example I am not a big fan of Jacob, or Jace, but I do love all the forms of Jack. All the Jackins, Jackies, Jacs, even Jocks and Jockies! They’re all so brilliant and so vibrant and each has their own feel that I love. I think the Welsh Jac is my most favourite because of how minimalistic it is but how much inner potential it has. As I said I also love Hyacinth and all its forms, perhaps Hiacynta a little less than the rest. I love Jacqueline and the abundance of her forms too, despite it actually seems to come from Jacques, which comes from the Jacob/James family.
I thought I’d give you just a little bit of an idea how I see those two names – Jack and Jacek – people with them, how I think their names might shape their personalities. Of course, as always, keep in mind that it’s not the name that shapes our personality in the first place, that there are genes and so many other things that determine who we are, and that name is just one factor. There are also people who do NOT fit their name’s description, simply because their name doesn’t fit them and wasn’t chosen with enough consideration, and they may experience some sort of a disharmony and conflict in their life and feelings, particularly between what they are like, and what their surroundings expect them to be like. Lastly, people spell their names differently, people have middle names, people use nicknames and often a Jack might in fact be a John, or a Jackson, and his personality will likely reflect it. These are just small, very generalised characteristics of Jack and Jacek, they’re not exhaustive. If you are sceptical about any influence a name could possibly have on a person, feel free to just treat the paragraphs below as my imaginings, that I hope to be as objective as possible.
Jack: – Jack is practical, frank and honest, and he expects the same honesty in return. He takes things as they are, doesn’t overthink them or analyse overly. He is intelligent and certainly not shallow, but he doesn’t like wasting his time on things that don’t necessarily need that, and feels uncomfortable around people who are exalted, he has certain difficulty expressing strong positive emotions, it’s embarrassing for him. He much prefers being active, and doing something to show his love and dedication, rather than use big words to show it. He is humourous, friendly, and a pleasant companion, who will get along with pretty much anyone, he is also an ambivert. It’s only with his loved ones that know him really well that he takes off the protective mask of self-confidence that he wears mostly unconsciously. Only those who know him really well can see his weaknesses, insecurities, some darker and deeper shades to his personality that he sometimes doesn’t accept. On a daily basis, it is a mostly happy-go-lucky guy, but with those he feels comfortable with, he can often be changeable and moody. Usually naive in his young years, if life lets him down, he can easily become cynical and imbittered, he may feel let down because he looks at others from his own perspective, expecting frankness and directness, and as a result, his trust is often abused, unless he won’t change his ways of interacting with people. Jack himself is very reliable, trustworthy, makes people feel safe around him. Or in any case, he has an ease of making such an impression on people, which could potentially make him a great manipulator, but Jacks are usually empathetic people who have their moral values. He has predispositions to be good at arts, but he needs to develop his taste, he’s not born with a mind very perceptive to art but he definitely can shape it, as well as his own, unique and captivating style if he decides to do art seriously. He is flexible and open-minded and learns quickly. Jack is incredibly resilient, responsible, usually quite fit, able to pursue his dreams and put considerable effort into it, mostly calm, but can be very passionate at times. He is adventurous and likes to explore, but also has a huge, often unconscious need for roots, security and stability, home, belonging, and has a strong sense of connection to his family and heritage. He is a traditionalist but at the same time he’s usually very liberal in his views. He’s down-to-earth, but likes being creative and make things with his hands, be out in nature which inspires paths of his thoughts and imagination in a subtle way, he also loves to engage in sports. He is incredibly sensitive but doesn’t like to show it for fear of being vulnerable. He appreciates simplicity – in his surroundings, people’s claims and characters, in thinking and speech – and enjoys the simplest things in life the most. Jack usually comes across as very charming, even though he’s rarely truly and objectively physically attractive.
Jacek – Jacek is very similar to Jack, especially in his honesty and trustworthiness. He’s also a practical thinker and comes across as very charming, as well as friendly, though not as much and as immediately as Jack. Jacek is more complicated, more sensitive, more introverted, more imaginative, has a tendency for being irritable, he is less resilient than Jack, may be needy and slightly immature which makes relationships with him more intricate. He is more egocentric and selfish, but not badly egoistical or anything like that, he just has a hard time looking too far out of his own mind frame. He has a tendency for pensivity and is more of a dreamer than Jack, he is also a bit less outgoing, but not significantly. He’s just a decent, nice, conscientious guy, assuming he was brought up well and his upbringing helped those traits to come up properly. He might have his quirks, be eccentric or lead a bohemian lifestyle, he may also often feel misunderstood, or he may just be a bit of an outsider, but if he has to, he will fit in without a clash and he’ll adjust to any company he’s in.
Jacky is very friendly and outgoing as well, and very charming and lovable, often thought of as attractive, but less honest and might easily get himself into lots of trouble, he usually doesn’t find himself the best kind of friends, he wants to be always there where a lot is going on and has a lot of zest but at the same time a really careless attitude to things. But he can be a very emotional being and anxious to please, as well as impressionable. He is egotistic and always wants to be the best, he tries to avoid conflict and live well with everyone that is important for him, and he is very attached to his mother, he also appreciates comfort and luxury in life and might be a little bit snobbish.
Jackson loves adventure and travel, and is a great dreamer, brave, courageous and determined. He is confident, communicative and charming, and wants to appear very masculine. Can be manipulative, but in any case is very eloquent and makes for a good leader.
Jac is very much like a Jack, but some traits of his character can be more pronounced and intense. For example the resilience and intellect.
Jacenty – well, I can only see him as a man older than 50 so I may not be very objective here. He is strong, masculine, self-assured, can be wealthy and materialistic and people usually respect him very much. An introvert who is very proud and may be a little haughty and icy, and not the most tolerant. He’s reserved and usually very serious, cool and calm, it may or may not mean that deep down he’s actually rather shy and doubting in his abilities.
Hyacinth – a girl with this name is fanciful, not very disciplined and rather dreamy, often artsy. She is a bookworm and a big thinker, often completely lost in thought, shy and perfectionist, anxious and sensitive, and a good observer. She may be very skilled in dance or music. A guy named Hyacinth is also an intellectual and cerebral type, may be either very poetic, or more into things like science, he is also very spiritual and has a tendency to isolate. He is capable of doing great things in his life and he doesn’t like any restrictions, he loves being out in nature and do all sorts of sports, loves being by the sea. He’s quirky and not the most communicative in the world, often may seem very scatter-brained because he has always plenty to think about and his way of thinking and perceiving the world is different than most other, more typical people.
Jacqueline is a complex character because her personality is a combination of great strength and extreme fragility. She usually makes an impression of a very gentle and delicate, I’d say dainty woman, and tends to be quiet and not talk a lot, but she has a steely will. She is very sensitive and emotional, sometimes to the point of neurotic, capable of loving people greatly, she has a tendency to overthink everything in her life. She is sharp-witted, sophisticated and gifted artistically and literally, and has a natural air of elegance about her.
Jackie though is vastly different. She loves being active, sporty, she has a lot of energy and she likes to communicate, cooperate and get together with others, she usually has quite a bunch of friends. She might struggle with anxiety and feelings of inferiority though, because she’s very much of a perfectionist and self-conscious about her appearance, especially as a teenager, but later on as well. Talking about her problems with the others is the best cure for her, so it’s good if she has someone she really trusts, she isn’t made for solitary life.
Jacinda is full of charm and sweetness, optimistic and very feminine, youthful even in her older age. A very emotional, spontaneous and sensitive person with a big, kind heart, very trusting and rather naive. She likes to give as much of herself as possible and doesn’t expect much in return, she is capable of loving unconditionally and very altruistically. Her weakness is vanity, and lack of imagination.
Jackin has a very good self-esteem and people usually like him, because he’s nice-looking. He usually doesn’t look like a very serious person, but he is a very ambitious man, often a great materialist wanting to achieve a lot in life. He has a bit of an authoritarian personality and may easily be impatient and a bit harsh-mannered. I hope you enjoyed those name descriptions.
Do you like the name Jack, or Jacek, or any of the related names? Do you know any Jacks? Do you like them? Any Jac people out there? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you like your parents’ inspiration for choosing your name, or do you think they should have gone a different way?

