Question of the day.

Hi people! 馃檪

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. 馃榾 Or yesterday Sofi told us that there’s a boy called Michael in her school. The Polish version of Michael is Micha艂, 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!”. 馃榾 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? 馃檪

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 Wroc艂aw, and there used to be an old Slavic name Wroc艂aw 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! 馃榾 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? 馃檪 It doesn’t have to be a lot of ideas, of course, can be just for one girl and one boy.

A short round of this or that with girls names.

Here’s another, a bit shorter this time, round of this or that. Have fun, and let me know which ones you prefer, either in the comments or in your own blog posts. You can find my choices after all the names.

Charlotta or Carry?

Eeva or Ewa?

Elaine or Elizabeth?

Eline or Elyze?

Grace or Ginger?

Hannah or Anna?

Hanne or Hannia?

Harper or Molly?

Hedvig or Hyde?

Holly or Hope?

Honey or Heather?

Ida or Ivy?

Ila or Frida?

Ingrid or Isla?

Mai or Miki?

Maria or Margarita?

Miranda or Mariah?

Sarah or Samantha?

My choices?

Charlotta or Carry?

Charlotta.

Eeva or Ewa?

Eeva. I’m not a fan of either, I generally somehow dislike names from this family, but I particularly dislike Ewa. I don’t really know why, but the fact that it is quite overused here in Poland doesn’t make things better. Eeva is a bit better for me.

Elaine or Elizabeth?

Elizabeth, though both are lovable.

Eline or Elyze?

Eline. Elyze looks interesting, but is a little bit pretentious in my opinion.

Grace or Ginger?

Grace.

Hannah or Anna?

Definitely Anna. I love it so so much.

Hanne or Hannia?

Hannia looks nicely exotic so I’m going with it, but I’m rather neutral about both. Hanne is a bit too harsh imo.

Harper or Molly?

Harper.

Hedvig or Hyde?

Hyde is kinda odd. I saw it for the first time compiling this list, and at the begining I thought it was Hydee, you know, some anglicised form of Heidi. Hyde looks like hide, so despite I don’t like Hedvig at all, I choose Hedvig.

Holly or Hope?

Holly.

Honey or Heather?

Heather.

Ida or Ivy?

Ida, but I’d rather pronounce it in Polish – EE-dah. IE-dah sounds pretty weird to me.

Ila or Frida?

Ila, though again, I’d rather pronounce it with EE than IE like in Isla, because that’s more obvious to me and it sounds cute. Yes, I like Ila.

Ingrid or Isla?

Hm, I like both, but they have such a different feel to me so, I guess I like both similarly much but each in a completely different way. I guess Ingrid.

Mai or Miki?

Definitely Mai. I like this name because it’s a bit magical, and Mai means May in Welsh. While Miki is much more a male name in Poland, usually a diminutive of Miko艂aj.

Maria or Margarita?

Maria.

Miranda or Mariah?

Miranda.

Sarah or Samantha?

Sarah.

Come on guys, play along. 馃檪

Question of the day.

Have you ever known anyone who named their child after a living relative?

My answer:

Plenty of people. I have two cousins who got their middle names after their grandmas, my another cousin has both his names after his grandads, my other cousin’s middle name is also after his grandads, who bear the same name, and my another cousin’s first name is also after our grandad. My another cousin on Dad’s side is named after one of his uncles. One of my aunts is named after her grandmother, who was living at the time she was born. Not to mention all those in my family who have their middle names after their parents’ first names, it’s a common thing in our region and so is with me and my siblings, my Dad’s middle name is also after his dad. And also lots of other people who aren’t my family, I guess most people call their children after someone from their family, which in my opinion is not always good.

How about you? Have those people you know got just the same name as their family member or is it a variation or something that honours them otherwise? Are you also named after any of your relatives? What do you think about doing so? Would you also name your child after a living relative? 馃檪


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Question of the day.

Have you ever known anyone who named their child after a historical figure?

My answer:

Honestly I don’t think so, or just no one comes to mind.

How about you?


Ta wiadomo艣膰 zosta艂a sprawdzona na obecno艣膰 wirus贸w przez oprogramowanie antywirusowe Avast. https://www.avast.com/antivirus

Question of the day.

Have you ever known anyone who named their child after a place?

My answer:

I must have known some name nerds whodid that, I am sure, but I can’t recall anyone at the moment. In real life I don’t know anyone who would do this, because in Poland it’s still rather rare to give children geographic names, it wasn’t allowed for years and I guess it’s one of those kinds of abstractive names for our nation. There are names like Karolina, Florencja, Wirginia, but they are names in the first place, only after they’ve become names, they were used for a place, so it’s more normal, and no one calls their daughter Karolina after South or North Carolina in the US, or Florencja because they had a nice holiday in Florence, although Florencja is a very very rare name.

How about you? Would you yourself consider giving your child a place name? Which? 馃檪


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Question of the day (16th July).

What’s on your mind, today?

My answer:

A bloody lot of shit. Well, I always have a lot on my mind, but lately it’s like really a lot. I’m generally quite moodswingy lately, which isn’t much like me to be so rapid, and that’s one thing, that, as I suppose, contributes to my brain’s hyperactivity, but another thing is that I think a lot about my future, career mainly.

