Question of the day.

   How do you feel about your name? Do you know why/how your parents named you what they did? Do you know what it means etymologically, or what it meant to your parents? Does it mean anything to you? 

   My answer: 

   Well, as for myself, I actually wrote about it a couple years ago for Nancy’s Baby Names who has a name interviews series in which she asks people how they feel  about their names, so if you don’t know how I feel and do want to know, check out this post on Nancy’s blog, and by the way if you’re anything of a name nerd but haven’t come across her blog before, I highly recommend it in general. 

   As for the meaning part, my birth name means “pearl”, and I used to joke that it’s because my Dad’s favourite brand of beer is called Perła which unsurprisingly means “pearl” in Polish. 😀 Obviously though if you’ll read Nancy’s post you’ll know it’s not true. It was my Mum who picked my name and I think she liked it, if only because of associations, given that it was her best friend’s as well as her little sister’s name and she chose it as her confirmation name. As I also wrote in the interview for Nancy, the only thing I seriously like about my birth name is my patron saint – Margaret of Castello – who was a disabled (she was blind, a dwarf and had some  deformities) member of the Third Dominican Order. There are many saints, blesseds and servants of God named Emilia or other people with similar names who could have worked as a patron saint for an Emilia, but first, no one really resonated with me as much, and second, I didn’t feel it was seriously appropriate for me to look for a different patron saint, after all, my birth name is still the name that I was christened as and I still use it as my Christian name, so like in church and such, and Margaret of Castello is even my Confirmation saint as well because she’s just my favourite. I could have chosen st. Hyacinth of Poland who is amazing as well and use Hiacynta as my Confirmation name but Hiacynta sounds like a nun name and I wouldn’t have pulled it off, not even just as a Confirmation name. 😀 I also liked Luisa Piccarretta and considered Luiza as my Confirmation name, but Luisa Piccarretta hasn’t  been properly canonised yet. 

   My current legal name, Emilia, comes from the Latin word “aemulus”, meaning “rival”, which is also interpreted to mean things like “envious”, so it’s one of those names with a not so positive meaning, but it doesn’t seem to discourage people from calling their daughters Emily or Emilia, and it doesn’t deter me either. I’m hardly competitive, and feel lucky that envy isn’t a feeling that I would have to deal with often at all (if I did have to pick an emotion-related name that would actually fit me, I guess I would have to be called Agar – “one who fears” – lol). But, again, as I wrote in the interview for Nancy, it’s not the meaning that drew me to the name Emilia, but the first thing was Emily of New Moon. And later on I just found more and more reasons to like it, and it does feel very much like me. 

   My middle name, Anna, means “grace” in Hebrew, and I really like it. I mean, both the name, and the meaning. I love it because it’s my Mum’s name, so mostly what Anna means to me is my Mum, or generally someone who is quite motherly and caring. My Dad actually wanted to call me Anna, which I would certainly like more than my birth name, although it would be even more problematic in terms of sharing my name with someone close than my birth name was, so I’d likely be even more confused whether someone was talking to me or to my Mum. And Anna is overwhelmingly common in Poland, so that wouldn’t be too enthusing either. My Mum once said that after all she wished they’d have called me Anna, and that if they did, she would go by Ania as she usually does, and I would go by Anna, but that’s not too realistic, because I don’t even know a single Polish Anna who goes by Anna, every single one is nicknamed to Ania. And I bet most people would deem it unnatural to call me (as the younger) the full version, and my Mum the nickname, and no one would do it in practice. And I wouldn’t have liked it the other way round because Ania is so plain and boring, lots more than the full Anna. Because of Anna being the most popular name for women here in Poland, I once heard someone say that they perceive this name almost as a synonym for “woman”, which was definitely supposed to be a negative comment. But although I personally also dislike Anna’s popularity, this observation actually made me realise more than before that it’s that essence-of-femininity vibe that I like most about Anna. As any regulars here and people who know me closer will be aware of, I have a very rich and varied Brainlife with multiple Brainworlds in one, with all kinds of beings, real and fictional, and that also includes one Brainworld where there are fictional characters who are like parts of me, embodying some of my traits, strong feelings, difficulties etc. Think Maggie the inner critic or Bibielle. And one of them is actually called Anna, aka my inner mummy, and in some aspects also the opposite of Maggie. She is one huge softie, kind of like my own Mum or grandma except less rational, you know, the textbook example of an individual who would fall into toxic relationships and wants to save people from themselves when they do shit to themselves, or feels compassion towards a villain in a book when he finally gets punished and there’s a vivid depiction of how he’s being impaled and cut into tiny little pieces (not that I ever read or watch stuff like that lol, just a random thing). Anna feels sad for all the people in the world and their issues, be that because they’re a hopeless heroin addict or because they have no slippers on their feet and might be cold, and she would most happily spend her life hugging people, listening to their woes and making them hearty dinners and cakes and massaging their feet. And of course particularly when it comes to any people that she loves or likes. That is certainly not to say that I am like that, because I don’t always, well, I usually don’t, let Anna act on her urges or tell me what I should think or do, because that sort of thing requires exposing your own vulnerability and I don’t like feeling vulnerable, nevertheless, Anna is a piece of me and I think her name fits her perfectly, even though of course not all Annas are like that. I also like that Anna is such a classic name and the Christian and Biblical connections, I like saint Anne (the mother of Mary), who is known as Anna in Polish. 

   How about you and your name? 🙂 

This or that based on top 100 in the UK (Boys’ edition).

   A while ago, I did a this or that name game on here using girl names from last year’s top 100 for England vs Wales, so I thought we could do the boys’ round this week. As always, feel free to comment on your choices as shortly or extensively as you wish, or just list them, or share feedback on your favourite/least favourite names, whatever you want really, it’s just for fun, after all. Just like the first time, in each pair, the first name is from the top 100 for England, the second for Wales. If a name ranks at the same spot in both countries, I take a name from the same spot in Scotland, in which case I write (SC) after it. If the name ranks on the same spot in Scotland as well, I just skip it. We also have a situation where Dylan ranks in the UK on the same spot as Alexander in Wales and vice versa, so in that case I paired each of them with the corresponding name in Scotland. Here’s the list 

  •    Noah or Jack (SC)? 
  • George or Oliver? 
  • Oliver or Arthur? 
  • Muhammad or Theo? 
  • Arthur or Leo? 
  • Leo or Charlie? 
  • Harry or Archie? 
  • Oscar or George? 
  • Henry or Jack? 
  • Theodore or Oscar? 
  • Archie or Finley? 
  • Freddie or Brodie (SC)? 
  • Jack or Tommy? 
  • Charlie or Jacob? 
  • Theo or Alfie? 
  • Alfie or Harry? 
  • Jacob or Osian? 
  • Thomas or Roman? 
  • Finley or Elijah? 
  • Arlo or Theodore? 
  • William or Thomas? 
  • Lucas or William? 
  • Roman or Arlo? 
  • Isaac or Henry? 
  • Teddy or Luca? 
  • Tommy or Albie? 
  • Alexander or Dylan? 
  • Edward or Harrison? 
  • James or Elis? 
  • Luca or Isaac? 
  • Joshua or Lucas? 
  • Albie or Harri? 
  • Mohammed or Mason? 
  • Max or Jaxon? 
  • Elijah or Hunter? 
  • Reuben or Ollie (SC)? 
  • Sebastian or Rowan? 
  • Jude or Louie? 
  • Mason or Teddy? 
  • Rory or Tomos? 
  • Louie or Logan? 
  • Benjamin or Ezra? 
  • Ethan or Hudson? 
  • Adam or Max? 
  • Hugo or Jac? 
  • Joseph or Ronnie? 
  • Reggie or Ollie? 
  • Ronnie or Rory? 
  • Louis or Sebastian? 
  • Harrison or Macsen? 
  • Ezra or Reggie? 
  • Jason or Caleb? 
  • Logan or Finn? 
  • Daniel or James? 
  • Zachary or Jesse? 
  • Samuel or Zachary? 
  • Albert or Oakley? 
  • Dylan or Carter (SC)? 
  • Alexander or Carter (SC)? 
  • Hudson or Benjamin? 
  • Frederick or Joseph? 
  • Hunter or Myles? 
  • David or Ethan? 
  • Frankie or Louis? 
  • Jesse or Blake? 
  • Toby or Hugo? 
  • Rowan or Joshua? 
  • Grayson or Edward? 
  • Oakley or Sonny? 
  • Felix or Toby? 
  • Riley or Carter? 
  • Carter or Ellis? 
  • Bobby or Evan? 
  • Finn or Brody? 
  • Alfred or Grayson? 
  • Michael or Samuel? 
  • Blake or Elias? 
  • Gabriel or Jude? 
  • Jasper or Eli? 
  • Mohammad or Frankie? 
  • Sonny or Jax? 
  • Stanley or Ioan?
  • Otis or Muhammad
  •  Caleb or Riley? 
  • Milo or Cai? 
  • Ralph or Idris? 
  • Liam or Tobias? 
  • Chester or Tomi? 
  • Elliot or Daniel? 
  • Ellis or Morgan? 
  • Yusuf or Jackson? 
  • Charles or Parker? 
  • Rupert or Chester? 
  • Kai or Gabriel? 
  • Harvey or Gruffydd? 
  • Brody or Hari? 
  • Nathan or Joey? 
  • Jackson or Rhys? 
  • Leon or David? 
  • Ibrahim or Elliott? 
  • Tobias or Mohammed? 

Bibiel’s picks: 

  •    Noah or Jack (SC)? Duh! The Scots know what’s TRULY good. 
  • George or Oliver? Definitely Oliver, it might be very popular almost everywhere but I quite like it nonetheless, and definitely more than George. 
  • Oliver or Arthur? Oliver again. 
  • Muhammad or Theo? Theo. 
  • Arthur or Leo? Hm, it’s a bit tough, because Arthur feels better than Leo in terms of like its etymology, history, vibe and all that, but then sound-wise I much prefer Leo… Well Leo. 
  • Leo or Charlie? Charlie. 
  • Harry or Archie? Hm, Archie I guess, though I’m rather neutral about both. 
  • Oscar or George? Oscar definitely. 
  • Henry or Jack? JACK! 
  • Theodore or Oscar? Oscar again. 
  • Archie or Finley? Absolutely Finley! 
  • Freddie or Brodie (SC)? Hm, don’t care about either… Freddie I suppose? 
  • Jack or Tommy? JACK! 😀 
  • Charlie or Jacob? Jacob, especially that in Wales it’s pronounced as JAH-cob at least sometimes. 
  • Theo or Alfie? Theo. 
  • Alfie or Harry? Hm, Alfie? 
  • Jacob or Osian? That’s tough as I like both a lot… Well Jacob, I think. 
  • Thomas or Roman? I don’t like both, but Roman feels extremely dated in Polish and not quite as classy as it seems to be viewed in the UK. Thomas is at least rather universal and I quite like Tommy, so Thomas. 
  • Finley or Elijah? Elijah. 
  • Arlo or Theodore? Hm I don’t really like either much. Theodore I guess is a bit better and more in line with my overall style. 
  • William or Thomas? Definitely William, I like it and even though it’s just as common as Thomas if not more in the overall population, it feels a lot less bland to me and it has lots of adorable nicknames. 
  • Lucas or William? Here it’s going to be Lucas, because Lucas has more character than William. 
  • Roman or Arlo? Hm Arlo this time lol. 
  • Isaac or Henry? Isaac. 
  • Teddy or Luca? Luca, Teddy is so childish. 
  • Tommy or Albie? Tommy. 
  • Alexander or Dylan? Definitely Alexander. 
  • Edward or Harrison? Harrison. 
  • James or Elis? Elis is a lot more interesting, and both Welsh and Swedish at the same time and I like such coincidences, though it has different etymology in both of these languages. 
  • Luca or Isaac? Luca. 
  • Joshua or Lucas? Lucas, don’t like Joshua, I know it isn’t really seen like that by most people but to me naming a kid Joshua would feel like naming them Jesus. 😀 
  • Albie or Harri? Harri. 
  • Mohammed or Mason? Huh, Mohammed I suppose? I don’t really feel either at all. 
  • Max or Jaxon? Jaxon, but really why do people spell it with an X? 
  • Elijah or Hunter? Elijah. 
  • Reuben or Ollie (SC)? Ollie definitely. 
  • Sebastian or Rowan? Rowan. Sebastian doesn’t have the best connotations in Poland, again very contrary to the UK and the Anglosphere where it seems to be like the ultimate historical romance hero name or something from what I know. 😀 
  • Jude or Louie? Louie. 
  • Mason or Teddy? Ugh Teddy I guess. 
  • Rory or Tomos? Rory, although I prefer the original Scottish spelling Ruairidh because Rory looks like it’s supposed to be a nickname of something. 
  • Louie or Logan? Hm, I don’t mind both at all, but then don’t particularly like them either… Let’s say Logan. 
  • Benjamin or Ezra? Benjamin, although I dislike the nickname Ben and it feels rather inevitable here haha. 
  • Ethan or Hudson? Hudson, really not a fan of Ethan. 
  • Adam or Max? Max, Adam’s so boring, I mean it even means human. 😀 
  • Hugo or Jac? Jac!!! 
  • Joseph or Ronnie? Ronnie, ‘cause I don’t like Joseph and ‘cause Ronnie actually isn’t too bad. 
  • Reggie or Ollie? Ollie. 
  • Ronnie or Rory? Rory. 
  • Louis or Sebastian? Louis. 
  • Harrison or Macsen? Macsen of course. 
  • Ezra or Reggie? Reggie. 
  • Jaxon or Caleb? Caleb. 
  • Logan or Finn? Definitely Finn. I like Finn names. 😀 
  • Daniel or James? Daniel is less boring than James, but then I much prefer the nicknames of James to those of Daniel. Still, we’re talking full names so Daniel. 
  • Zachary or Jesse? I think Zachary but these two have a very similar vibe to me. 
  • Samuel or Zachary? Samuel, I really like it actually. 
  • Albert or Oakley? Hmmmmm… Mmmmmmm… Lol I totally can’t make up my mind. Albert, I guess, again because it makes more sense with my style overall than Oakley would. 
  • Dylan or Carter (SC)? Dylan for sure. 
  • Alexander or Carter (SC)? Alexander, even more assuredly. 😀 
  • Hudson or Benjamin? Benjamin. 
  • Frederick or Joseph? Frederick is less boring I guess. 
  • Hunter or Myles? Myles I think, I’d be even more sure if it was Miles. 
  • David or Ethan? David. 
  • Frankie or Louis? Louis. 
  • Jesse or Blake? Jesse. 
  • Toby or Hugo? Toby. 
  • Rowan or Joshua? Rowan. 
  • Grayson or Edward? Edward. 
  • Oakley or Sonny? Oakley, I’m far from liking it but why’d you call a kid Sonny, really? 😀 
  • Felix or Toby? Felix is really cool. 
  • Riley or Carter? Riley. 
  • Carter or Ellis? Ellis. 
  • Bobby or Evan? Bobby. 
  • Finn or Brody? Finn. 
  • Alfred or Grayson? Grayson. 
  • Michael or Samuel? Well that’s actually a difficult choice because I like both in a very similar way. But  Samuel is less common overall, so Samuel. 
  • Blake or Elias? Elias, though I think I’ve already mentioned somewhere that I don’t like the “-EYE-“ pronunciation and prefer the Scandinavian way (eh-LEE-as). But then it’s Wales so I think it’s possible that some people actually do pronounce it like that because it would make sense in Welsh too. Question is though if it’s actually popular with Welsh speakers. Btw, Brits do rankings based on mother’s age so I think it would be also a great idea if they did based on mother’s first language, that could be really interesting. 
  • Gabriel or Jude? Gabriel definitely. 
  • Jasper or Eli? Eli, though Jasper is really really cool too. 
  • Mohammad or Frankie? I guess Frankie feels closer to me culturally though neither is my style at all. 
  • Sonny or Jax? Jax, out of two evils. 😀 
  • Stanley or Ioan? Ioan. 
  • Otis or Muhammad? Otis, I guess. 
  •  Caleb or Riley? Hm, Ca… no, actually, Riley. 😀 
  • Milo or Cai? Milo. 
  • Ralph or Idris? Idris is cool. 
  • Liam or Tobias? Liam definitely. 
  • Chester or Tomi? Tomi. 
  • Elliot or Daniel? Elliot. 
  • Ellis or Morgan? I think I slightly prefer Ellis, though Morgan is cool too for a boy. In fact, I guess the only reason why I didn’t choose Morgan is because realistically a British Morgan would probably have their gender mixed up a lot, as I don’t think it’s tied to one gender as strongly as in the US where it seems to be quite decidedly a girl name. Then again, we’re talking about Morgan in Wales here, and I guess in Wales it’s more clearly a boy’s name. Still, I think I’ll stick with Ellis. 
  • Yusuf or Jackson? Jackson definitely, I’d call him Jack anyway. 
  • Charles or Parker? Charles for sure. 
  • Rupert or Chester? Hm, Rupert. 
  • Kai or Gabriel? Gabriel. 
  • Harvey or Gruffydd? Totally Gruffydd. Oh and by the way, in case people don’t know it’s pronounced kinda sorta like Griffith, it’s got nothing to do with being gruff. 😀 
  • Brody or Hari? Hari. 
  • Nathan or Joey? Hm Joey? Don’t care about either. 
  • Jackson or Rhys? Hah, Rhys, I think. If it was Jack vs Rhys I’d say Jack but I think I do like Rhys more than Jackson. 
  • Leon or David? David I guess. 
  • Ibrahim or Elliott? Elliott. 
  • Tobias or Mohammed? Tobias. 