My answer:

I definitely don’t like it. My Mum made a promise to herself as a young girl that she will call her daughter after her best friend (whose name she really liked at the time). At the same time it was the name of my Mum’s youngest sister. So she did, even though that friendship soon ended and Mum doesn’t even like that name as much anymore. I really love my middle, even though it is so overwhelmingly popular, but I don’t like that they just did it as everyone else in our region and my middle name is my Mum’s first name – Anna. – It is also Zofijka’s middle name, I think it would have been more cool if we had different middles. My Dad wanted Anna to be my first name. I really love Anna, but it is really so very typical and popular in Poland, plus it is as I said my Mum’s name, so I don’t like the idea. And I don’t like the nickname Ania, which Poles use ALL the time, even though Anna is already short and sweet. Ania is so bland and boring. I’d rather be just Anna with no nicks, had it been my name, but that wouldn’t work out with people. So, as popular as it is, I’m glad my first name is not Anna.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (17th August).

Have you come across many people who share your name?

My answer:

No. I would kind of like to meet more Emilias, I just think it could be fun to meet more of my namesakes, but on the other hand I am glad that I don’t know many of them, it’s cool this way. Although Emilia is pretty big for babies right now so I’ll probably meet more of them in future, I see little Emilias being born on our baby naming Polish community pretty much every day. I know one who’s about 2 years my senior I guess, she was in my school. The other is my Dad’s colleague’s wife’s sister. My parents no longer keep in touch with their family and I only knew her very superficially, but my Mum knew her well enough that she got bad associations with the name, and that was the main reason why it was so weird for her when I’ve become an Emilia. I also know one Emilia who is now I suppose in her mid 30’s. But neither of them I know well.