My mind is just full of ideas, but then when I try to dig deeper into them, many seem not very likely to come true in the near future. Practically, the only option I have, all things cnsidered, is to become a freelancer, and then do some sort of translations, proofreadings, or, potentially, name related stuff, like baby naming, or helping writers or people wanting to rename themselves, or writing stuff about names.

I feel so flippin’ confused though, because I just don’t have a clue about neither freelancing, nor starting a job, nor having your own business, nor actually what, or how, I would be supposed to do things, I don’t know how to start it, how to actually do it, what to do first, I just have so many questions in my mind and no one around seems to be able to help me or give some relevant advice. I tried searching for some job offers for freelancers, and there seemed to be a lot of stuff I could do, but then also there seemed to be so many issues of all kinds. ‘Cause, I guess before you start working as a freelancer, you need to carry on some sort of business already, you can’t just start working out of nowhere, can you? Then I’m clueless about how to do it. And my Mum says it’s too early on now, that I first should start looking for some clients, and it makes me feel even more confused, ’cause how they’re going to hire me as a freelancer if I don’t have my own business. Even if it’s possible to work like this, everyone obviously wants to hire “experienced” people, and if I don’t have my own business, it definitely doesn’t even look like I’m experienced.

Then they of course want a CV, and then again I am clueless. I surely do have the knowledge in languages, I would be able to translate something, even if not from any special field, I would surely be able to translate some standard texts, and I think even specialised stuff would be manageable, it would just require more linguistic development, which is always good. But it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have any linguistic education, well any higher education either. I know about people who work as translators or proofreaders without a translatory or linguistic degree, and my Swedish teacher who knew about my possibilities and my limitations always kept telling me that it doesn’t matter how many degrees I will have, only how well I can use a language, and if I can, they can’t say I can’t. It’s true, but is it really going to convince them? What the heck should I write in my CV then?

I can give them my portfolio and show what I can do practically, but how I am supposed to make one? What sort of stuff am I supposed to put in there, with the original versions or without? Wouldn’t it be against copyright or something? What exactly should it look like? I’ve read a few articles about making portfolio, but they didn’t give much of a practical info about how to make one actually.

I tried translating some text – an excerpt from the book “Amnesia” by Andrew Neiderman, which was the book I then read, in English, and which doesn’t have a Polish translation as of yet. I got really involved, both in the book and in translation, and, although its quality may not be the best (it’s the first longer, literary thing I’ve ever translated), I still think it’s good, I translated the prologue and the whole first chapter in one sitting, my brain was crumbling and creaking but I was enormously proud of myself. My Mum read it, MY DAD read it even, and my Dad asked if I’m going to continue ’cause if so he’d like to read it whole. I told him no, that I just wanted to test myself, and have a potential something to my portfolio in the future, be it nearer or further, but then I started to think more. I thought maybe I could translate it and publish it?

But after reading a whole lot on literary translations, I got really discouraged. Many people just openly say it’s not something you could make a living with. I’m not saying I wouldn’t NEVER EVER translate a book, but right now I just don’t think it would be a good idea, my writing craftsmanship is still way too poor and I should rather start with some smaller things.

But then if I’ll get an order and something to translate or proofread, what would I do if it wouldn’t be accessible for my screenreader? Like someone may want me to translate a website, but then it turns out it’s loaded with graphic, frames and stuff, and it’s barely readable for a screen reader… Another thing is that I have no idea how the process of translating a website looks like, but well, let’s leave it. Or they’d send me a document they have in some not very accessible form? That’s just crazy. For me, the most comfortable and accessible way to write someone a translation of anything would be to make it in a Word document. Or like I saw someone’s offer saying that they have a text to translate, but they want the translation to look exactly just like the source text. Cool, but what if my screen reader won’t tell me about some things that are in the source text? Like portions of text in a different colour, font, etc.? Just bloody shit, should I give it up then? After all, being a beginning translator, it’s not me who would set conditions, they can always look for someone who would do it as they want. So I just hope that accessibiltiy isn’t an issue very often in this field, but somehow it’s hard to believe.

These are just a couple of examples of the wild paths my brain is racing through recently. It just makes me feel sick. I also feel like my AVPD is happily joining in the fun and making me feel like it’s completely not doable. Like even if it would be doable for anyone else in just the same circumstances, it’s just simply not doable for me.

It makes me feel somewhat concerned, the frequency and amount of the situations that happen in which I feel so awfully overwhelmed, like everything feels so impossible to do or feels like so much effort, I wonder recently if it might be due to my depression getting worse or something? I just feel like it affects my functioning a lot. Sometimes just getting out of the house feels not manageable. It was never something I was good at, to just get out and be around people, but lately I feel I’ve become less functional, or so it feels. I talked about this to my therapist recently, but since we’re very new to each other, and not seeing that often in practice, it doesn’t feel like anything constructive had come out of it. I wish I could talk about it to my former therapist, as she worked with me for so long and got to know me really well.