   So, how about you, lovely people? 

This or that based on top 100 in the UK (girls’ edition).

   Today I thought we’d do something different instead of question of the day. The UK’s ONS (Office for National Statistics) has released baby name statistics for England and Wales this week, which I always find interesting to look through as a name nerd, regardless of a country really as long as I have some sort of an idea what’s been popular there, and I also like to read what other people who are into it think of any changes in baby naming trends based on such statistics, ‘cause myself being near-dyscalculic I usually won’t notice a lot of stuff that might be going on. And I saw that on one of the larger naming websites – Nameberry – someone put together names from the top 100 for England and Wales together with those for the US so that people could vote which names for each rank they like more.

   So  I thought we could do a similar thing here, except to make it a bit different I decided to put English names against Welsh. In situations where a name ranks the same in both England and Wales, I pick a name of equivalent rank from Scotland, although sometimes names rank the same in all three countries like Olivia is #1 or Isla is #3 everywhere so then I just skip it. The first name in each set is from England and the other from Wales, and if a name ranks the same in both countries I’ll write (SC) after the other to indicate that it ranks on the equivalent position in Scotland. 

   For now I just did it with girls’ names, but I can do the boys’ as well if people end up liking this and/or if I’ll feel like it. Feel free to comment on why you chose one name over the other or what you think of them in as much or little detail as you wish, or not to comment at all and just list them, it’s up to you. 

   Here we go: 

  •    Amelia or Emily (SC)? 
  • Ava or Freya? 
  • Ivy or Ella (SC)? 
  • Florence or Rosie? 
  • Lily or Ava? 
  • Freya or Grace? 
  • Mia or Lily? 
  • Willow or Evie? 
  • Sophia or Mia? 
  • Isabella or Ella? 
  • Rosie or Elsie? 
  • Grace or Willow? 
  • Sienna or Florence? 
  • Daisy or Evie (SC)? 
  • Poppy or Evelyn? 
  • Elsie or Phoebe? 
  • Emily or Millie? 
  • Ella or Erin? 
  • Evelyn or Sophia? 
  • Sofia or Mila? 
  • Charlotte or Isabella? 
  • Phoebe or Poppy? 
  • Evie or Emily? 
  • Harper or Maya (SC)? 
  • Maya or Hallie? 
  • Millie or Lottie? 
  • Matilda or Isabelle? 
  • Sophie or Sofia? 
  • Alice or Sienna? 
  • Emilia or Bonnie? 
  • Ruby or Aurora? 
  • Isabelle or Aria? 
  • Luna or Penelope? 
  • Maisie or Charlotte? 
  • Aria or Maisie? 
  • Penelope or Alys? 
  • Bonnie or Ffion? 
  • Eva or Imogen? 
  • Mila or Ruby? 
  • Eliza or Seren? 
  • Ada or Luna? 
  • Violet or Mali? 
  • Hallie or Violet? 
  • Arabella or Matilda? 
  • Esme or Zara (SC)? 
  • Jessica or Thea? 
  • Delilah or Eira? 
  • Imogen or Nancy? 
  • Chloe or Emilia? 
  • Eleanor or Ada? 
  • Lottie or Layla? 
  • Layla or Mabel? 
  • Margot or Ayla? 
  • Thea or Eva? 
  • Aurora or Alice? 
  • Elizabeth or Eliza? 
  • Mabel or Gracie? 
  • Emma or Nansi? 
  • Scarlett or Lola? 
  • Erin or Sophie? 
  • Harriet or Jessica? 
  • Rose or Lyra? 
  • Lola or Megan? 
  • Orla or Delilah? 
  • Ayla or Efa? 
  • Nancy or Harriet? 
  • Zara or Lilly? 
  • Iris or Mabli? 
  • Bella or Maya? 
  • Robyn or Iona (SC)? 
  • Molly or Scarlett? 
  • Maria or Cadi? 
  • Olive or Molly? 
  • Lyla or Orla? 
  • Maeve or Eleanor? 
  • Ellie or Frankie? 
  • Maryam or Chloe? 
  • Darcie or Myla? 
  • Heidi or Lili? 
  • Edith or Lyla? 
  • Gracie or Nia? 
  • Lyra or Maeve? 
  • Amelie or Martha? 
  • Lucy or Autumn? 
  • Hannah or Eleri? 
  • Myla or Harlow? 
  • Amber or Maddison? 
  • Jasmine or Amber? 
  • Summer or Eden? 
  • Eden or Iris? 
  • Clara or Lucy? 
  • Elodie or Nevaeh? 
  • Holly or Olive? 
  • Anna or Zara? 
  • Lara or Arabella? 
  • Lilly or Bella? 
  • Beatrice or Darcie? 
  • Sara or Elodie? 
  • Esmae or Mollie? 

Bibiel’s picks:

This is gonna be so tough, I like so many of these to bits. 😀 

  •    Amelia or Emily (SC)? Amelia. It’s been very popular over here for girls around Sophie’s age and for babies, so I don’t like it nearly as much as I did when I was younger, but Emily seems more boring and overused to me even if  not in my country. Even my liking for Emily Byrd Starr doesn’t make me like Emily more than Amelia. 
  • Ava or Freya? Of course Freya. I love Freya, and I dislike Ava. 
  • Ivy or Ella (SC)?  Ella, even though it’s so popular around the Anglosphere. Not a fan of Ivy. 
  • Florence or Rosie? Both are extremely sweet and I love them. But I think I love the sound of Rosie more. 
  • Lily or Ava? Lily ‘cause I don’t like Ava. Lil- names are extremely overused here so Lily feels boring, but I can’t say I dislike it. 
  • Freya or Grace?  Freya, Grace isn’t overly interesting. 
  • Mia or Lily?  Mia, I like the sound. 
  • Willow or Evie? Willow, I think it could make a sweet nickname for Wilhelmina. 
  • Sophia or Mia? Hm, Sophia I guess…? I like both, but at the same time I seem to see Sophia everywhere so Mia feels more interesting, while on the other hand Mia is so short that it feels incomplete compared with Sophia. But yeah, Sophia, I think. 
  • Isabella or Ella? Isabella, you can call her Ella anyway and have other possibilities included as well, it makes more sense as a full name to me, and I also happen to like it a lot. 
  • Rosie or Elsie? Awww, Elsie. 
  • Grace or Willow? Willow. 
  • Sienna or Florence? Florence, don’t like Sienna. 
  • Daisy or Evie (SC)? Daisy I guess, though feel kind of ambivalent towards both. 
  • Poppy or Evelyn? Oh my flip… … … 🤔 OK, Evelyn. But I love Poppy so so much as well. 
  • Elsie or Phoebe? Elsie, though Phoebe is sweet. 
  • Emily or Millie? Millie, although if I had to choose between those two for a real life child I’d go with Emily because of what I said re Isabella and Ella. 
  • Ella or Erin? I like both, but Erin is more interesting. And Celtic. 
  • Evelyn or Sophia? As much as I love Sophia, Evelyn is far more intriguing. 
  • Sofia or Mila? Hm… Mila I guess? But I really don’t know, ask me in five minutes and I’ll say Sofia. 
  • Charlotte or Isabella? Isabella. I should like Charlotte because I generally like names like that but I just don’t, for some reason. 
  • Phoebe or Poppy? Poppy! 
  • Evie or Emily? Emily ‘cause I just like it more than Evie even if I see fewer Evies. 
  • Harper or Maya (SC)? Maya, not too big on surname/unisex names although Harper isn’t very bad. 
  • Maya or Hallie? Maya again. 
  • Millie or Lottie? Millie for sure. 
  • Matilda or Isabelle? Isabelle for sure, but nothing at all against Matilda. 
  • Sophie or Sofia? Sophie, I think, but I’m very changeable with Sophie names. 
  • Alice or Sienna? Alice. It may be plain but it has something really cool about it. 
  • Emilia or Bonnie? Emilia, don’t like Bonnie. 
  • Ruby or Aurora? Ruby, gem stones are so cool. 
  • Isabelle or Aria? Isabelle. 
  • Luna or Penelope? I like both, but so many pets around the world seem to be called Luna these days, and then there’s Soy Luna that Sofi likes, so I think Penelope wins. It’s really nice as well, feels very sophisticated and you can call her Poppy or Nellie which are both nicknames that I like. Only the name meaning isn’t quite as cool as Luna’s since Penelope means duck. 
  • Maisie or Charlotte? Maisie is lovely. 
  • Aria or Maisie? Maisie, totally neutral about Aria. 
  • Penelope or Alys? Penelope, but Alys is cool too and makes me think of Alys Williams and her voice immediately. 
  • Bonnie or Ffion? Ffion is so cute. And no, it isn’t Welsh for Fiona, it means foxglove in Welsh. 
  • Eva or Imogen? I don’t like Eva, so Imogen. Imogen has something slightly quirky about it that I like. 
  • Mila or Ruby? Mila. 
  • Eliza or Seren? I love Eliza, but especially pronounced our Polish way – e-LEE-zah. – 
  • Ada or Luna? Luna, don’t like Ada. 
  • Violet or Mali? Mali, but only because of nice associations with this name, as I’m quite neutral about both of them as such. 
  • Hallie or Violet? Hallie. 
  • Arabella or Matilda? I really like Arabella. 
  • Esme or Zara (SC)? Zara I think. Esme and variations on the theme are too Twilight. 
  • Jessica or Thea? Jessica. 
  • Delilah or Eira? Hmmmm… If it was for a real life kid, then definitely Eira. Otherwise Delilah. 
  • Imogen or Nancy? Imogen. 
  • Chloe or Emilia? Chloe is cute. 
  • Eleanor or Ada? I really like Eleanor. 
  • Lottie or Layla? Lottie. 
  • Layla or Mabel? Mabel is pretty cool. 
  • Margot or Ayla? Ayla, though neither feels thrilling. 
  • Thea or Eva? Thea. 
  • Aurora or Alice? Alice. 
  • Elizabeth or Eliza? I love both, but Eliza wins. 
  • Mabel or Gracie? Mabel, though Gracie is nice too. 
  • Emma or Nansi? Nansi, but solely because Emma is so popular in the US so I see it all the time. 
  • Scarlett or Lola? I think Lola, ‘cause for some reason I don’t really like Scarlett that much, but then I don’t particularly love Lola either. 
  • Erin or Sophie? 🤔 Erin…? Yeah Erin. But Sophie is sweet. 
  • Harriet or Jessica? Jessica, though I quite like Harriet too. 
  • Rose or Lyra? Rose. 
  • Lola or Megan? I like the Welsh feel of Megan. 
  • Orla or Delilah? Delilah. 
  • Ayla or Efa? Ayla, but both are meh. 
  • Nancy or Harriet? Harriet. 
  • Zara or Lilly? Lilly. 
  • Iris or Mabli? Iris. 
  • Bella or Maya? Bella I guess… 
  • Robyn or Iona (SC)? Iona. I really like Robin for both genders, but Robyn not really, and Iona is so Scottish. 
  • Molly or Scarlett? Molly. 
  • Maria or Cadi? I have a lot of fun associations with Cadi, but it feels so nickname-y so even though Maria is very common around the world, I choose Maria. It has more of a character than Cadi. 
  • Olive or Molly? I like olives, yay! 😀 If it was Olivia and Molly I’d probably choose Molly, but Olive feels very cool and unusual and not quite so omnipresent as Olivia. 
  • Lyla or Orla? Orla definitely. 
  • Maeve or Eleanor? Eleanor, even though Maeve’s very close. 
  • Ellie or Frankie? Ellie, I don’t like Frankie for either gender while I really like Ellie. 
  • Maryam or Chloe? Chloe. 
  • Darcie or Myla? I guess Myla, but neither is my thing. 
  • Heidi or Lili? Heidi. 
  • Edith or Lyla? Lyla ‘cause I dislike Edith. 
  • Gracie or Nia? Nia. 
  • Lyra or Maeve? Maeve. 
  • Amelie or Martha? Amelie is even better than Amelia. 
  • Lucy or Autumn? I really like Lucy. 
  • Hannah or Eleri? LOVE Eleri. Hannah’s slightly dull. 
  • Myla or Harlow? Myla, ‘cause Harlow is even worse. 
  • Amber or Maddison? Amber. 
  • Jasmine or Amber? Jasmine. 
  • Summer or Eden? Summer, don’t like Eden one bit. 
  • Eden or Iris? Iris, of course. 
  • Clara or Lucy? Lucy, even despite all my liking for Clara. 
  • Elodie or Nevaeh? Lol, it’s like asking a kid whether they prefer their favourite ice cream flavour or cold overcooked brussel sprouts. Of course Elodie! 🙂 
  • Holly or Olive? Olives are yummy. 
  • Anna or Zara? I love Anna. 
  • Lara or Arabella? Arabella. 
  • Lilly or Bella? Bella. 
  • Beatrice or Darcie? Beatrice. 
  • Sara or Elodie? Elodie. 
  • Esmae or Mollie? Mollie. 