How about you? If you do know someone with the same name as you, do you like them? Do you like having/not having many namesakes? 🙂

Question of the day (16th August).

So, another name related question of the day is:

Have you ever told people to call you something different from your birth name? Did it stick?

My answer:

Well yeah, as I wrote in the last question of the day post and in many other posts, I’ve changed my name legally, but even before I did that, I wanted to be called Emilia for many years. I just felt it fit me. There are tons of names I like more than Emilia, but I’ve just always thought Emilia fits me very well. So, I guess it started when I was about 12, and I asked my family to call me Emilia. Some did, some didn’t, but they were all like “You must be really crazy!” and it didn’t stuck. Even though my Mum agreed with me theoretically that Emilia fits me better and that my birth name didn’t really and that she gave it to me not giving it much thought. So I didn’t push it, but I knew that if I am still going to love Emilia for myself when I am adult, I will change it and it will be the only way to make it stick. Although I’ve been going by Emilia with my online friends even before I changed the name.

After I changed it, it did stick, but there are still people who don’t get it and there are still people who will never call me Emilia, just because. It’s pretty frustrating, in that I don’t get why it’s such a problem for them to do so. On the other hand when I talk to people to whom I haven’t talked in years and it’s just a single occurence that we met, I usually don’t let them know I’ve changed the name as I don’t want to make things more chaotic. But still, Emilia stuck pretty well, and I hear my birth name less and less now, but it suck that it takes so much effort to manage such an apparently simple thing and get people to call you what you want.

When I was younger, I called myself Biśbiś, or some other similar things, well that’s making it a bit simplified but in any case I used to talk about myself in specific circumstances as about Biśbiś, in third person, I sometimes still do especially when I am very excited about something or feel a bit odd… like a Biśbiś, oh well I don’t know how to describe it. And me and Zofijka have made a weird word based on it which is Bibiel, and Zofijka often calls me Bibiel. I wouldn’t like everyone to call me Bibiel, but it’s cool when she does, or other peeps I’m close to. I tried to spell it Bibielle or something that would look more feminine because Bibiel kind of doesn’t make the best impression in writing in my opinion, but that never stuck, so it’s just Bibiel.

You? 🙂

Question of the day (15th August).

Hey guys! 🙂

I’m catching up on posts finally, so let’s catch up on some fun questions, as well. As you probably already know if you’re here, I’m hugely into names, so let’s focus on our names for a while. 🙂 My question for you is:

When another person says your name out loud, does it ever sound weird, to you?

My answer:

Generally not, but my previous name change and name dilemmas that I’d had complicate things slightly. My name is nothing unusual in Poland, so there are no issues like that people wouldn’t know how to pronounce it, especially that Polish is a phonetic language, and also we don’t have such a diversity of accents as there is in English so people sound pretty universal. However as you may know I’ve changed my name legally some years ago, and it took people some time to get used to it. And even though I felt like my name was my name much earlier than I changed it legally, and I was sometimes already going by it by then, I had to get used to using it all the time as well. I know for some people it was sort of weird at the beginning to call me Emilia, and, perhaps as a result, it sounded a bit weird to me in their mouth. Even my Mum, who really advised me to change it and who sometimes called me Emilia even before the official change. Sometimes people still get confused, my Dad still isn’t fuly over my name change, because he just doesn’t like changes that he doesn’t understand, and in his mouth Emilia always sounds a tiny bit sarcastic, which I don’t care about too much now. People used to mispronounce my name a lot after I changed it, they often called me Emila, which I hated, and still fiercely do! Not that Emila and Emilia are that very different, Emila can actually work as a diminutive of Emilia, though it is also a separate modern feminine form of Emil in its own right, but to me Emila and Emilia sound wildly different! I definitely don’t feel like an Emila, and there are so many better nicknames out there. People in Poland have a real need to nickname almost every possible name, so, especially at the beginning of my adventures with the name Emilia, they would just assume I must go by Emila in daily life, or would misread Emilia for Emila, or simply mispronounce. While I was using my birth name, I’d had already enough of people assuming which nicknames I like, and even people in my distant family, not to mention strangers, would automatically call me a nickname that made me feel like gritting my teeth every time I heard it. So obviously I couldn’t let the same situation happen with my new name, especially that I was already an adult and could decide myself on what I want and don’t want to be called. So I just conveniently used that argument that Emila is a name in its own right, and I am an Emilia. And everyone understood without a problem. I don’t have anything against nicknames, in fact I go by some nickname almost all the time in my everyday life, but it’s either Emi, Mila, Milka, or Emilka.

When I was using my birth name, in my perception, it always sounded weird, not because it was weird, but because it felt weird on me, and it still does sound weird when someone uses it occasionally. But I think I’ve already written on this topic and how it always made me feel ragin’ just because some innocent being was talking to me. 😀

So, what are your experiences? 🙂