It reminds me about a sort of a daydream, or maybe an imagining, or whatever it was, that I had as a little child, I guess at the nursery, or something like this. It was night time, and I guess I wasn’t sleeping, though maybe I could and it was simply a dream, but it was repeating a few times afterwards in a very similar form. I know I at first thought how I wouldn’t like to ever be adult, that it would be far more worse to be an adult. And then I had this dream or what else it was and saw myself as an adult, in a house that I didn’t recognise, that seemed very chaotic and disorganised, I guess I was in the kitchen, there were lots of children around me, and I had this overwhelming feeling that I just don’t know what to do. Like, what to do at the moment, and in general, I just had a very strong overall sense of hopelessness and helplessness, which just struck me – that little me. I don’t know from where I got it, as my parents are and were always very resourceful, maybe it’s about all the boarding school crap and that I was often in the situations that looked very similarly to the one I mentioned above. At the same period in my life they were making a little movie about the nursery I was in, and there was a scene where they asked us about what we would like to do in life. I said I would like to be a musician, since that was what I thought I’d like to do back then and didn’t know much about other things, there was a very strong pressure at that school for students to do something with music, and then when they talked about becoming parents I said something that my family is still laughing about, me included. I said “I won’t have a baby, when women don’t want to have children, they don’t have them. If a Mum can see she can change her baby’s nappy, but I can’t see and I don’t want to paw in its poo. Daddy would have to do it but dads can’t change nappies.” And I really didn’t want to have kids, but more because of the fact that I just couldn’t imagine myself having a baby and didn’t think I could make a good mum back then, I remember I completely didn’t understand some other girls who were pretending mums all the time.

Anyway, of some more positive things, remember I was writing to a baby name expert last week to ask her some stuff about the job? SO she didn’t write back, at least not as of yet, and somehow I feel like she won’t. But yesterday I wrote to another one – who actually seems closer to me, because she doesn’t look at names only as numbers in rankings, but more like something with a deep social meaning, not only a linguistic, literal one.

So she got back to me not so long ago. and from what she wrote to me, it seems like it’s even more of a niche thing than I thought it’s in the US. among lots of other stuff, she told me I should rather try to go into writing about names, like doing something on a larger scale, not just one to one. And that seems to make sense to me.

She offered me that I could write articles about Polish names for her website, which I obviously accepted and which is soo cool to do as a start. She also suggested that I could write a blog about names, also foreign ones, for the Polish audience, which I’m thinking about intensively. also that I could write for parenting websites or magazines which we have LOADS of here. I even know one that did do a series about names in the past, but it looked quite poor if I’m honest, even then I felt like I could make it better. So that’s an idea.

also, she started her career with writing a book, that changed naming trends in the US and the way people look at names, so she said maybe I could write one for the Polish market as well, but if I’m honest, right now I don’t think we’re up for such a major change. Only a few years have passed since our naming laws have been changed, they were very strict before. So, as you may remember I wrote in one of my previous posts, many of the name ideas that are OK for an American or even British person, may be completely abstractive and ridiculous for an average Pole, like unisex names or many word names or tons of qrrhee8tiffe spellings.

We have an institution here, roughly Polish Language Council, which gives opinions to parents or registry offices or however it’s called in other countries, about names. Like if the spelling of the name is correct and appropriate for the Polish ortography standards, if it doesn’t sound ridiculing, things like this. And sometimes when I don’t have anything better to do I like to scroll through tons of creative parents’ ideas and poor council members’ very serious opinions, often on very ridiculous names. And sometimes I like to share such sensational gems with people I know, like a mum wanting to call her son Kermit.

recently I told Zofijka I’ve heard that some parents wanted to call their daughter Tulipan (Tulip). Can be a cool name in ENglish, if you like flower or nature names, I like it, or Tiwlip in Welsh, if you’re more inventive and bold, if not Welsh. But you know what was Zofijka’s reaction? She laughed like crazy, for quite a while, meanwhile entertaining us with examples of all the ridiculous situations she could come up with, in which the name Tulipan would sound funny.

‘Cause it really is funny for most of us, the more that Tulipan ends in -n, and our girl names still usually end in a, as most of all the feminine gender nouns. And you wouldn’t call your son a clearly flowery name, usually, would you?

In my opinion it’s slightly weird though, why some flower names are bad and some are good. ‘Cause we have names like R贸偶a/Rozalia (Rose/Rosalie), Lilia/Lilianna/all the other Lil- names, a very rare Hortensja, or even – very rarely used, but still – Hiacynt and Narcyz for boys. So why not, dunno, Cynia (Zinnia), Stokrotka (Daisy), Malwa (Mallow)?

I wouldn’t say Poles are narrow-minded, ’cause it’s quite the opposite, but with names, I feel like we have still a long way to come, and I am not talking about being crazy like celebrities, just more creative and thinking out of the box. ‘Cause so far I feel like our names are repeating every 3, max 5 generations, with some slight changes.

Oh gees, what a long digression!!!!!! Sorry… but I won’t delete it, you can just skip if you want, maybe it’ll be interesting for someone haha. Yeah writing is the only thing where I can still be somehow spontaneous.

Anyway, I am so happy she wrote to me and gave me so many great suggestions, although I am sort of sad that name consulting isn’t a thing, it sounded so promising and interesting.

After her email I feel slightly more cheered up.

Sorry it’s so long, but there you have it – my mind. A virtual trophy goes to you if you’ve made it through it all hahaha.

How about yours? 馃檪

Tell Me Something Good.