   So, how about you? Any thoughts on these in general welcome as well. 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What website did you use daily that doesn’t exist anymore? 

   My answer: 

   One example that came to my brain immediately is a very peculiar Polish website whose name literally translates to Great Calendar of Names (great as in large, not in a boasting sense lol). You know I’ve been a name nerd for years, and I’m into almost everything that has to do with names – their etymology,  popularity over time, social connotations associated with a specific name, trends, but even to some degree stuff that is seemingly as loosely associated with names as hagiography (writing about the lives of saints) as obviously saints have had a huge impact on how people in the Christian civilisation have named their offspring. So that calendar had name days for every single day (we do name days in Poland as several other European countries do, this is like a feast day associated with a specific name(s), often based on the commemoration day of the patron saint of that name if there is one, so when you have your name day you can celebrate it kind of like a birthday, although in some parts of the country they’re not quite as important or not celebrated at all, while in others a name day is a lot more celebrated than a birthday) ) but it wasn’t like your regular calendar that just shows you what day it is and two names per each day, it had loads and loads and loads of names for each day, pulled out of all sorts of different calendars, physical and online, from different points in history, as well as all kinds of name lists, name books, liturgical calendars, martyrologies and whatever else is out there, so basically it had data from all these places and books put in one place. And then when you clicked on a specific day, it would also show you what saints are venerated on that day and who they were, and that was very detailed as well, as it wasn’t just the most well-known saints, but also those that are pretty much only venerated somewhere locally or that it’s not even sure whether they actually existed but nonetheless their legendary existence had some impact on somewhere in the world, it also had people who weren’t even beatified but only declared venerable/servants of God, and aside from Catholic ones there were also Eastern Orthodox ones. The descriptions of their lives could sometimes also get quite lengthy if there was a lot that was known and could be written about that person, and if many sources mentioned them. I believe the sources themselves weren’t necessarily always very credible or trustworthy, but they weren’t listed anywhere, and I don’t think credibility or trustworthiness was the priority here, the author of that calendar seemed to just want to compile as complete a list of names as only possible and indeed I haven’t seen a more comprehensive Polish name resource when it comes to quantity either before or since that. The multiplicity of sources and their very diverse quality also contributed to a bit of a chaotic feel that it had, as it had different writing styles in different places and just simply looked like one huge bulky thing that combines a lot of bits and bobs from everywhere. Also separate from the calendar, there were alphabetical lists of names that were included in the calendar which had the origin of every name and if it’s been used in Poland lately at all, and with the more common names exactly how common they are. 

   The website itself apparently looked quite peculiar, because the man who made it was in his late 70’s from what I recall, he also had some other non-onomastic stuff on that website that I wasn’t into and I believe wrote some kind of a blog or articles or stuff like that on there as well, but I guess he wasn’t overly tech savvy because I once came across a discussion online where people were laughing at how dated that website looks but how at the same time it’s still so cool that he did such a thing, as people assumed, totally independently. As far as I and my screen reader were concerned, I saw nothing wrong with the thing, it was perfectly accessible, very easy to navigate and that was all I cared about. 

   I liked to look at that website daily to see all those huge lists of name days for each day and read the lives of the saints venerated on that day, and even though I thought I knew about a lot of very uncommon names and their origins, I still often found ones that were completely new to me. Like, it’s from that website that I learned that there is such a name as Tatul, which totally cracked me up because Tatul is how I call my Dad, and it seemed about just as absurd to be called Tatul as it would  be for an English speaker if they learned that someone’s legal name is Daddy. Except I don’t think Tatul is used as a name in Poland these days, or had been used ever at all, because it’s an Armenian name. It was just mentioned in that calendar because there’s apparently one saint Tatul of Armenia. I’m not sure that info is even correct or reliable because I could never find anything about him   anywhere else other than that website, but from what I can recall, it said that he was some sort of Armenian hermit who lived with two other men in one hermitage, one of them I believe was called Thomas, and the only thing they ate were some kind of leaves, , and they’re still much venerated in their home country and their feast day is 30 September. The author, or whatever other source he got that from, was guessing that perhaps it actually does come from the word dad in some language and claimed it to be a variant of the Latin name Papulus, but years later I read on Behind the Name that « Tatul » is a word in Armenian that means « paw » and I’m way more inclined to trust BTN here, even though « paw » seems like a weird name meaning to me. . Even when I went through the whole calendar in a year, later on I would still often consult it when looking up some names or was in search for a really odd and clunky rarity for a story or something, I really liked that website. 

   Sadly, some years later, the host of this website decided to shut down and thus so did the calendar, and I suppose the author didn’t have either the knowledge or energy or will to move it somewhere else. Now I feel a bit regretful that I haven’t archived it somehow for my personal use, but I guess back then I didn’t even know how I could have done that efficiently, and anyway I don’t really think I’d need it as much these days, it’s just a bit of a bummer that it’s completely gone. 

   Another thing that comes to mind, not so much a website but an app, although it still did have its own website which you could use to access some of the app features and it is no longer a thing either, was Klango, a sort of network community for blind people. The project was Polish but the community as such was very much international. It started out as an app containing several audio games, and then gradually morphed into something that I guess could be compared to what we currently know as social media, plus some more gimmicks. It was self-voiced and had a lot of sounds that informed you where in the app you are or on different things that were happening in it or what you were doing and people could create their own sound themes. You could exchange messages with people, write your own blog, which was really easy to do, as well as read the blogs of other users (people from outside the Klango world could see your blog too but it was unlikely to just pop up in Google so you had to give people the URL if you wanted to have any external visitors and I guess it wasn’t overly appealing graphically, it had all kinds of forums, including voice forums, groups in which you could talk about various topics of interests, you could create and take part in polls, add people to friends, change your status, have an audio avatar, create notes and collaborate on them with people, you could have a board like on Facebook etc. On the other hand, it also had a built-in media player, with a huge catalogue of radio stations, podcasts, a YouTube browser, Google, and if you really wanted you could browse the Internet with it, which had its upsides as the built-in web browser was super simple and accessible, but also stripped websites down to the bare minimum so a lot of features on websites didn’t work or were clunky, and it didn’t even have such basic options like being able to type in text fields, so logging in anywhere wasn’t an option. You could also manage files on your computer with it, listen to audio files, convert them, all kinds of stuff like that. The whole thing was controlled exclusively with keyboard, no mouse, and you could make it so that it wouldn’t show on the screen whatever you were doing, which was a cool privacy option if you wanted to do something discretely or something that your parents might not have been happy with you doing perhaps, 😀 people would just see the Klango Logo or optionally if your sound theme had any visual stuff to it it could show up as well. So it was a really fun place for me when I was just more or less starting to acquaint myself with computers and the online world as it was incredibly simple to use, you could perhaps even say too simplistic in some aspects. I met loads of people there and learned a lot of things and I generally feel quite grateful to Klango for all that. However, not very long after I joined, the authors decided that they’re going to ditch Klango in that they wouldn’t be developing it anymore. So while the community was more or less active for several more years, many Klango features were gradually becoming unusable, from YouTube and Google to blogs to all kinds of other things. I clung to it for a very long time, because I still talked to some people only on there, and I liked to use Klango for some of my online activity as a way of simplifying things. At some point one of the members of the Klango community decided to make a similar app that would actually work, which initially was a bit like a Klango copy but over time developed its very own look and personality, and I eventually joined it as well, but still used Klango or at least had it running somewhere in the background. But by then, I was feeling already since quite a while that, actually, I would like to go somewhere out. Outside of our blind community, where everyone knew me in person, often from school or something like that, and practically often the only thing that we really had in common was that we were blind. Of course it wasn’t like while I was there, I couldn’t be anywhere else, but I was feeling the need to distance myself from that. I know it works for a lot of people but when I was thinking about it I just couldn’t imagine staying like that my whole life and always mingling with people from school or thereabouts. I liked many of them and Called some friends, but none of that felt like any sort of deeper friendship. Initially I felt awful for even thinking about wanting to do this and never thought I actually could, because how do you even explain that without hurting people and not making them take it personally, but I talked about it with my Mum, Sofi and a few of my pen pals and they all said that I should do this. So one day I just simply left both those communities. I still felt awful initially, and whenever people like my Dad or my grandma asked if I still had contact with so-and-so from school or from Klango and knew how they were doing, and I said no, I’m no longer in touch with people from there, they were like « :O :O :O But why’d you do that!?» and seemed to think it was really weird or even really bad. Or I’d tell them something about someone online and they’d be like: «Are they blind?» That usually wouldn’t be the case but they seem to think that if you’re blind, you should mingle with blind people a lot or something. When my friend Jacek from Helsinki came to my 18th birthday party, my godmother, whom I told a lot about Jacek beforehand, was extremely surprised when she learned that he wasn’t blind and couldn’t get over it for the whole party and kept asking me why I didn’t tell her that. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to have to specify that, lol, and Jacek found it very amusing and regretted that he didn’t know in advance that she thought he was blind so that he could have pranked her. Perhaps my family make such assumptions precisely because I did mingle almost only with blind people as a kid. I do get it that it can be very useful because otherwise you may not know about things that could be important/relevant to you as a blind person, for example you could learn  by word of mouth that there is some funding that you could apply for currently, or you can help each other with things relating to blindness, but I am aware of that possibility and I try to stay on top of things myself, plus obviously it’s not like I’ve completely cut myself off from the blind world as a whole, I am still on various mailing lists for the blind, read blindness-related websites or those about assistive technologies etc. etc. and I don’t really feel like I’m losing much at all. I no longer feel guilty either, as I think everyone feels the need to move on from something sometimes, even if this something had been a large part of their life before. I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t ditch Klango and all that, I wouldn’t have my current Mishmashy English blog, probably wouldn’t have a Mac now because this new app that people use instead of Klango now is only on Windows, and wouldn’t have done a lot of other things, because most of my time online would be likely spent there as always. Still, I do feel a little nostalgic thinking of Klango, as, while it was lasting, it was a really good thing, taught me extremely much and showed me a lot. 

   What were such websites for you? 🙂 

Big this or that game with similar names.

   How do you people feel about a this or that name game? This one will be just generally about names that are similar in any way, either they’re variants of each other, or different spellings, or one is the full form and the other a nickname of it, or they sound similar or just have a kind of similar vibe. You tell me which one you prefer for each of the pairs below and feel free to expand on that and say why if you want. 

  •    Elin or Helen? 
  • Nils or Lars? 
  • Ella or Bella? 
  • Jake or Jack?
  • Emily or Emma? 
  • James or Michael? 
  • Ava or Eva? 
  • David or Isaac? 
  • Christina or Kristin? 
  • Kevin or Kieran? 
  • Elisabeth or ELizabeth?
  • John or Peter? 
  • Christine or Justine? 
  • Erik or Elias? 
  • Frances or Francine? 
  • William or George? 
  • Maria or Mary? 
  • Luc or Michel? 
  • Wilhelmina or Wilma? 
  • Matti or Antti? 
  • Eugenia or Euphemia? 
  • Basil or Cecil? 
  • Noelle or Natalie? 
  • Nathaniel or Nathan? 
  • Felicia or Felicity? 
  • Felix or Phoenix? 
  • Natalia or Julia? 
  • Nicholas or Noel? 
  • Petronella or Dulcibella? 
  • Jasper or Casper? 
  • Rachel or Ruth? 
  • Leonard or Bernard? 
  •  Xenia or Sonia? 
  • Serge or Ivan? 
  • Sofia or Sophia? 
  • Joseph or Jacob? 
  • Tiffany or Brittany? 
  • Jeremy or Zachary? 
  • Amber or Crystal? 
  • Tyler or Dylan? 
  • Sofie or Sophie? 
  • Harry or Charlie? 
  • Kirsty or Kirsten? 
  • Christopher or Christian? 
  •  Jayne or Rayne? 
  • Andrew or Thomas? 
  • Melanie or Stephanie? 
  • Stefan or Stephen? 
  • Anna or Anne? 
  • Adam or Alexander? 
  • Evie or Stevie? 
  • Taylor or Jayden? 
  • Ann or Nan? 
  • Edward or Henry? 
  • Margareta or Margherita? 
  • Timothy or Anthony? 
  • Erika or Ulrika? 
  • Fredrik or Sven? 


