Question of the day.

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

My answer:

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

How about you? 🙂

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Question of the day (17th August).

Have you come across many people who share your name?

My answer:

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

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

Question of the day (16th August).

So, another name related question of the day is:

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

My answer:

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

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

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

You? 🙂

Question of the day (15th August).

Hey guys! 🙂

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

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

My answer:

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

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

So, what are your experiences? 🙂

Female names of literary origin, A-F

Do you guys like literary names?
I love so many of these! Most of them actually. In fact, I think if I lived in an English-speaking country I could consider some of them as names for my potential children.
I particularly love Amaryllis, Araminta, Ariel, Celia (I didn’t even know it is a literary name, I knew it was Shakespearean but not that Shakespeare used it first), Belphoebe, Clarinda, Clarissa (I could actually use Clarissa in Poland on a real life child very happily), Cordelia, Dulcinea, Ethel, Evangeline (again, had no idea it was literary!) and Fiona. Which literary names out of these do you like? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

Cosette on first-edition 1862 Les Misérables cover, by Émile Bayard

While all names necessarily have to be invented at some point, names created for literary characters are usually more recent creations than other names. Their staying power and popularity seems to hinge on how well they blend into the language of origin; i.e., do they sound like actual names, or do they only work in a fictional world?

This post only covers names invented for fictional characters, not names which already existed but only became popular after their use in literature.

Albena is the heroine of Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov’s 1930 play of the same name. It may be based on the word alben, a type of peony.

Amaryllis is a character in Virgil’s epic poem Eclogues. The name comes from the Greek word amarysso (to sparkle). The amaryllis flower is named from Virgil’s Amaryllis.

Aminta is a…

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Jane isn’t so plain

I definitely agree with the title of this post! How can a name with such an abundance of colourful and varied forms be plain?
I also feel like even if the name Jane itself is very popular and may feel a bit neutral or a filler for some, many women with this name are really original and interesting. I like Jane because it’s so classic, feminine, goes well with many other beautiful names, has something both simple and elegant in itself.
If I had to choose I’d rather say it’s Jean or Joan that are more plain and have less character on their own than Jane. I love Joanna but only the way we pronounce it in Poland (with a Y and double n). Janina is also nice, although I used to think about it as old-fashioned. I think it’s due for a come back, and has lovely nicknames, which I think Joanna doesn’t really, I like Joanna most in its full form.
I love the Celtic forms of Jane, especially Siwan and Sinead. English Janelle is also nice, as are some others.
I could also add that other forms of this name that are used over here are Żaneta, Żanna, and – already mentioned in the post – Jana, which is not a standard form in Poland in opposite to some other Slavic countries but there were 782 women in Poland with that name in 2017 and it can be also used as a nickname for Janina so you get to hear it occasionally.
What is your favourite form of Jane, guys? Do you think it’s plain?

Onomastics Outside the Box

U.S. reformer Jane Addams, 1860–1935

Jane, like its male counterpart John, is a timeless, universal mainstay. It’s the Middle English form of the Old French Jehanne, which in turn derives from the Latin Iohannes and Greek Ioannes, ultimately derived from the Hebrew Yochanan (God is  gracious).

The name was #98 in the U.S. in 1880, and stayed near the bottom of the Top 100 and just outside of it for the remainder of the 19th century. Jane went up and down until 1909, when it rose from #130 to #116. The name proceeded to jump up the charts to the Top 50, attaining its highest rank of #35 in 1946. Its last year in the Top 100 was 1965. In 2019, it was #291.

Jean, a Middle English variation of Jehanne, was common in Medieval Scotland and England, then fell from popularity till the 19th…

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The many forms of Eleanor

I love Eleanor! And all her forms! It’s classy, regal, internationally known, has a whole pool of nicknames and forms and many great bearers – historical and literary. – Which one is your favourite? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

Queen Eleanor of Aquitane (1122 or 1124–1 April 1204), painted 1858 by Frederick Sandys

The name Eleanor, in the U.S. Top 100 in 1895 and again from 1897–42 (with its highest rank of #25 in 1920), is now quite trendy again. It began slowly rising in 1987, and was up to #32 in 2018. It’s not such a secret that more than a few parents choosing this name just want the trendy nicknames Ella and Nora.

Eleanor is also fairly popular in England and Wales, at #54, and New Zealand, at #76.

The name derives from the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor. One of the earliest known bearers was the above-pictured Queen Eleanor of Aquitane, named for her mother Aenor (of unknown etymology) and called alia Aenor, “the other Aenor,” to tell them apart.

It’s uncertain if other early bearers were Aenors to whom the…

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