I decided to participate in Tell Me Something Good hosted by

A Momma’s View

 

If you’d like to participate as well and share some positivity in your life with the fellow bloggers, head over to her, and take part. 馃檪

So, as for me, the most positive thing I guess is that my mood is pretty well recently. Like if you read my recent few posts you know there’s been a bit of a chaos in my life lately and therefore I’d been pretty low most of the time. The chaos was mainly around my luckless finals, but my family is coming to terms with the situation, and more importantly, with my decision, particularly my Mum, who is important to me. I feel now that I don’t think I’d change my decision even if she wouldn’t accept it, but since she’s like I said very important to me and her opinion usually matters to me, I am glad she’s OK with my decision.

Moreover, I feel like that incident and our raging argument on that day when we got to know I failed, has made our bond somehow even stronger, or so it feels.

Also, I’m starting to think more seriously about one of my craziest career ideas I’ve ever had. It has always hummed somewhere in the background of my brain but I didn’t think about it very seriously. For a ong time when I just dreamt about doing something like that I didn’t think it could even be聽 possible and like legit, but now I know there are a few baby namers in the US, or maybe more that I don’t know of, but that sounds so crazily niche, I was very sceptical if such a job was actually relevant here in Poland, if anywhere at all. I’ve been helping people on boards and forums both English and Polish to find the best name for their babies, so if such forums exist, you’d think people would go there instead of paying someone to find the name for their baby, there are usually a lot of name geeks out there, or if they’re not sure, they could ask a family member for some opinion or advice… The only people that seemed like they could need a baby namer’s advice would be celebrities, who want their kids to distinguish, but don’t have enough creativity themselves, and don’t observe the trends. But now it all starts to make more sense for me.

And, again, the person who revived this idea in my mind was my Mum.

She suddenly got an idea about what I could do to make my baby naming a more special thing, particularly for more artistic/hippie parents. I won’t go into this idea now, because I don’t want to jinx it lol, and because so far it’s just plain theory and nothing more crystalised, but I really like it. I don’t think it would be my main job, I think it would rather be something with languages, I am rather sceptical that a baby namer could actually make a lot of money, even though I found sites claiming that a baby namer can earn 30000 dollars, but, hm, it seems rather ridiculous, unless their job is something more than I think. 馃榾 If so, that’s very interesting, I would like to know what else they do.

From there, I got another idea, and I contacted one of the AMerican baby namers I knew about, very spontaneously, particularly as for me 馃榾 asking her if she thinks it is actually a relevant job, if it could be of relevance in other countries and if she’d have some suggestions or hints for me as a potential baby namer, I also asked her about a bunch of other more detailed things like for example if I could also help, say, Swedish parents, because I know Swedish, have some knowledge about Swedish name trends and name conotations, but still I am not an expert in Swedish names since I don’t live there and I still have more or less outsider perspective on Swedish names and rankings.

I really love baby names and naming babies and would love to be able to do this. I would be happy if she’d write back to me, although I try not to be too optimistic about it.

So that’s my most positive thing I suppose.

Also as most of you probably know my grandparents had their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday and had a big party as a present from their children. I was very anxious about it for various reasons, mainly social ones, but not only, but it went relatively well. I was glad of it, and although I left pretty early in comparison to most of other people and didn’t even stay for the dancing part, I was glad I went and I think the whole event went well, my grandparents seem happy. Parties are surely not my grandad’s element, but I know he was very moved they made such a great present for them, the whole party was very elegant, and my Mum says all went perfectly wel and just as planned.

Zofijka came back from her swimming camp. As much as she’s absorbing, annoying and changeable, it’s good to have her back home of course. However Misha seems to be back to his previous, timid self. Forget about sleeping on the pillow. :/ I just can’t figure out why he’s so badly scared of her. Like I understand she can be intimidating and isn’t the most delicate kid in the Earth, but is she really that scary? (…)

I know for sure we won’t be going to Sweden, which is actually not positive at all, but instead it’s very likely my parents will soon go on a trip to Szczecin (anyone eager to try to pronounce it? 馃榾 ). They’d go with some other of our relatives so there would be no place for none of us their children, which’s not a problem, since it looks like they’d only visit very boring places, like museums. I hate museums, I am always so terribly bored in them, and you usually visit them in summer when it’s terribly hot, and I had often the luck to faint in them. I don’t say there aren’t any interesting museums, but either way, you can rarely touch anything so I might as well stay at home watching aquarium fishes with Misha. 馃榾 Where I’m going to, is that then Zofijka will go for a little regenerative vacation to our grandparents, so there will be only Olek, Misha and me. Given that Olek is with his friends or at work most of the time, we’d have a blessed week just for ourselves with Misha. Maybe I’d be able to get him out of his shell again, for some longer time.

OK, that’s all from me, I guess.

What good things happened to you recently, or will happen soon? 馃檪

 

Question of the day.

What is the last thing you read (not counting this post lol)?

My answer:

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts and other stuff today but can’t remember what was exactly the last thing. But the last book I read was “All The Names In The Bible” by Thomas Nelson.

How about you? 馃檪

Anyone else bored? Join me. More names, this or that.