  • Elin or Helen? – Elin for sure! I love both, but Elin has more of a personality, plus it’s both Swedish and Scandinavian. If I had to choose between Elin or Helena, I would probably have more of a problem. 
  • Nils or Lars? – Both are kind of nice but at the same time feel rather bland and boring to me. I think I very slightly prefer Lars though, obviously pronounced the Scandinavian way LAHSH. 
  • Ella or Bella? – Both are super popular in America and I prefer them as nicknames, yet I still do like them both as standalone names as well. I think I choose Ella though because I know a lot of dogs called Bella, plus I don’t like the association with Bella Swan and the  “beautiful” meaning is slightly cliche. 
  • Jake or Jack? – Duh
  • Emily or Emma? – Both are boring and overused but I think I like Emily slightly more. 
  • James or Michael? – Michael. 
  • Ava or Eva? – I dislike Ava slightly less than Eva I guess. 
  • David or Isaac? – David, I think, though I feel pretty neutral about both. 
  • Christina or Kristin? – Kristin all the way, but mostly just because I’ve seen it a bit less in my life than I have Christina so it’s not as boring, and because of Kristin Lavransdatter whom I really love. I’m rather neutral about all Christine-related names. 
  • Kevin or Kieran? – Most definitely Kevin. I actually quite like Kevin or even more so its original Irish form Caoimhín, but I really dislike Kieran, and Ciaran (the Irish form) as well, for that matter. 
  • Elisabeth or ELizabeth? – Both are amazing but I prefer Elisabeth ‘cause it’s more aesthetically pleasing to my brain as is the Scandinavian pronunciation. 
  • John or Peter? – That’s a hard one, I think I pretty much like them equally… Huh, I can’t make up my mind! 😀 Well okay, let’s say Peter ‘cause I like the sound better I think. 
  • Christine or Justine? – Christine I guess? 
  • Erik or Elias? – Elias, and again I prefer the Scandinavian pronunciation compared to the English, i.e. with the “ee” rather than “I” sound in the middle, but even with the English one I still prefer Elias. 
  • Frances or Francine? – Francine, but mostly because I once wrote a short story where there was a Francine. She was supposed to be a very narrow-minded, unlikeable character but I ended up really liking her ‘cause she turned out totally different than I planned. 😀 Talk about not having control over your characters. 
  • William or George? – Absolutely William! I love William and the vast majority of its forms and I dislike George and the majority of its forms. 
  • Maria or Mary? – Maria. I see both everywhere since Maria is so common in Poland and Scandinavia and Mary in the Anglosphere but I think Maria is more… I don’t know how to put it… colourful or something? Kind of more flexible because it fits better in all types of name combos. Not that Mary doesn’t, but Maria does it better. 
  • Luc or Michel – Michel, it sounds and looks nicer, and it has the Mish sound in it. 
  • Wilhelmina or Wilma? – Wilhelmina hands down. I love Wilhelmina but Wilma is meh. 
  • Matti or Antti? – Matti! Antti is okay, but Matti’s even better. This Finnish form is my favourite variant of Matthew. 
  • Eugenia or Euphemia? – Definitely Euphemia. I used to really dislike Eugenia but it’s been slowly growing on me. Still, I like Euphemia a lot more. 
  • Basil or Cecil? – I don’t like Basil and feel rather neutral about Cecil, so Cecil. 
  • Noelle or Natalie? – Noelle, it’s lovely. 
  • Nathaniel or Nathan? – Nathaniel. 
  • Felicia or Felicity? – This is really difficult, because I would generally say Felicia, because I love it slightly more than Felicity, but only pronounced fe-LEE-see-uh. If Felicia was to be pronounced the standard English way fe-LEE-shuh, I think I’d vote for Felicity. 
  • Felix or Phoenix? – I love Felix, so it’s Felix, but Phoenix is fairly nice too and surprisingly I quite like it for both genders. 
  • Natalia or Julia? – Hmmmm… This is complicated, because both of these names are super popular here in Poland for babies and also among gen Z, so I’m really quite fed up with them, but at the same time I do think these are nice names and before I discovered Emily of New Moon and before Julia became super popular I had a brief moment when I wanted to be a Julia. I think Julia is more popular than Natalia now though and Sofi had like five Julias in her class, so Natalia feels more refreshing, hence I choose Natalia. 
  • Nicholas or Noel? – Noel, though they are both cool. 
  • Petronella or Dulcibella? – Dulcibella’s been my guilty pleasure for a few years now, why don’t people call their kids this anymore when -ella names are so popular? I wish I could see at least one birth announcement of a Dulcibella. And nn Dulcie is so literally sweet. 
  • Jasper or Casper? – Jasper, ‘cause it’s like the stone, and jaspers are one my favourite stones. In fact, you regular folks on here know that I give my stones human names, and I’m so creative and original that I have one cute little reddish jasper stone called Jasper. 😀 
  • Rachel or Ruth? – Rachel. Ruth is more unexpected these days and has more of a defined personality as a name, but I feel a little ambivalent about it whereas Rachel is very unequivocally warm and kind of cosy imo. 
  • Leonard or Bernard? – Leonard, but both are meh. 
  •  Xenia or Sonia? – Xenia I suppose, but to my Polish ear they both feel nicknamey. 
  • Serge or Ivan? – Serge, just because I don’t like Ivan. 
  • Sofia or Sophia? – Sofia but both are lovely. 
  • Joseph or Jacob? – Jacob, not a fan of Joseph really. 
  • Tiffany or Brittany? – Uhm, no idea… They’re so similar I always mix them up anyway. I guess Tiffany sounds a bit nicer though. 
  • Jeremy or Zachary? – Zachary I think. 
  • Amber or Crystal? – Crystal. 
  • Tyler or Dylan? – Dylan, but don’t care for either really. 
  • Sofie or Sophie? – This is an impossible choice! I can never make my mind up about it. I guess I’m the same with Sophie and Sofie as I am with my languages – the one I like more is the one I’m seeing/thinking about at a particular moment. 
  • Harry or Charlie? – Charlie, not crazy at all about Harry. 
  • Kirsty or Kirsten? – Kirsty looks better. 
  • Christopher or Christian? – Christopher! I like it a lot, Christian not so much. 
  •  Jayne or Rayne? 
  • Andrew or Thomas? – Andrew. 
  • Melanie or Stephanie? – I like Melanie a lot more. 
  • Stefan or Stephen? – If it was Steven and Stephen, I’d choose Steven, but as it is, I think I choose Stephen. 
  • Anna or Anne? – Anna, of course, though I really like both. 
  • Adam or Alexander? – Alexander for sure, not a fan of Adam. 
  • Evie or Stevie? – Evie is a lot fresher, though I’d much prefer something longer like Evelyn or Evangeline, it’s really childish imo as a standalone option. 
  • Taylor or Jayden? – Taylor, though don’t like either. 
  • Ann or Nan? – Actually, I guess Nan. Ann is really underwhelming compared to Anne/Anna, and Nan at least feels more dynamic and has something bright and zippy about it. 
  • Edward or Henry? – That’s difficult because I just don’t like either… but… perhaps I dislike Edward a bit less. Not sure here really. 
  • Margareta or Margherita? – Margareta, but both are super clunky imo. 
  • Timothy or Anthony? – Timothy because I like Tim and because I don’t like Anthony. 
  • Erika or Ulrika? – Erika. 
  • Fredrik or Sven? – Both are kind of boring but I choose Fredrik solely because it reminds me of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s Fredrik Åkare character which generally I’d say is a positive association. 
  •    Over to you, guys. Which ones do you prefer? 

Instead of question of the day.

   Remember when I once posted a name game where we had to rename ourselves by smooshing the names of our grandmas? Today I thought we could do the same thing, except with parents. Because this is actually a thing for some families and in some cultures, from what I’ve heard. 

   So, basically, if your name had to be some sort of combination of your parents’ names, what would it be? 

   The only names that I can think of that sound  like they could be legit names and actually are legit names, are  Jan(n)a or Anja. Jana is a Slavic name, but not Polish, as we have either Janina or Joanna, but it still could totally work and I’m sure there are some Polish Janas out there. Plus, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s character Jane of Lantern Hill is renamed to Jana in one of the Polish translations of the book. I don’t like the name at all and can’t imagine myself being a Jana, but at least the Jane of Lantern Hill connection would be kind of nice. Janna looks somewhat better to me because it’s longer and more feminine, but it also looks made-up or like a misspelling of either Janina or Joanna, and I don’t like it either. And as for Anja, I guess it would be most acceptable for me, but it would be super-confusing because my Mum goes by Ania and Anja is also very much associated with her in my mind because it’s part of her email and she’s Anja everywhere online. But if it was like a rule that people have to name their kids after themselves, then I’m sure my parents would be a lot more likely to call me Anja anyway, and my Mum had me before she had her email so she would just never end up going by Anja I guess and people would have to get used to calling her Anna or whatever else so that they wouldn’t mix us up. 

   It would be really lame though if it was a rule, especially for families with multiple children like ours. Sofi would probably end up as Jan(n)a, and Olek would have to be Jan, which is a perfectly normal, very common Polish name just like John is in English, but it totally wouldn’t fit him. 😀 Oh yeah and now the Danish name Naja has just popped into my brain. It’s Danish, and it’s pronounced slightly different in Danish than it potentially would in Polish, but if my parents would have yet another kid, it would do for lack of anything more fitting. Gosh, what a diverse sibset we would be – Anja, Jan, Jana/Janna and Naja, SO creative! 

   Im trying to think of some interesting smooshes that would have more than just Ja- from my Dad’s name, especially Jac- because I like a lot of Jac- names, but I can’t think of anything particularly interesting. Jacena sounds like it could be an English name and it’s very similar to Jacenta which is a super rare feminine form of Jacenty, but it’s not cool and I think in English most people would pronounce it jay-SEE-nuh rather than ja-SEE-nuh, and the latter would make more sense as a name honouring a Jacek, though it sounds almost like dracena or something. If we took onnly an N from my Mum’s name, Jacen could work in the English-speaking world as a khreatyve spin on Jason but it’s extremely unappealing imho. Jacanna would be kind of hilarious to see in real life somewhere in the Anglosphere but it doesn’t look overly attractive. Or Jaca! 😀 I can see Jaca both as a very un-creative feminisation of Jack, or a Polish augmentative/some sort of rural/dialect variation on Jacek in which case it would of course be pronounced YAH-tsa, and I kind of like the latter though not necessarily as a formal name. Jacna is also some sort of an idea, I suppose, but doesn’t sound or look too convincing as a name and more like some sort of Polish feminine adjective. 😀 Oh yeah and not a Jac- name, but if we could stretch it and skip some letters in parents’ names, then Jenna/Jean could be potential options in English, not so much in Polish though. 

   So yeah, that’s about everything that I can come up with. 

   What would you be named if your parents had to do this? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   Today’s elaborate question of the day is courtesy of my weird Mum. 

   What would you do, or what would your reaction be, in the following situation: you accidentally find an old letter addressed to your parents, in which it says that you were adopted. Or your parents sit down with you and are like: “You know, we have something to tell you. We never knew how and when to tell you this, but we think it’s about time now. So, um, well, we adopted you when you were a baby”. How would it make you feel? 

   My answer: 

   Lol well, I guess I’d feel a bit confused initially and need some time to process it and ruminate it through properly, but I guess most people would. Then I’d have to offer an apology to Sofi, because when she was little Olek and me teased her a lot that she was adopted from Russia (unless she actually were adopted too, everything’s possible now I guess 😀 ). I think I would feel a little resentful that they haven’t told me earlier about it, because, like, I think most people would like to know such things about themselves, but also I can appreciate that it surely would be a difficult thing to do for parents and why they might be tempted to wait with sharing this news for as long as possible, so I wouldn’t be really frustrated or mad or anything, this doesn’t really change a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, I guess, just would be good to know. 

   And then I’d probably do some research. A lot of research, knowing myself. It would actually be kind of funny, because I’ve just recently started playing with researching our family’s ancestry. I guess I always had a mild interest in this, but always thought it must be lots of effort and not very rewarding, plus a family tree isn’t something that is easy to show a blind person in an understandable and non-abstractive way, so I never thought I could do it even if I had more motivation. But then I became interested in praying for purgatory souls, and some time later started praying for my  great-great-grandfather (my maternal grandad’s grandad) Jacenty, because Jacenty is such a cool name, and whenever I was praying for him I was wondering what sort of person he was, but no one could tell me. And then a couple years ago, on my cousin’s 18th birthday party, my great-aunt told me how interesting it is in her opinion that I changed my name to Emilia because  her aunt (so my great-great-aunt) was called Emilia. And since then I started praying for her soul as well and kept wondering what she must have been like. And so finally a couple weeks ago my curiosity got the better of me and I thought I’d do some mini research and see where it takes me, with no high hopes because I’d heard that ancestry research apps aren’t really very accessible for the blind, and I wasn’t that determined to go searching beyond the world-wide web, so wouldn’t be running around cemeteries, visiting distant relatives or places where Jacenty and Emilia lived, just see where, if anywhere at all, my armchair research takes me.

   And it’s actually been going pretty well, because while I don’t have much of an idea about stuff like their personalities or even who my great-great-aunt was in terms of occupation (I do know that my great-great-grandad is said to be the first mayor in the country after Poland has regained its independence, yay!) I do have more of an idea about their lives now. It was going so well that I actually figured I really dig digging like that, so why not set up a proper, full-size family tree and dig some more through our ancestry as a whole? I knew my Dad would be over the moon if I had some interesting findings to share, ‘cause he likes such things too but would never do it himself. And that’s what I did, and this is going extremely well, given my meager ambitions. Like, one day I just decided to trace back the records of my paternal grandma’s mother’s ancestors, and I was able to go as far as to our one ancestress – Anna – who was born before 1742. This is one branch of my family that I know most about at the moment, and it was a very interesting and exciting experience to dig through the past and go further and further back in time and meet my old family and imagine them based on the usually very scant info on their lives that I was able to dig out.