Yes. I think I’m quite bored at the moment, and that’s not something I’m used to. So I thought I’d do more of that this or that stuff I did recently with other names, and give you my opinion on various names. There are only girls names as well this time, partly inspired by heroines of my own short stories and partly chosen at random from different places, including various name lists on Behind The Name, names of my favourite female musicians, particularly those recently featured in my song of the day series, literature heroines, nymbler.com, etc. many are quite similar to each other. used and derived from many different languages and cultures. So, if anyone else is bored, or likes names, or likes to share their opinions with the whole world, join in the fun and let me know in the comments which name of every set you prefer, and, if you want, why. Cori or Charla?
Elisa or Isabella?
Elli or Ele?
Ellinor or Ellenora?
Emiliana or Emilianna?
Erin or Eileen?
Gunnhild or Genoveve?
Gwyneth or Gladys?
Hadassah or Dinah?
Hana or Ivana?
Hanna or Hannah?
Hanne or Hadassa?
Hannelore or Liselotte?
Heather or Hope?
Jasmine or June?
Kristin or Kiersten?
Madilyn or Madelyn?
Mette or Marlanna?
Molly or Mollie?
Rae or Reva?
Victoria or Veronica?
Mine:
Cori or Charla?
Cori, but not a fan of either.
Elisa or Isabella?
Love both, but ELisa seems to be less popular now, Isabella is so trendy in many countries, so Elisa. Elli or Ele?
Elli. Ele sounds very weird and incomplete to me. Elli is lovely. Ellinor or Ellenora?
Ellenora sounds stately and elegant, and has something nice to it, but it also sounds a little bit overly creative to me, so I go with ELlinor, which is sweet and strong and sooo Swedish. Emiliana or Emilianna?
I like both. But I like how Emilianna is a combination of both of my names Emilia and Anna so I pick it, though I don’t think it’s usable as a real name to go by on a daily basis for a real person. Erin or Eileen?
I like the Irish connection to both of them, and they both have similar feel, but Eileen is more my style and is more sophisticated. Gunnhild or Genoveve?
Dislike both, but Genoveve’s worse, it looks like a misspelling to me. So I pick Gunnhild, plus you can always call her Gunilla, which is cute. Gwyneth or Gladys?
Gladys feels like a charming old lady name to me personally, but it’s at the same time something about this name that keeps me away from it. I think the main reason I like it nowadays is because years ago I decided to call one of my heroines this name and she was a lovely lady. So I choose Gwyneth. Gwyneth sounds like an essence of Welshness to me. 馃榾 Maybe because my Welsh speech synthesiser is Gwyneth. Hadassah or Dinah?
Not my style both, but I choose Hadassah because of that Francine Rivers’ series of books, there was a girl named Hadassa, or Hadassah, I dunno, she was Hadassa in Polish version. Hana or Ivana?
Hana. I really dislike Ivana for some reason.
Hanna or Hannah?
Honestly they both have a similar feel to me, but, um, Hannah. Hanne or Hadassa?
Hadassa.
Hannelore or Liselotte?
Liselotte! Liselotte sounds so whimsical and princessy I love it. Hannelore is lovely as well, and has its own, completely different charm, but I like Liselotte much more. Heather or Hope?
Hmmm… quite neutral for both… maybe Heather?
Jasmine or June?
Jasmine! Love Jasmine.
Kristin or Kiersten?
Kristin, I don’t like how Kiersten looks written down.
Madilyn or Madelyn?
Both nice, but I prefer Madelyn, Madilyn looks a little bit too creative, or maybe I’m too sensitive for all those different spellings thing. Mette or Marlanna?
I feel tempted to say neither, just neither of them says anything speciffic to me and Marlanna looks like some mid-20th century invention and I’d never seen it before, Mette looks more familiar, as it’s a Scandinavian name, so Mette. Molly or Mollie?
Mollie. I like many -ie names and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s best friend was nicknamed Mollie. Rae or Reva?
Is Reva RE-vah or REE-vah? OK, maybe Reva? No strong feelings for either name. Victoria or Veronica?
This is the duo that I often tend to confuse, and with such a similar feel. Both Weronika and Wiktoria are trending baby names here in Poland now, so I’m a little bit fed up with both, Zofijka has two Wiktorias and three Weronikas in her class. But still, they are beautiful names, no matter how spelled. I think I’ll pick Veronica, because it’s the title of one of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s songs, and I really like it, the song, I mean, and it made me like this name more. What are your choices? 馃檪

How to figure out people’s personalities fairly easily?