   What was also fascinating for me to see as a name nerd is the changing name trends. I mean, obviously people used to be very repetitive with names in the past so I think it was even easier to establish which names were popular than it is when looking at birth announcements these days. I’ve heard a lot that in American baby naming, there’s such a thing called 100 year rule. This means that it usually takes about 100 years for a name to become fashionable again. Like, parents rarely name their children after their own parents, but they’re often happy to name them after their grandparents or great-grandparents, although of course there are exceptions because some names just never come back. Well, while I’m pretty sure that something like this is more or less of a pattern in many other countries as well, including Poland, I was skeptical whether here it is as pronounced as in the US, because we seem to have a lot more exceptions from this rule and new parents already start embracing some names that are still pretty normal among boomers. But looking at all these names of my ancestors, my skepticism has lessened a fair bit. We may be a bit slower with the fashion cycle (but then we also have less names because not long ago we had quite a lot of restrictions on what a child can be named), but when you look at old records, something is clearly going on. When starting my research, I was thinking I’d be seeing a lot of your typical today’s Polish granny and grandpa names, because I always had an impression that most of them must have been very common and popular for centuries and only became rusty in 1970’s or so. What was my surprise when, around the earlier half of 19th century-latter half of the 18th century, the children’s names started to have an oddly late gen X/millennial vibe. I also enjoyed seeing some interesting onomastic retro rarities. 

   So, going back to the question, well, this would feel quite frustrating now, ‘cause… shit, did I really spend so much time on this to be told that it’s not my freaking family?! 😀 I’d want to know who actually my family are then. Not because I’d want to meet them and make my hypothetical new bio mum aware that I’m her daughter (although who knows, maybe if I did some research and thought it was worth a try, why not? I just wouldn’t do the research for the sake of meeting them necessarily), but more for the sake of quenching my own insatiable curiosity, and just to have an interesting rabbit hole to go down, ’til another one appears. My Mum asked if I’d do genetic testing, and, I guess it would be a good idea. But my friend Jacek of Helsinki once did, because his mum was supposed to have some Ugrofinnic ancestry and he really wanted to find out if he had some Finnish blood in him, but then he learned that he’s no Finn, and his genes are instead Armenian to quite an impressive degree, and he wasn’t too excited. So maybe that would keep my curiosity at bay? I wouldn’t mind learning that I’m largely Armenian or whatever other ethnicity, but I might end up learning that I’ve inherited, say, Huntington’s, or other degenerative unpreventable shit. Ew, why would I want to know that already? 

   Your turn. 🙂 

Question of the day (18th April).

   Let’s finally do some questions of the day, as we haven’t had them in a long while. 

   What got ruined because too many people started doing it? 

   My answer: 

   Sofi’s laying on my bed ‘cause we’ve been both sick, and she rightly points out that it’s TikTok. However, the first thing that came to my mind was tattoos. As soon as it became more mainstream and not just associated with prisoners and the like, it seems like it very quickly went from cool to ever-present and it’s like almost everyone has at least one. I used to think for quite some time that perhaps I’d like to have a tattoo, as I think I was quite late with realising how common it was, probably because duh I can’t see, and I thought it was still kind of on the unusual side. I didn’t have any clearer ideas though as for what sort of a tattoo I’d like to have, I only knew that definitely something out of the box and reflecting my personality/interests, but also not too in-your-face and rather discrete. It also wasn’t like I was fully decided on it, just something I thought I might do some day, or maybe not, we’ll see. Well, as I’ve been talking to people, and also to my Mum who is a keen observer of how people look, I’ve become quite fed up with the idea so I’m quite glad I didn’t go ahead with it, even though realistically I probably never would anyway because like I said I had no clearer ideas about a possible tattoo. It really seems no longer like something original, and if it is perceived as original, it only seems to be when someone goes with something controversial or defiant, which is most of the time not the kind of original that I aim for. 

   Other than that, I could go on and on and on about all sorts of great baby names from Poland, US, UK or Sweden that got ruined, either just for me or for a lot more people, by either steadily growing in popularity or becoming extremely popular, but I’ll pass on that opportunity for now because I’m feeling too crappy haha. One example I’ll mention, and about which I’m pretty sure I already told you before, is Filip, which used to be one of my great favourites among boys’ names and a strong contender if I ever did end up having kids, but since then its popularity has absolutely exploded, and though I still like the name, I wouldn’t be keen on using it for a real-life baby. 

   What’s such a thing that comes to your mind? Also, how has your Easter been? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   How do you people feel about yet another name-y question? 

   This time round, let’s say you’re having boy/girl twins. What are you naming them? 

   My answer: 

   I think today I’d name the boy Jacenty Filip, and the girl Helena Felicja. Jacenty and Helena are both vintage names, though Helena is a lot more popular and Jacenty feels like it has become totally forgotten in favour of Jacek and no one names their kids Jacenty these days, but if my intuition’s any good I feel that chances are it may change, because Jacek’s going down every year and I see more and more people saying how it’s quite dated, with its peak having been around 60’s, meanwhile more and more parents are interested in vintage names and not just those that were popular when their grandparents were born but also earlier. Jacenty would likely go by Jacek in casual situations anyway, as I guess that has been the case for all Jacentys. Helena is in top 20 for babies right now, which wouold normally bother me endlessly and likely discourage me from using such a name in the first name spot, but I love Helena way too much and for way too long to care, plus I don’t really know all that many little Helenas in real life, in fact there’s just one in our neighbourhood and Sofi says she doesn’t come across many Helenas among her peers either so I guess our particular area isn’t as in love with it as some other parts of the country must be. And their middle names both start with F, though each has a different feel to it. Filip is extremely common among babies, young children, and even teenagers. I used to be really fond of this name as a teenager (same with a lot more rare Filipina for a girl) but there are Filips everywhere – various schools I went to, Sofi’s class and school, all sorts of birth announcements that I see online, it feels like every young boy who isn’t a Jakub is a Filip 😀 and most importantly, my cousin’s kid is also a Filip. – And my Mum says it’s a name for a cat, not for a human. I don’t get her reasoning, and I always say that you shouldn’t care overly what your family thinks when choosing a baby name, but it just adds to all the reasons why I can no longer think about Filip as a first name for a kid, not even an imaginary one. 😀 But I think I could still use it in the middle name spot, especially next to the oh so unusual Jacenty. Felicja meanwhile, like I said in my quadruplet naming post, is a classic, yet underused, definitely vintage name, but not as obscurely vintage as Jacenty. It’s been really growing on me and can’t stop, but I’d feel hesitant about using it as a first name because I’m not a fan of the nickname Fela, which for most people I guess is the default nickname for Felicja, and Polish people just HAVE to nickname, even when your name is as simple as Anna. 

   HOw about your twins? 🙂 

Question of the day.

   What’s the most interesting name you have heard in real life? 

   My answer: 

   I think that would have to be one lady whom I once met on a coach when I went on a pilgrimage with my grandma. She went by Mela, so I assumed she must be Melania (not a very common name either but I guess most commonly associated with this nickname) and I was really surprised to learn that she was actually called Melchiora. As in Melchior, one of the Three Kings, and that’s because she was born on Epiphany. Good thing her parents didn’t name her Kacpra (Kacper is the Polish form of Gaspar/Jasper, or Baltazara). I think Melchiora is a bit clunky but still quite pleasant-sounding, and it reminds me of the name Meliora which I once came across in a book and which I actually really like. 

   Also I seem to have some kind of luck for hairdressers with quite unusual names. The one I think was most interesting went by Lonia, and my Mum once asked her about her full name, because Lonia is her aunt’s name and it’s short for Leonarda which is also a highly unusual name which I’ve never ever heard on anyone else. And she said her full name was Longina. I knew that such a name exists but I wouldn’t have thought that it’s actually in use on living people over here anymore! So we were both really surprised and my Mum kept questioning her how come she had such an unusual name which she didn’t seem overly comfortable with. She said she really disliked it, which I can understand, as it didn’t really seem to fit her all that well. Prior to that, I also had a hairdresser called Jessica, which might seem very normal to you if you’re in an Anglophone country, but for me, and even more so for my Mum, it was rather unusual. Jessica is one of those modern names that came around 90’s and which a lot of people dislike because they sound very pretentious in Polish. Also no one really knows how to spell Jessica, because if you want to go with the English pronunciation, the most straightforward way to spell it in Polish would be Dżesika, but it looks made-up, while the original Jessica might end up being frequently mispronounced and misspelt. I’ve also seen forms like Jesika, Jessika or Jesyka in use over here and I don’t know how that Jessica spelt her name. Jessica still has some eyebrows-rising potential even when you see it in the age-range where it is most common, but that particular Jessica was a bit older I think, and that’s what  was so unusual about her name to me. 

   And even earlier I also had a hairdresser called Luiza, which is nowhere near as striking as Melchiora or Longina, nor as controversial as Jessica, but still feels quite unique. I also went to school with a Luiza. And generally I had a bunch of people with interesting names in my various schools. I think one that stands out the most was a girl called Adela with whom I went to high school/college, I went to one for adults which means it was part-time, and I think she could have been around thirty. I think most people in Poland see Adela as a very retro name, and so do I, but I also really like it so I was positively surprised to see it on a young woman, and she did pull it off really well. Ohh and of course the blind school which I attended for most of my education was founded by nuns and, as is the case with many religious orders, our nuns often had interesting names as well, but it feels much less striking given that they’re not actually their birth names. Some of those that are unusual and that I like at the same time include Noemi, Nulla (I didn’t actually meet sister Nulla as she died before I came there but she wrote some poetry and that’s how I came across her name, so I’m not sure it counts as real life. The meaning is a bit problematic, as it means “nothing” which is a reference to humility in a religious name and to how we are nothing compared to God, but as someone’s actual, real life name would not be very fortunate), Pia, Hiacynta or Rufina. 

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day (15th February).

   If you had quadruplet girls, what would you name them? Feel free to include what middle names you’d give them as well! 

   My answer: 

   Quadruplets! What a scary idea! But so delightful when it comes to naming! 😀 I honestly have to say I don’t really understand people who feel the need to have their multiples’ names match, to the point where, at least to me, it’s glaring, like, say, Dolly, Holly, Molly and Polly, or Amy and May, or Madison, Addison and Mason, or Skyla and Starla, what not. Maybe I just don’t get cuteness, but I think it’s rather unambitious, and smothering the children’s individuality. And so impractical. I’m not a twin, but back when I still went by my birth name, my and Sofi’s default nicknames rhymed, and we would often be frustrated because we wouldn’t be able to figure out from a distance which one of us someone was calling, or people would often mix both up, and neither did I have any desire to be Sofi, nor did Sofi have it to be me. 😀 But no, I don’t think our parents actually did that on purpose, it just happened. Similarly, I don’t understand dressing twins in very matching clothes, unless they are big enough to express what they want and are on board with it. They’re humans, not dolls or a litter of kittens, and as such should develop their separate identities imo. A subtler, less obvious theme can be very cool though and I really like seeing such, the likes of Zoe and Eve (both mean life, have the same amount of letters yet different amount of syllables, and end with the letter “e” but not the same sound), or Caitlyn and Kevin (both start with the same sound, but not letter, and are anglicisations of Irish names, plus both end with “n”) or Eleanor and Michelle (both come up in Beatles’ songs). 

   With all that being said, I don’t think I’d go about naming quadruplets any different than naming four girls from four separate pregnancies, unless I actually had some clever theme in mind and there would be enough names fulfilling this theme’s criteria that I would actually really like, and not feel like I’m using any of them just to match the theme. Also I fall in and out of love with various names regularly, and the degree to which I love them changes almost daily, so if you asked me the same question tomorrow, possibly I’d be in the mood for something different than today. 😀 

   As it is currently, I think they’d be as follows: 

   Helena Felicja, Eliza (eh-LEE-zah in Polish, not e-LIE-zuh) Anna, Saskia Jaśmina and Wilhelmina Kornelia. I Think all these names are Classic, though not all are classic in the same way, for example names like Helena and Anna have been popular and common for decades. Felicja feels decidedly more retro but I see more and more parents embracing it lately. Eliza, while known here for centuries either as a nickname for Elżbieta or an independent name, is on the more unique but not extremely rare side, having had a spike in popularity in the 70’s, but in my opinion not big enough to make it feel a strongly 70’s name. Saskia and Wilhelmina are more on the obscure side but I think they have quite a classic feel internationally, and are also not total novelties here in Poland, especially Wilhelmina. Jaśmina was in top 200 for babies last year so definitely getting more popular, yet, as for now, at least, still very unique, especially in the overall population, it also feels kind of trendy because we like plant-related names for girls currently, feels more modern than the rest but still fairly classic to me. And Kornelia used to have similar known yet underused status as Eliza, but now there’s a whole lot of girls Sofi’s age and younger with this name, and is in top 50 for babies currently which is one reason I would rather not go with it as a first name.

   Even though each of my imaginary quadruplet daughters has one name that is quite unusual and eye-catching, each also has one name that’s a bit or a lot less unique, so if Helena decides that she’s tired of sharing her first name with a dozen of other Helena’s in her workplace, she can still go by Felicja, which like I said is rising but is nowhere near as popular among babies as Helena is. If Eliza will think her name actually IS too 70’s, or will be pissed by people misnaming her as Luiza (which apparently happens to a lot of Elizas), or by every other person saying how unusual her name is even though it’s not really, or if she will have a lot of contact with Anglophone people and won’t like being called e-LIE-zuh she can go by Anna, which is not tied to any specific generation and is very common, thus possibly providing more anonymity, and less pronunciation trouble as it’s pronounced more or less the same in most languages. And if she will indeed have a lot of contact with Anglophone people she also has a delightful possibility of going by something like Annelise, if Anna doesn’t quite work either and is too underwhelming. If Saskia decides her name is really too obscure and she’s sick of people commenting on it and asking what’s her nationality, she can go by Jaśmina, which by her adulthood will perhaps still be on the slightly unique side, but nowhere near as spectacularly as Saskia. And same with Wilhelmina. If her first name is too overwhelming and won’t feel like herself even with the plethora of nicknames (you do have to be quite a character to pull of Wilhelmina) she can become one of many Kornelias. I think it’s a good strategy if possible when you want to give your child a more unique name, that you also give them a middle that blends in a bit better in case that’s what they end up preferring, and the other way around, if you give your child a name that’s very common either overall or in their age group, then it’s a cool idea to give them a more bold middle so that they can feel more special and stand out of the crowd if that’s what they want, even if they won’t actually end up going by it but won’t feel like they’re just a millionth Olivia Jane in the world. 

   How about your quadruplets? Would naming quadruplets be any different for you than naming four children from individual pregnancies? 🙂 

This or that (name game with different spellings).

I thought we could do a little name game today, to have a bit of fun. In case the post title isn’t self-explanatory enough, below there are pairs of names, which are essentially spelling variants of one name, and I’m curious which of these spellings you prefer. Are you more traditional, or more creative, or a bit of both? Feel free to just list your preferred spellings, or comment on your choice as shortly or extensively as you wish. Here are the names:

Violet or Violette?

Juliet or Juliette?

Katelyn or Caitlin?

Adeline or Adalyn?

Amelia or Amilia?

Louisa or Luiza?

Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)?

Evelyn or Evalyn?

Cecilia or Cecelia?

Maisie or Maisy?

Mae or May?

Aria or Ariyah?

Wren or Ren?

Emmeline or Emmalyn?

Lucy or Lucie?

Lily or Lillie?

Claire or Clare?

Jane or Jayne?

Lila or Lyla?

Elizabeth or Elisabeth?

Amelie or Amalie?

Seraphina or Serafina?

Sofie or Sophie?

Ariel or Arielle?

Caroline or Carolyn?

Sophia or Sofia?

Zoe or Zoey?

Finn or Fionn (FINN)?

Felix or Feliks?

Greyson or Grayson?

Lucas or Lukas?

Martin or Martyn?

Oscar or Oskar?

Phillip or Filip?

Michael or Mychael?

Emmanuel or Emanuel?

Callum or Calum?

Alasdair or Alistair?

Eric or Erik?

Paul or Pól?

Glen or Glyn?

Tommy or Tomi?

Stephen or Steven?


Violet or Violette? – I don’t care for this name either way, even though I like a lot of floral names and most people with more or less similar tastes to me tend to love it. But I think Violette makes this name look more sophisticated and I much prefer the French pronunciation over the English one.

Juliet or Juliette? – Again, don’t care for it either way but Juliette looks more complete.

Katelyn or Caitlin? – Actually, I have a little bit of a dilemma here. I tend to favour traditional spellings because they’re… well, traditional, they usually have more history to it and often just are more aesthetically pleasing. In this case, Caitlin is the original, Irish Gaelic spelling of this name and yes, I really like it, especially when pronounced the Gaelic way. Katelyn, on the other hand, looks very modern and, I’d say, seasonal, which is to say I don’t think it’ll ever be trendy again. And I tend to dislike names that are seasonal like that and look modernised. But I actually like a lot of names with the -lyn ending, despite my classic/traditional leanings, and while Caitlin has more history and sounds better, Katelyn looks better imo. Caitlin is just not impressive in the way it looks in writing. Plus, I like the nickname Katie, and it’s much more obvious for Katelyn than Caitlin. At least I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a Caitlin that would go by Katie, it seems to be Cait most often, which I don’t like at all in this spelling. So yeah, I think I’m voting Katelyn.

Adeline or Adalyn? – Adeline for sure! Adalyn’s not too bad, but Adeline has a lot more character and looks beautiful and refined. I like the frilly Adelina even more.

Amelia or Amilia? – Amelia. I don’t dislike Amilia but it looks a bit like someone couldn’t quite decide whether it should be Amelia or Emilia. 😀

Louisa or Luiza? – That’s super difficult, I really like both. Luiza is the Polish (and apparently also Portuguese) variant and is pronounced pretty much the same. I think I choose Louisa though, it looks a little bit nicer.

Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)?- Definitely Isla. It’s lovely, even if very popular right now. Ayla meanwhile… I never know how to pronounce it. It can be EYE-luh but it could just as well be AY-luh I guess.

Evelyn or Evalyn? – Evelyn! It looks nicer, is more vintage, plus I don’t really like Eva. I don’t like Eve either, but Eva- feels a lot more prominent in Evalyn than Eve- does in Evelyn. To me Evalyn looks like you deliberately want it to be a combination of Eva + Lyn, rather than a variant spelling of Evelyn whose etymology is totally different from Eve/Eva.

Cecilia or Cecelia? – Cecilia, I think. It’s a lot more graceful. I don’t mind Cecelia but if I wanted to go the -celia route I’d rather use Celia alone than Cecelia.

Maisie or Maisy? – Absolutely Maisie. Maisy is very unattractive aesthetically imo.

Mae or May? – May. It looks a lot fresher and more natural, as in, it makes me think of the month of May, of the plant may, of nature in general. Mae feels bland and boring and rather dated and just like a filler middle name.

Aria or Ariyah? – It feels like I’m seeing Aria in all birth announcements from the English-speaking world these days and I’m a bit tired of it. Ariyah’s not really my thing but you don’t see it everywhere, plus lately I’m liking a lot of -iya(h) names for girls very much.

Wren or Ren? – Wren. Ren looks like a nickname to me and is so short that it doesn’t feel very interesting. I don’t like Wren enough to use it myself or anything, but it looks lovely as a middle name with something longer and frilly haha.

Emmeline or Emmalyn? – I like both but Emmeline looks better, and here it’s a bit the same as what I was talking about regarding Evelyn vs Evalyn – Emmalyn looks like Emma + Lyn and Emma is SO popular for babies right now in SO many places and I’m quite fed up with it.

Lucy or Lucie? – It’s nice to see Lucie because it’s less common and always draws attention, or that’s at least how it is in my case, but I guess I’m more attached to Lucy.

Lily or Lillie? – I like Lily, but I also see Lily everywhere in the English-speaking world where newborn babies or people’s future naming plans are concerned, I guess especially in the UK, and it probably feels even more so to me because in Poland we’ve been having a bit of a Lil-
names epidemic (Lilianna is particularly popular). So neither feels particularly breathtaking at the moment, but Lillie stands out a bit more so I’m gonna pick Lillie.

Claire or Clare? – I think Claire looks fuller, but I much prefer Klara from either of these.

Jane or Jayne? – 100% Jane! Jane may be plain and boring but to me it’s actually a lot more interesting than Jayne.

Lila or Lyla? – A lot of girls with Lil- names in Poland are nicknamed Lila so it’s also everywhere, but I’m still choosing Lila over Lyla because it looks better. Also, even though it’s so popular here, I much prefer the LEE-lah pronounciation over the LIE-la one, and Lyla isn’t so flexible where pronunciation is concerned.

Elizabeth or Elisabeth? – I love both, but because Elizabeth is so common in the English-speaking world, I always appreciate seeing Elisabeth more. It also looks more elegant to me and has a strongly Scandinavian air.

Amelie or Amalie? – Amelie. I also prefer Amelia over Amalia, for no specific reason I guess.

Seraphina or Serafina? – Serafina. – I almost always will prefer a name spelled with an F rather than Ph. Also Serafina lends itself a bit easier to the nickname Fina that I find adorable.

Sofie or Sophie? – Well, today I feel like I’m more inclined to say Sophie but ask me tomorrow and the answer might be different. I can just never decide which one is better!

Ariel or Arielle? – Arielle. Here in Poland Ariel is viewed as pretty much exclusively masculine (and very rare) name and while I myself don’t see it as either exclusively feminine or exclusively masculine, I prefer Arielle or Ariela for a girl. Also I don’t know where it’s produced, sold and wherever else it might be known under the same name but here I think Ariel is more commonly known as the name of a type of detergent than actual people.

Caroline or Carolyn? – The Carolyn as such is a lot less interesting than the Caroline spelling, but I much prefer the -lyn pronunciation over the -line, so I pick Carolyn.

Sophia or Sofia? – Sofia, I think. Sophia is too popular. Not that Sofia is not, but in the English-speaking world it’s slightly less than Sophia, and I am less exposed to the naming trends of the countries where Sofia is currently in like top 10. For me Sofia is very distinctively Swedish.

Zoe or Zoey? Undisputably Zoe.

Finn or Fionn (FINN)? – Maybe some of you expected me to choose Fionn, because I’m a Celtophile and Fionn is the original, Irish version of the anglicised Finn, but in this case I think I prefer the look of Finn.

Felix or Feliks? – Felix has more character and is kinda zippier, I like it more. Feliks feels a lot more serious.

Greyson or Grayson? – Greyson, just because I’m more used to this spelling, but I don’t like the name either way.

Lucas or Lukas? – Lukas, I suppose, but I like both and my preference isn’t very big at all.

Martin or Martyn? – Martin. Martyn makes me think of the Polish feminine name Martyna, which I don’t like.

Oscar or Oskar- Definitely Oskar, although that doesn’t mean I don’t like Oscar.

Phillip or Filip? – I prefer the way Filip looks, I’m actually really fond of it, though I don’t like how popular it is here among children and teens. In the English-speaking world, it would be really cool and refreshing to see a Filip though, I think it could give Phillip a younger feel, although perhaps Phillip itself will be ready for a comeback in a while, I’m not sure.

Michael or Mychael? – Michael for sure.

Emmanuel or Emanuel? – I think it looks more full with the additional M but I don’t mind it with one M.

Callum or Calum? – I guess I’ve been exposed to Callum a lot more because Calum feels glaringly incomplete.

Alasdair or Alistair? – Alasdair, the properly Scottish way. –

Eric or Erik? Neither is interesting, but I think I have a very slight preference for Erik. –

Paul or Pól? – Pól is the Irish spelling and I really love it. I’m rather neutral about Paul. –

Glen or Glyn? – Glyn is amazing, Glen is meh. –

Tommy or Tomi? – Actually, I don’t care for Tommy, but I’ve seen Tomi used as a legit Cymricised (Welshified) version and when I first came across it I was like “Well, it’s actually quite nice”. So yeah, Tomi.

Stephen or Steven? – I don’t like either at all, but if I seriously had to choose, I’d choose Steven. I know the ph was the original spelling but it doesn’t make sense. 😀

Okay, now over to you, which spellings do you prefer? 🙂

Question of the day.

I found this super cool name game on Reddit, on a subreddit called Namenerds, you can find it


and as I had no idea for an actual question, and I myself love name questions, I thought we could do this, perhaps you’d find it fun too. 🙂 In this game, you’re an influencer and you have twelve children, which you obviously have to name, and there are different rules for each child. You can of course use nicknames as well. Here are the rules for all the children and below are my kids’ names:

Kid 1: (Male, 13) Name of your hypothetical honeymoon location, middle name is animal-themed
Kid 2: (Female twin, 11) Name starts with the same letter as Kid 3, middle name is Greek mythology themed
Kid 3: (Female twin, 11) Name starts with the same letter as Kid 2, middle name is Roman mythology themed
Kid 4: (Female, 10) Flower name, middle name is an English monarch name
Kid 5: (Male triplet, 8) Name starts with letter K, famous author middle name
Kid 6: (Male triplet, 8) Name starts with letter K, Movie character middle name
Kid 7: (Female triplet 8) Name starts with letter K, Fairytale character middle name
Kid 8: (Male, 7) Named after your favorite relative, Middle name starts with the same letter as the first name.
Kid 9: (Male, 5) Named after a scientist/inventor, Middle name is gender-neutral
Kid 10: (Female twin, 4) Name starts with P, middle name is star and space themed
Kid 11: (Male twin, 4) Name starts with P, middle name is plant themed
Kid 12: (Female, 2) Name can also be used as a surname, middle name is color themed
Dog: (Pug, Male) food themed
Cat: (Calico, Female) old person name

Alright, let’s do it:

Kid 1: Gwynedd (pronounced like Gwyneth except the th is pronounced as in the, not as in Thursday) “Gwyn” Lynx (this is the only animal name that I like enough that I could perhaps use, plus it has feline connotations and sounds very influencer-like imo as influencers like lyn names and the letter x).

Kid 2: Marigold Helena (HE-le-nuh or heh-LEH-nah, NOT heh-LAY-nuh or heh-LEE-nuh!, perhaps she’d go by her middle because while I like both these names I love Helena more. In this case I’d happily call her something like Nellie or Hellie or Ellie but I’m gonna have a Kornelia as well so it’s not a good idea really. The Polish Helenka would have to suffice, and will work well to suggest the right pronunciation for strangers. If she’ll be called Marigold then I don’t think I’d use any nicknames, I’m not crazy about Goldie).

Kid 3: Michaela (either mee-khah-EH-lah or mee-ka-EH-la, NOT mi-KAY-luh!) Proserpina (would it be very very wrong if I used the nickname Micha or Michi? If yes, perhaps she’d be Mimi).

Kid 4: Salivia (sa-lee-VEE-ya) “Sallie” or “Via” Anne (salivia is Swedish (archaic I guess) for sage. It appears in a well-known Swedish folk song “Uti Vår Hage” (In Our Garden) along with several other plant names, and ever since I heard it for the first time I think all of them would make for great names, but Salivia is my favourite. It’s a herb, not a flower, but I guess it still counts, what do y’all think? Also, my other question to you is: even with the different pronunciation, does this still look/sound too much like saliva to you? I think I’d sometimes call her Sallie Anne as well).

Kid 5: Kristoffer (I very much like Polish Krzysztof too but I don’t want my followers to break their tongues and Kristoffer is also very cool) Jack (after Jack London whom I don’t care for, but… well, he’s a Jack 😀 I don’t like Chris quite as much as I do Kristoffer or Christopher but it’s a long name so I guess he’d end up being called that sometimes, as long as no one calls him Kris because that means crisis in Swedish).

Kid 6: Kilian Alexander (that was a difficult one because I don’t really have any more favourite K names for boys, and because I hardly watch movies. 😀 I sort of like Kilian but I’ve heard that for many people Killian/Cillian sounds like killing or something, and while in Polish it’s pronounced with the ee sound rather than ih, I’m not sure I’d be able to get English natives to say it that way. Alexander simply fits well for Kilian imo, plus I like this name, plus it would honour Olek, and apparently there was some movie about Alexander the Great called just Alexander. Not sure how famous it is. Perhaps to avoid the kill trouble he’d go by Alexander, and then we’d nickname him Sandy or Xander or Alec, I don’t know, I like most Alexander nicknames).