Thought I’d write about the thing that I brought up once on my Polish blog before and it got quite a lot of interest. I deleted my Polish WordPress blog before I even started this one and haven’t saved the posts, but I’ll try to retrace it as faithfully as I can.
When I was much younger, I started to be very fascinated by people’s personalities. How they distinct between each other, what they have in common, and as I was, and still am, a habitual people watcher, I tried to find some relationships between speciffic character traits and what may cause them. It wasn’t actually only about the personalities, but individuals as a whole. I had tons of ideas, why this person is similar to that, and not someone else. Yes, genes, upbringing, social environment, but… it has to be something else. Some of my ideas were pretty reasonable, as I think, some just kinda overanalysing stuff or just nonsense, like I realised that many guys around me who were tall, were also phlegmatic, and I was convinced it’s a relationship between these two traits and that simply tall people/men are usually phlegmatic. 馃榾 My interest has grown bigger one day when I went to the hairdresser with my Mum and I heard them talking about astrology. It was a completely new word to me and what they were talking about seemed very interesting and coinciding with my views that there are some speciffic traits that can determine who we are or what we’re like. I then developed some interest in astrology, which was rather superficial back then, but it’s still wasn’t what I was looking for.
Another thing that led me closer to the breakthrough was meeting a person at the boarding school, who was named like me. We were just smalltalking, I introduced myself to her and she was like aw we have the same name, do you know what it means? I was like what? Can names mean anything? And thanks to her I realised that yes, names have meanings. But I haven’t heard about it more since much later. I heard in the church on saint Anna’s day, which is also my Mum’s name day, that Anna comes from the Hebrew word hannah, and means “grace, charm, mercy”. That left me wondering what my Dad’s name could mean. Many of you probably already know that my Dad’s name is Jacek, and I’ve always loved this name, I’ve always felt some kind of attraction to people named Jacek and when I was very small I used to say that if I’ll ever marry someone, his name would have to be Jacek. I wondered and wondered, and the answer came at a quite unexpected moment.
At the time I was going to the integration school, I got funding for my first computer with screenreader and other specialised stuff, and as I of course had no idea how to use all that and neither had anyone in my family, there was a girl who was training me. We were getting along very well and one day the topic of names came up somehow, we were playing with Zofijka who was only about a year old and we were saying she’s clever, and she summed it that it’s no wonder, because sophia means “wisdom” in Greek. So I asked her whether she knows what the name Jacek means, and she didn’t, as I supposed, but why not look it up. Long live the Internet! She opened a website where there was everything in detail about the etymology of the name Jacek, all its diminutives, other language forms (which I now know where wrong because everyone thinks Jacek is Polish for Jack) and something I didn’t quite understand what it was for at first. A characteristic of the name Jacek. Or rather, of a person bearing it. How can you characterise Jacek if there are so many Jaceks out there? But, at least for my Dad, the description seemed to fit.
That was the start for my new passion. The main thing I did online for a while was educating myself about names, their meanings, etymologies, but above all, traits they give those who bear them. But… something was still not quite as it should be. There are tons of descriptions over there, it’s true that most of them have something that shows you in some way the personality of a person bearing a certain name, but it wasn’t always so. why do they differ so much? Shouldn’t there be one concrete description for every name, if it is meant to be believable? Like there is the name J贸zef (you guessed it, Joseph) and on one website they say J贸zefs are hardworking, modest, shy and very practical minded people, while on another, they say they’re chronic procrastinators, very judgmental, narrow minded and narcissistic. How are these two descriptions supposed to work together for the same person? How thousands people with the same name are supposed to fit the same three-line description? Can it actually work? Also, why are there so many characteristics with only good character traits? And then you can stumble upon something which only describes flaws of a person? Is it all actually worth anything? What with people who have rare names? Hyphenated? Double? Middle name(s)? DOesn’t a nickname change anything? How about those who share their name with other people, but don’t resemble their namesakes at all?
It has taken me a lot of time to figure it out so that I felt satisfied, but quickly I realised that something like influence of a name on a person who bears it exists, but you have to think on your own to figure it out and how it works. I was looking up descriptions for very many names in very many sources, and people watching and analysing obsessively. And I started to see some rules and patterns to the game. I started to see that every name has its own feel, it may be similar to the feel another name has, but it’s never the same. This feel gives you an idea of some traits, I’d say kinda symbolises some traits. I went so deep into it that it started to work in my mind like a sort of synesthesia, even though it wasn’t. Like, you tell me your name is Helena – I see quite an attractive woman, with long black hair, pretty, heart-shaped face, dark blue eyes with long lashes, regular features, very feminine, sensitive, impulsive, generous, idealist, incredibly dedicated and altruistic, creative, ambivert, honest, very very proud, so that actually a bit overly, it’s hard for her to apologise, forgive, ask for anything, she has a very passionate nature.., likes to be mischievous at times, is easily hurt, an aesthete, very intelligent, but not quite a cerebral sort, very loyal friend, can be vindictive, envious, often exaggerates things, is very dreamy and a fantastic storyteller and housewife, when she’s young though, growing to adulting may take her more time than her peers and she likes to be cared for and awakens caring instincts in guys, she may sometimes want to be bossy and authoritarian, but it’s not her true nature, she is better as a part of the group than its leader, or particularly when working on her own, since she’s so very creative, she gets frustrated easily and her enthusiasm is passionate but short-lived…
The thing with appearance is entirely my personal quirk. It doesn’t mean all Helenas look or should look like that and are such beauties. I don’t know any Helena like that. But, for me, an ideal Helena, who would fit her name perfectly, should look like that, or close to it. She doesn’t have to have heart-shaped face or long lashes, doesn’t even have to have black hair, can be blonde and have light blue, or green, or grey eyes, or maybe even can be a redhead, kind of orange, but there just are appearance traits that fit Helena, and any other name, better, and such that don’t fit at all.
As for the personality. It doesn’t have to mean AT ALL that you’re like this. After all, all of us are luckily different. But if your parents gave you this name, it means that you’re very likely to develop these traits in your personality. Much more than if they called you, erm, whatever, let’s say Lisa. Your genes, your upbringing, environment and all the other factors that are more important may highlight these traits, or some of them, or may supplant them. And you may feel kinda conflicted, like there are two conflicting sides of you, or like your surroundings want you to be someone different than you are, or you may simply not like your name and not feel like it’s good for you. That was the case with me before I changed my name legally and it was one of the reasons behind it. I like my birth name, it’s classic and feminine, but I hated it on myself. It is very hard to explain, but anytime someone called me, somewhere deep inside I felt like they’re actually talking to someone else who I am supposed to fake. Or like they don’t know the truth and see someone in me who I am not. It felt like sorta dissonance. All that stuff about harmony prevailing in your life and how it is important sounds so incredibly cliche, but it can really influence you and your life when all of the aspects of you aren’t set in harmony. That’s what I think, have experienced and seen in others, anyway. That’s why many name nerds freak out so much when they see a clashing combo of a first and middle name. For many it’s just the thing of sound – you know, syllables, going well with the surname – but for others it’s something deeper. These names have to flow. Be similar in the feel, yet complement each other. So, going back to that poor Helena, if her middle name was Lisa, my opinion is that she would be quite a conflicted person. These names have so different vibes. I’m sure you can feel it. This is the art of naming.
You can ask yourself, who would be so dedicated and searched for an ideally matching name for their child, how you can predict your child’s personality, tendencies, to make the name(s) flow well with it. That can be a tough thing for some, but, surprisingly, most parents have that infallible instinct and nail it. I am particularly in awe for those who have some traditions in their family to give the children a few middle names. It could seem a damn hard work to make them all flow nicely and in harmony with the child’s tendencies, but most of them just seem to unconsciously do it right.