Kid 7: Kornelia “Nellie” Zofijka (Kornelia obviously in honour of Cornelis Vreeswijk, and Zofijka obviously in honour of my sister Zofijka, whose full name is of course Zofia but I don’t like Zofia, I despise the default nickname Zosia, and I’m an influencer so I don’t give a flip, I’m gonna call her Zofijka. In Polish we pronounce it zaw-FEEY-kah, but I wouldn’t mind it being pronounced close to Zofika or something like that, and also it’s just a middle name which I have a feeling she wouldn’t use a lot, due to other Zofijka.

Kid 8″ Jacenty (my grandad’s middle name, pronounced yah-TSEN-ti) “Jacek” John (not very satisfied with this combo, ’cause John is so filler, but other J names for boys that I like also start with Jac-).

Kid 9: Fulton (officially after Robert Fulton to whom I have no connection whatsoever, unofficially after Venerable archbishop Fulton J. Sheen who would make for an amazing patron saint and whose name I kinda like despite I generally am not a big fan of surname names) Lux.

Kid 10: Pilar Stellamaris (could you go more Catholic than this?! 😀 But Pilar is one of my most favourite P girl names, and since it’s a name very closely connected with the Virgin Mary due to one of her titles being Our Lady of the Pillar, and since I chose Pilar I thought we’d go Catholic and Marian-themed all the way, ’cause Stellamaris is another of Mary’s titles, meaning star of the sea in Latin. And obviously it’s also star- and space-themed).

Kid 11: Pio (yeah, let’s keep the Catholic theme, and aside from the Padre Pio connection I think the name is quite cute and it matches Pilar well and I don’t really have better ideas other than Phillip, which feels very matchy-matchy sound-wise with Pilar and also I prefer Filip anyway, and Peter which I like but is underwhelmingly boring with my other kids) William (as in the flower sweet William, which is also a name with numerous patron saints so it fits this recent theme. If Pio turns out not very practical he could go by William and then I’d probably call him Billy).

Kid 12: Elwy (my current faza’s Jacob Elwy Williams’ surname, which is apparently also used as a girl’s name somewhere, and is also the name of a river in Wales) Sapphire.

Dog: Biszkopt (BEESH-kopt, sponge-cake biscuit in Polish, I love the word).

Cat: Euphemia (Fiffi).

Yay, it’s a freakishly diverse sibset, but I think, especially given that I’m an influencer so I’m allowed to go crazy, it doesn’t feel glaringly mismatched or anything. What do you think about my kids’ names?

And what do you choose for yours? 🙂

Question of the day, or more like a fun name game.

Earlier today I was just mindlessly scrolling through the Namenerds subreddit and found a fun game. I had actually a lot of laugh reading it. I was thinking for a long time that I’d like to do some name games on here like I used to for a while in the beginnings of this blog, since I’m into baby naming and all things names so much, but also wanted it to be light and not too demanding or full of rules, so that it would actually fit on a blog, and just couldn’t come up with any good idea. So thought I’d steal this one from Reddit, maybe you’ll like it:

What would you be named if your name had to be a combination of the names of your grandmothers/grandfathers (kind of like Renesmee from Twilight is a smoosh of Renee and Esmee)?

Me: My grandmothers are Helena and Stefania. I think Helenia sounds quite interesting. It does have a clear invented name feel but it’s not all that obnoxious. It flows really well. I love Helena and Helenia sounds even more dainty.

Stelena could be some trendy spin on Stella. I like Stella, and Stelena is not awful, but it does scream “I’M MADE UP!” Also I don’t really like when -ena names are pronounced -eena or -ayna (-ena with the short e is the only way to go in my opinion) and I think Stelena wouldn’t avoid the -eena pronunciation in English.

What else… oh, there are actually legit Polish names, or rather diminutives, Hania and Henia. Hania is from Hanna and Henia is from Henryka. But Hania is very popular for kids right now and it’s not really my cup of tea, whereas Henia is suuuuper elderly and not in a charming vintage name like Hattie has been in the US lately. 😀

Now that I think of it, I remember my Mum’s invention “Hestefa”. We call my grandmother Stefania Stefa for short most of the time. We were on a walk, I think I might have been about Sofi’s current age, and Mum was telling me something about my grandma. I asked “Which grandma?” to which she responded: “Hestefa”. We both laughed at that, and then I thought that it sounds like some German aristocrat, especially coupled withh our very German-sounding last name. Her Excellency Countess Hestefa von Z… 😀 Obviously I had to share that with Mum, and then we kept laughing at that all the way back.

Oh wait, Hestia! LOL. That’s interesting! I don’t love the name very much but I like the goddess Hestia and I vaguely remember that years ago, back when I used to do more social media, there was a sort of personality test going among my Twitter friends which told you what your goddess archetype was, and mine was Hestia according to it. Hestia is cool. I guess I could live with that.

But, as I keep thinking of it, I’ve convinced myself that Helenia rocks!

Your turn. 🙂

Question of the day.

Congratulations, you just gave birth to triplets! Two girls, one boy. Their names start with S, M, and J. What do you name them?

My answer:

This one’s gonna be super rambly, because this is the kind of question that Bibiels like best, yay! Yeah, I think most of you know by now that, as much as I don’t want and don’t plan to have kids, on the other hand I’d love to have a lot of them for the sake of naming them. On a side note, my cousin just gave birth to a boy a few days ago and earlier on during her pregnancy I was very thrilled to help her find the right baby name. Now I’m quite thrilled that she actually named her baby really well, even if not necessarily what I would call my style but obviously that doesn’t matter. Anyways, back to the question.

Hm… so of course for me that would depend what language we’re working with specifically, or whether it could be any language. If we’re thinking realistically, I can only use names that work in Polish –
either because they’re used in Polish or because they don’t pose any linguistic challenges – since I live in Poland and am Polish myself, and while I love a lot of names from other cultures, I’m not a fan of too much name importing when it comes to Polish language, unless you are a mixed family, have a mixed background yourself or live abroad/live in Poland but aren’t Polish, as the result will usually be that your child’s name will be considered rather pretentious, and there will be a lot of pronunciation/spelling problems very likely. The first is due to the fact that we had fairly strict naming laws until not very long ago and most people still aren’t comfortable outside of them, and the second is because Polish is a phonetic language so if something’s spelt different than it is pronounced, it’s bound to cause trouble.

So, in Polish, for the S girl I would most certainly use Saskia. Unlike a lot of name nerds I don’t really do my favourites rankings, I used to but it’s not really helpful with anything for me, but if I were to have one, I’m sure Saskia would be featured somewhere in the top 10 every year for the last 5-6 years or so, I’m absolutely in love with it.

The M girl… I’ve always liked Milena, but it feels very 90’s, so by the time my hypothetical daughter would grow up, it would feel like Melissa or Jennifer does in English now, I suppose, and she wouldn’t be too thrilled, and neither would I. And also it’s too normal. Oh but hey, speaking of Melissa, I really love it! The problem is, it’s hardly fresh anymore in English, and it’s weird in Polish. There are Melisas and Melissas in Poland, I even know a Polish YouTuber who has a little Melissa, although I believe she lives somewhere abroad, but I still feel like for an average person, Melissa is more likely to be associated with the plant, you know, the melissa tea and its soporiphic qualities, than a human name. One of the naming laws we’d had is that common nouns couldn’t be used as names, except for a few that felt more or less traditional and somehow established themselves for some reason. Thus, I’d be afraid that there is a higher than normal name-calling potential here. But maybe I’m overthinking. My Mum, who’s quite narrow-minded when it comes to names, says she doesn’t feel like that would be the problem at all. So yeah, maybe Melissa, but maybe not… There are too many beautiful M names for girls. Another name I’d be highly tempted to use is Michalina. Michalina however, is extremely popular and I guess going up every year, so that’s a downside. Also, would people think that I’m weird having (or even having had) a cat called Misha and naming my daughter Michalina which is commonly nicknamed to Misia? Probably yes. I don’t know if I would/should care about what people would think in this case. And I wonder if it would be a huge discrepancy if I had triplets, of which one would have a highly unusual name (Saskia) and the other a name from top 20. I could go with Michaela (mee-khah-EH-lah of course, not mi-KAY-luh) which is a lot more obscure feminine form of Michał, but… I don’t know. I feel like it could be considered very snobbish by some people who don’t know that it’s been in use, albeit sparse, for ages, and I would hate it if Polish people tried to pronounce it the English way, which I think could happen sometimes because I think people are more acquainted with Michaela as an English name than a Polish one. I wouldn’t even be surprised, although would definitely be very disgruntled, if someone tried pronouncing it like Michael but with an a at the end. But I guess I love Michaela pronounced the Polish way even more than Michalina…

Okay, I’ve made up my mind: I think that while I’m leaning towards Michaela the most, Melis(s)a would be the best in this sibset. I could give her some more common middle in case she’d be teased by other kids about how she makes everyone fall asleep, so that she could use it instead if she wanted.

And for the J boy, well, that’s pretty easy, I’m sure most of you already can predict where I’m going to go with this. Jacek is my Polish male name crush and has been forever. The problem with Jacek is, it completely doesn’t feel at home with Saskia and Melissa. Jacek is a homey Polish name which peaked in the 60’s I believe, and now, while it doesn’t seem to have as much of a boomer feel as other names which peaked then to most people, it’s definitely out of favour. Also there is a practical problem. My Dad is Jacek, so if I lived with him, it could get a bit too confusing when my Mum would call either of them. But there is a great alternative. Over the last couple years, I think, in a way, this alternative has become evenn more attractive to me than Jacek. It is Jacenty. Jacenty is so vintage that I don’t think there are still any people bearing it who are alive, at least as a first name, because as a middle name, it’s my grandad’s middle. Which, to me, means that, while very retro, it could be ready for a comeback. Also apparently it was most popular in the eastern part of Poland, where my Mum’s family comes from. Americans have the 100 years rule when it comes to baby naming, here it doesn’t always work but with this name I think it absolutely could. Jacenty is the original name from which Jacek evolved, originally Jacek was only a nickname. And eventually Jacek sort of trampled his ancestor to death, so I really wish someone would finally give Jacenty the credit he deserves and compensate for the neglect he has experienced for so many years. I feel like it’s a stronger, more serious and masculine name than Jacek is – even though you can’t say Jacek lacks masculinity despite it means hyacinth – it feels sort of more cultured, and I quite like that very very retro feel. Additionally, Jacenty is my great great grandfather’s name, so here’s another reason why it feels like I SHOULD use this name if I ever had a son. It also matches my overall taste a bit better than Jacek, who feels out of place with other names that I like. It doesn’t solve the problem of confusion, because I’d still definitely call him Jacek on a daily basis, or Jacuś, which is a nickname of Jacek, so like a double nickname you could say (we really like diminutives in Poland so you can seriously have a diminutive of a diminutive of a diminutive sometimes) rather than the full form, it would feel extremely overwhelming to call a little boy Jacenty all the time, I’d only do that if he would be misbehaving. 😀 And I’m sure my Mum wouldn’t call him that either. But at least his formal name would be different than my Dad’s. I think I wrote some time before on here about how I believe there is a risk of muffling ones identity as an individual when using exactly the same family names. So here that risk would be diminished because he’d still have his own full name, and of course a different middle.

So, Saskia, Melissa and Jacenty. Jacenty still stands out as a lot more vintage and traditional, but I think he doesn’t feel too mismatched.

If I were to name an English/multilingual triplet set, I think I’d still stick to Saskia. I also really like Sophie or Sofia, but all these Sophie names are too popular for my liking.

For the M girl, I’m tempted to say Millicent because I’ve recently started liking it a lot. I mean I always did, but recently I just do even more, I also like Millie both as a nickname and a full name. But I’m not sure if Saskia and Millicent go well enough together, guess not. Maybe the earlier variant Melisande would be better, but I’m not fully convinced to that one on a real life person, even a hipothetical one. There are too manyy M names I like. I could use that Michaela but the Mikayla pronunciation and the plethora of spelling variations put me off very effectively, I’d only use it in a country like Sweden where they pronounce it mee-kah-EH-lah. I love Michelle, I seriously do, but it’s way too dated and way too common for my liking. Another M name that I’ve recently started to appreciate more is Marigold. And I think that, while I’m not so much in love with it as I am with Saskia, I’ll pick this one because it’s nice and fits well with the sister’s name.

And for the boy – most definitely Jac(k). – Like, there’s no other option. I know Jack feels a lot less complete and unexpected than his sisters, and Jac (the Welsh spelling which I slightly prefer) even more so, but I have no other ideas that I would both love and see fit at the same time. A lot of people consider Jack a very default classic, but I’d make sure that he knows I called him Jac(k) not because I didn’t care about what he’s going to be called, but it’s simply one of my absolutely most favourite names. I could call him something like Jackson, John, Jacob or Jacinto and then call him Jack all the time anyway, but I don’t feel like either of these names fit the sisters’ names any better, and I like Jac the most as just Jac.

I’m curious what you guys think about Saskia, Marigold and Jac as triplets. 😀

Perhaps the best thing I could do is adjust the sisters’ names to Jac to make them fit better. In this case, I’d probably go with Sophie and Millie or something else light and friendly like that. I would be quite satisfied with that but probably not truly fulfilled. 😀 Or maybe I should go Welsh all the way, because Jac would feel like a misspelling withh typically English names like Sophie and millie. In which case, Sophie would become either Soffi or Siriol, which means cheerful, and Millie… maybe Melangell, which is the Welsh version of the Latin name Monacella and the name of one of Welsh saints. As much as I love a lot of M names, with Welsh ones, I can’t think of one I’d like very much, and I think Melangell is the best.

And how about your triplets? 🙂

How do I like my name? – Nancy’s interview with me. –

Hi people! 🙂

Nancy at

Nancy’s Baby Names

has a series of name interviews on her blog, where she interviews her readers about how they like their names, how they feel with them. I always find it very interesting to hear about people’s views and relationships with their own names, so I really like this series – as I do her entire blog, being a name nerd – and so I thought I’d contribute to this too and answer Nancy’s questions myself, especially that I had a feeling like my name story could perhaps be interesting for people since I am not from the US and have changed my name legally.

And today Nancy has published the interview on her blog, and you can read it


Some of what I wrote for Nancy you may already know from my blog, but if you’re interested, go ahead and check it out. 🙂 I also highly recommend reading her other posts if you haven’t come across her blog yet and perhaps aren’t as crazily into names as me but still have a bit of interest in it, it’s a great time for name geeks now because the SSA data about baby names used in 2019 have been recently published and Nancy, as well as other American baby name bloggers, are doing a great job of analysing them.


Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

What would be the absolute worst name you could give your child?

My answer:

Well, it depends on so many things, in my opinion. It depends on whether we are talking objectively what is the worst (most harmful) way of naming a baby, or rather the worst way of choosing a name for your baby, or subjectively which name I dislike the most. If we’re talking about the latter, just as I know lots of beautiful names that I love and could give my children, I’ve also learnt about lots of names from all sorts of cultures that I intensely dislike and it’s hard to pick just one that I would dislike the most and think that it’s the absolute worst. If we’re talking about the former, I think there are lots of ways to do it wrong, but then even when we’d try to look at it objectively everyone has so different values and opinions when it comes to ochoosing a name. And there are so many names out there that I’ve heard about over the years and would have never thought in the past that anyone coould ever use, yet people do use them. Shooter, Lucifer, Legia (as in Polish football team Legia-Warsaw, or at least I’ve heard about a daddy wanting to call her daughter this, but I don’t know if he succeeded with our back then quite strict naming laws), Google, Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 pronounced as Albin, or A, also pronounced as Albin (an “artistic” creation of Swedish parents Lasse Diding and Elisabeth Hallin, though the boy didn’t get named either in the end, but was nameless for some six years instead), or some eccentric Puritan names like Silence, which are all quite extreme examples of really bad ways of naming your child. But it’s hard to pick the worst, really. Then there are people like my Mum who flinch at every normal name they’d never heard onn a real person when they first hear of it being used on a baby. Recently our distant relatives called their baby boy Noe (Noah in English) and while Noah is very popular in the US, Noe is not so much in Poland, even though the N as a first letter is quite a trendy theme at the moment in my view, although a bit more for the girls, and Biblical boy names have been ruling for a while, and short names have been getting a lot of attention as well. The reason for Noe not being in favour is probably that it ends in -e, while it’s rather uncommon (and may feel unnatural for many people) for a masculine Polish name to end with a vowel other than -i or -y. I don’t know any guys called Noe personally. Anyways, my Mum told me that in a very horrified, indignant voice, and when I said “So what? Noe isn’t a usual name, but I don’t see anything wrong with it if they like it so much”, she was even more horrified and like: “But how will they call him, in normal life, every day?! Ark? There’s no nickname for Noe!”. Oh yes, that’s such a dilemma! But Poles like their nicknames. My Mum’s name is Anna, short enough, right? But no one calls her Anna, just as hardly any other Annas are just Annas. A Polish Anna usually automatically goes by Ania, unless she’s prepared for a life-long battle of correcting everyone. I love the name Anna so much but Ania is so superficial and bland. So I said that nicknames are only a matter of creativity, at least in our language, you have pretty much endless possibilities, and after all there are no rules that one nickname works with only one name, no one said at all that your nickname has to be related to your birth name. So if he likes to go by Ark indeed, why the heck can’t he? I’m sure it’s better to be the only Noe in school than the 30th Jakub, especially that the name is – like most Polish names – very straightforward in spelling, declination and what not, so should not be overly stigmatising or burdening unless he keeps bumping into such strange judgy people like my Mum. 😀 Or yesterday Sofi told us that there’s a boy called Michael in her school. The Polish version of Michael is Michał, and Michael on a Polish person certainly would feel a tad pretentious to most Polish people (including myself) because the spelling is not in-line with our phonetics, because we have our own native form of the name and despite it’s now legal to use names from foreign cultures with non-phonetical spellings, it’s still a new thing and generally it tends to be a bit of an informal naming rule for most people still not to use names from different cultures if we have a native equivalent or if that foreign name doesn’t adapt well to the language. And the boy doesn’t seem to have foreign roots or anything. So my Mum rolled her eyes and was like: “Really…? He’s Michael! I thought they were such normal people!”. 😀 So, as you see, it often doesn’t take much to shock people, even though I personally think that, while I would never call my child Michael in Poland and while it is a bit pretentious, it’s not harmful or somehow really stigmatising in a major way.

So, let’s just talk about what I would try to do or avoid doing when naming my potential baby, some rules that I would stick to, not necessarily about my personal style as such but more like to simply make sure that my child’s name will be at least bearable to them to live with for their entire life.

I would avoid names that feel dated and not ready for a comeback yet, so names that are typical for either my generation or the generation of my parents, because by the time my child would go to school or something, it’s likely that the name would feel cringey to their peers if it was massively popular in, say, the 90’s and then has become much less popular so that it’s associated with the 90’s very strongly and is more common among the mums or dads. I’d also try to avoid names that would seem “seasonal” to me. Ones that get a lot of usage in a short while and then quickly fall downwards in popularity to never come back again.

Unless the child would have some foreign heritage in close family, I would not use a name that could be difficult to spell here, because Polish is a phonetic language and almost everything is spelled as it’s said. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be a known Polish name though, for example my long-time favourite for a potential baby girl is Saskia. And I’ve just looked through the popularity list for the whole Polish population and couldn’t find the name Saskia there at all, so if there are any Saskias here there is less than 100 of them. yet still it ends with an -a, as a proper, traditional Polish feminine noun should, and poses no pronunciation or spelling dilemmas. I think, like most people, I’d be in that category of parents who want something unique but not too qree8tyv.

I have nothing against people using unisex names, but it’s not a thing here, and that’s probably part of why I am not a big enthusiast of them myself, with some exceptions. But I would definitely try to avoid unisex names, or at least those that are rather similarly often used for both genders, I would mind much less names like Evelyn (which is an adorable name) which use on males is pretty much historical from what i know. If I’d want to use a word name, in Polish I’d probably never do it at all because there are only few traditionally used word names and the idea is still very new. If I were to use an English word name, I’d likely use it for a middle, especially if it’s a frequently used word, or has some very specific associations. Though the word names category is very broad, I guess even Jack could count, and I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using names like that as they’re well known as names and very normal. My long-time word name favourite is Hyacinth, and I’d be also happy to use that, and surprisingly, on either gender. But that would only be if I lived in an English-speaking country.

Because I believe in that name & personality thing as you probably know, and I would really hate to give my child a name that wouldn’t miss their personality, I would be careful with using family/honour names. Of course honouring someone is a great thing, but I want my child to have an identity of his own, so I would never give him a first and middle name of his grandad, rather, I’d use first name of his one grandad and second of the other. And I’d never do things like promising someone ahead of time, before seeing my baby, that I’ll name my baby after them for sure. Generally I think I would want to have some names prepared before the child’s arrival but I would not make a definite decision before seeing the child and spending some time with them, I must get a feel of them, I don’t want them to be conflicted internally. If there was a tradition in my family of using family names from generation to generation (which there sort of is because me and my siblings, my Dad and all his siblings all have middle names after our parents), I’d break this tradition if I thought that the name would clash with my kid.

What would be the worst name/way of naming for you? 🙂

Names for the Joyful Mysteries

I have reblogged posts from many baby naming blogs for you guys as I’m crazy about names, but it has just dawned on me that I’ve never shared any posts from my most favourite baby naming blogger – Kate of Sancta Nomina – with you. It is my most favourite baby naming blog because it is all about Catholic names, and I am Catholic myself.
Kate re-shared this post yesterday, as it was the feast of Announciation, that she wrote a couple years ago so I thought I’d share it with you, my readers, as well, particularly that it is a difficult time for many of us so we need some more joy. Because, whether you are Catholic or not, there are lots of brilliant and joyful names here.
My favourite mysteries of the Rosary are definitely the Sorrowful ones, but I think I like the Joyful names most.
Which ones of these names are your favourites? Can you think of any more? If you’re not Catholic or maybe not a Christian in general, which names do you associate with joy or something joyful, or which names make you think of/feel joy?
I really like angelic names on this list, including Gabrielle and Gabriel. I think Evangeline/Evangelina would fit here too, because, while it is not strictly angelic, it does share one of its roots with Angelina and the like, and as a whole means “bearer of good news”. I am also a big fan of Elizabeth and many of its variant forms from all around the world. Emmanuelle is so sweet and I love it, but I also like the masculine form. I also love Felicity and Felix so very much. I think Felicia could also make a great fit for this list! I’ve never heard of Fiat used as a name before but I love the sound of this word and the Marian connection so I’m all for it. Well… maybe not here, but in English it would work brilliantly as a middle name. I think Grace/Gracia/Graciela could make this list as well, as a reference to the mystery of Announciation. Also one of other possible options that I thought of is Lucy, or its variant forms like Lucia, Luz, Lucinda, Luce, Lux, or the male variants Lucius or Lucian or even Lucas or Luke… I know that it would fit better for the Light mysteries, but I also think that it could be a nice tie to the mystery of Presentation and Jesus who is “the Light to enlighten pagan nations”, so it would make a gorgeous fit for a baby born on Candlemas since Lucy & co mean light. Oh and this makes me think of Candelaria! I adore Noelle so very much, and I like Noel as well.
I really like Christopher and its meaning. I also like John and especially the possibility to nickname it to Jack, YAY! 😀 Jesus sounds awkward as a normal human name outside of the Spanish-speaking world to me personally as a Pole, but I guess Joshua could be a cool alternative for English-speaking parents.
So, what would you add? What names fill you with joy?

Sancta Nomina

Yesterday was one of my very favorite feast days and the first of the Joyful Mysteries, which makes today the perfect Tuesday to post names associated with them! And also, Dwija’s little Helenwas discharged from the NICU yesterday and is home with her family, happy and thriving. Joy all around!!

Today’s post is a continuation of my Mysteries of the Rosary series, having already done names for the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries, and your comments have been invaluable — keep them coming!

These are the Joyful Mysteries (read more here) (and here’s how to pray the Rosary):

The Annunciation by Gabriel to Mary (yesterday’s feast!)
The Visitation of Mary to Her Cousin Elizabeth
The Nativity of Jesus
The Presentation of the Baby Jesus in the Temple
The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

Names associated with the Joyful Mysteries might include:


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Question of the day.

Hey people! 🙂

Which of your former classmates had the most interesting or unusual names?

My answer:

I hadn’t had very many with unusual names really. Zofijka is being much more lucky with that hahaha. One that comes to mind is a girl called Luiza, which name has always been somewhere among my most favourites for girls. It’s certainly not unheard of, but not very popular at all. Also, one of my groupmates – not classmates – at the boarding school had a very unusual name, and I’ve never encountered or even heard of anyone with the same name neither before I’d met her, not afterwards, her name was Arnika, as in arnica – the plant. – In my college/high school there was a woman called Adela, which is a classic and vintage name that I love, that has probably never been highly popular as far as I know, although is now enjoying some more attention from parents and was a little below the top 100 last year, but still would rather be associated with an elderly lady by most people. Meanwhile my classmate certainly wasn’t older than in her mid 30’s or something (it was a weekend school for adults in case you didn’t know or remember). Also, through my education, I’d had plenty of classmates with so called “seasonal”, or in any case quite modern names, that is ones that were popular only about the time when they/we were born, were hardly used before, or not for a long time, and felt unusual for some, or fresher than more classic names, and people might have not been as used to them as they are now, but that now feel very much associated with the generation. For example names like Klaudia (I had quite a bunch of classmates with this name throughout my schooling at different stages and in different schools), Angelika (I went to college with two, one spelt with a g and another with a dż), Krystian, Olaf, Oliwia, Nikola (it’s a girl’s name in Poland, unlike in many other Slavic countries), Or some had names that maybe weren’t super popular back when they were born, so might have felt a little more unexpected, but are very high for babies right now, like Kornelia, Marcelina, Nadia and Oliwier. So overall very normal. It’s possible that I don’t remember someone right now, because one year while going to school I had individual education, and was only going to school twice a week, and while in college, there was a lot of rotation, people were dropping out, new people were coming, many were absent for weeks and later on I started to do most of the material remotely and saw my classmates less.

So, how about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

If you had to name your child after a city, what would you name them? Boy AND girl.

My answer:

Well. I guess that depends… because in Poland we don’t really have the tradition of using geographic names as human first names, and for a long time, when we had official naming rules, it was actually not allowed, or at least somehow not correct from the linguistic point of view. We do have some names that are well-known as names and at the same time happen to be names of cities, but it’s not a thing really to name babies after places, even now when we no longer have that rule. I can’t really think of many Polish given names that would coincide with city names except for some very old Slavic names (like there’s a Polish town or city, I’m not sure what it qualifies as, anyway it’s called Wrocław, and there used to be an old Slavic name Wrocław as well) but those don’t really appeal to me. There also are names of foreign cities like Wiktoria, Adelajda, Konstancja and Florencja (though I’ve never seen Florencja in actual use, it’s rather Flora or Florentyna), or even Emilia as there’s Reggio Emilia in Italy, and I do like them though I’m not sure I like Konstancja and Adelajda enough to use them, and I think Wiktoria is too popular for me, and I wouldn’t call my child Emilia, first because it is my name and second because it’s popular for babies right now. So, if we are talking about Polish, I’m a bit clueless. Oh, I could use Filadelfia for a girl and call her Fila, but that would be really extravagant! 😀 Other than that I really can’t think of many city and people names in Polish.

I have more ideas if we’re talking about English names, assuming I lived in the English-speaking world or wanted to give my child a foreign name for some reason. For a boy, I think I’d go with Milan, just because I like this name and quite a lot. I also like Hamilton because I have nice associations with it, though the name itself is not very much my style and if I had any more children I’d probably have a hard time finding names that would fit with Hamilton and that I would like. But oh… wait, I’ve just got an idea! Isn’t there a city somewhere in the US that’s called Jackson? So yeah, I could happily go with that! I could have either two sons Hamilton and Jackson because I happen to like them both even though they aren’t exactly the kind of names I normally tend to like, or I could have one boy called Milan Jackson, but going by Jack, yay! I just feel like Milan Jackson goes better than Jackson Milan, what do you think? For girls, I could make whole city combos! I could happily use Sofia, Florence, Adelaide (which I like more than Adelajda), Victoria, Chelsea (though I’d rather use Chelsea as a middle), Laris(s)a. So, those are my ideas.

How about you? 🙂 It doesn’t have to be a lot of ideas, of course, can be just for one girl and one boy.