As some of you know, I love baby naming and helping people with naming their kids/book characters etc. so much that I’ve actually considreed seriously becoming a professional baby namer. So far though, I limit myself to helping people in my surroundings or on online forums for pregnant mummies. We have one here in Poland that is really reliable and there are lots of geeks in the field over there, and there are American Behind The Name, Nameberry and others, which are websites speciffically dedicated to names. What I always tell parents on our Polish forum when they have some ideas, but don’t know what to choose finally is – just wait until the childbirth and you’ll see who he/she looks like. One of the mums was confused – how you can see it who your child looks like – and I also wasn’t sure what to actually tell her, so I just said that when she sees her, she’ll have more clear idea I think. And then after her daughter was born she wrote to me: “Emi, you were right that I should see her before I choose the name. Now I know what you meant. She certainly doesn’t look like a Karolina. She is a KORNELIA!”. So I think when you become a parent, you just know what to do instinctively.
I think the worst thing you can do and the most common reason why some people’s names clash with their personalities, is a situation when before they even have a child on the way, parents are absolutely convinced about the name they will choose for their kid, for example friends promise each other they will name their children after each other. Friendships will pass, children have nothing in common with your ex-friends, but the name stays with them. That’s what happened to both my cousin and me, so that when I was changing my name even my Mum encouraged me to do it, because she “picked it so spontaneously”, just to honour a friend. Also naming children after currently popular stars/book/movie characters isn’t a good idea. The trend will pass, and there will be a whole generation of children named the same name just because of that celebrity/character being popular once, and most of such people don’t rather like their name. Of course if you’re a long time fan of some celebrity, book or movie and it’s your all time favourite, it’s a bit different. Your child will know you picked the name for them because you really liked it and had nice associations with it, and not because there was just a boom on something when they were born and you happened to be crazy about it at that time just like everyone else. I think I don’t have to mention about situations when parents give their children ridiculous or extremely rare/kre8tiv names to make them successful in life. I’d say you just have to go with your heart, and then ask your brain what he thinks about it.
What I learned very quickly as I explored the world of names was that it’s so very easy to become judgmental and trust your gut too easily. I mean, you can trust yourself, if you get how it works, it really helps me personally to have some idea of a person I can meet even before I meet them if I know their name. But sticking to that idea is something definitely not good and unfair to that person. You have to be careful to not judge them too quickly and assume you just know what they’re like.
I had a classmate, his name was Mariusz. I don’t know anyone whose name would be more mismatched with the personality than his. I think what lost their parents was the ambition that they wanted to call all their children with names beginning with M. When I heard that we will have a new student in our class and his name is Mariusz, I got a very speciffic picture of a person that I expected him to be. All the Mariusz’s I knew were a kind of guys that my Mum calls “teddy bears”. Overweight, lumpish, usually in their late 30’s early 40’s, phlegmatic, calm, like to eat well, that’s a teddy bear in my Mum’s dictionary. Plus guys with this name I knew were always lacking in imagination, sociable, rather well to do, eloquent, good daddies and rather boring people living very monotonous, schematic, but stable and family-centered lives.
And when I met that boy for the first time, I was shocked. He was anything but it. Well he was rather calm, but it was more of shyness than his real temperament, he liked to eat well and was more practical than imaginative, but that was all. Other than that, he didn’t fit his name as much as it can only be possible. He was short and thin, very agile and sporty, not eloquent at all and a bit of a nerd. 馃榾 I couldn’t be more mistaken. Needless to say he didn’t like his name. Around his friends, he was going by a nickname completely unrelated to his name. Once even one of our teachers commented that he doesn’t look like a Mariusz. And yeah, that learned me that I can be right very often and be good at figuring out others’ personalities, but that doesn’t mean I can just judge a book by its cover.
With time I realised that names and naming are a really fascinating thing, and stopped relying on online resources/books when it comes to name characteristics. I know I was good at it because my name instinct rarely let me down, and I started to be popular among my friends and they always came to me when they wanted to know a characteristic of a name and were always like “Wooow how do you know it?” 馃榾
I could and still am wrong at times, no one is unfallible and this is a very subtle area, but most of my assumptions or “forecasts” are right or at least fair.
I started to explore Behind The Name then and to go deeper into foreign names and name trends in general. And then I started to wonder whether the English-speaking Internet has some sites like we have, with characteristics of people based on their names. ‘Cause so far I haven’t seen any.
I was searching intensively for something, but the only stuff I seemed to find were sites based entirely on numerology. During the time when I was so very interested in all things esoteric in the past, I’ve explored numerology and I think it doesn’t work well with names. You have just 9, or optionally 13 numbers that you can operate on and that can represent different types of personalities and different symbols. If you get a whole numerological portrait of a person, I don’t know, maybe it could work, but if you have names and want to make characteristics of names based on numerology and only on numerology, what you’ll get is even more nonsense than on our sites, because you get a dozen or so of names that fit one description. And another reason why I really dislike such sites is that you often only have a search edit field to enter a name there, and you actually can enter ANYTHING you want. I once typed Shit, and I got a characteristic of Shit’s personality. Isn’t that very creative? 馃榾 I think it is, but not quite what I was searching for.
So far, I’ve found only one fairly good English website with very detailed characteristics of a very wide range of names. Sometimes they may be repetitive and they say these characteristics are also based solely on numerology, but I think it’s either not true, or they go into some more sophisticated numerology because their characteristics are really detailed and most often good.
That’s a pity that English-speaking countries, with all that wide range names that are freely in use, aren’t more interested in that stuff, but luckily there are many good sites with cold raw facts about names that aren’t just made up or not verified, and there are much more baby naming/name nerd communities than it is over here.
If you read this and are also interested in the topic and know some good English resources with name characteristics, let me know, it will be much appreciated.
It’s not as easy for me to make my own characteristics of foreign names as it is with Polish names, but I’ve been working on it a lot and I think I am fairly good at it. If I hear the name for the first time, of course it sounds usually very unfamiliar to me and I can’t say anything about it, but as I hear it often repeated, write it or something, it gets more personality. However I still have some issues with those names that are completely out there for me, like dunno Asian, African… and I’ve never done a characteristic of any super rare/unheard name for anyone else so I don’t know how good I’m at it. And sometimes I struggle with very popular names too, such timeless classics, all the Katherines, Janes, Annes, Marys, Johns, James’ and their equivalents in popularity in other cultures. It’s because they are so common and it’s hard to be objective and make a universal characteristic without relying only on the personality traits of all the people I know with that particular name, and not too universal and general so that almost anyone could fit in, as so many people seem to do. What was very stressful for me for a long time was when someone asked me for making a characteristic of their own name, and I knew them well. I was afraid I will fail at separating their name’s traits with their own personality traits and that they will think I just said all that I know about them personally. But now I think I cope better with it and am better at doing it objectively and right. Also what I find particularly hard with English names is figuring out for each name how its spelling influences the person, I mean for example how can Lyndsay be different from Lindsay and whether the differences are significant enough that we need to make completely separate characteristics for them. That’s really interesting. Websites fix it with numerology, but since I don’t really believe in it and its effectiveness, I don’t know what would be the best to do.
Have you ever wondered what more can be to a name than just how it sounds and looks? How do you feel about your own? Do you agree with all that or not, believe that your name can influence you in any way? Why or why not? Have you any thoughts or questions? Is it of any interest for you? 馃檪

Question of the day (9th May).

Five names you like, but would never use?

My answer:

Well this is such a complex topic, so let me expand it a little bit. Hm, we can look at this questions in two ways in my case, ’cause I just have so many favourite names from various cultures. I would never use most of them in Poland, while for example if I lived in an English-speaking country, even being Polish myself, I would probably hesitate giving a Polish first name to my child that is difficult to use outside of Poland.

But well, since I live in Poland and don’t plan to change it in the near future, let’s look at this from the Polish perspective.

a few years ago there has been a new law set here, regarding baby names. Before, the baby naming law was pretty strict here, it wasn’t like in English-speaking countries or some others. The name for your child had to indicate their gender (so for girl it had to end with a, as most of feminine nouns end in a in Polish, there are some exceptions that have been widely known or used for ages as feminine names like Beatrycze (Beatrice), Rut (Ruth), Carmen, Ines, Michelle, Doris or Nicole, and yes, no unisex names!, for most people over here even an idea of a unisex name still seems to be a little confusing or even ridiculous), it couldn’t be ridiculing – and the civil registration clerk or however such person is actually called was deciding about whether the name is ridiculing or not, and what may be even more shocking for some, apart from some exceptions they couldn’t be diminutives. Also, because Polish is a phonetic language and actually everything is pronounced how it’s spelled and phonetic rules are always the same, not as changeable as in English for example, there was also a rule that names should be written according to Polish spelling rules so that a child wouldn’t have to explain everyone how their name is spelled and so that everyone seeing it written would know how to say it. So some clerks would have the right to question whether the child can actually be called Nicole, because the way it’s spelled, in Polish it should be pronounced nee-TSAW-le, which sounds weird, doesn’t it? 馃榾 Besides, giving your child more than two names was also rather not possible. These rules wouldn’t regard children of mixed couples or citizenship.

However, since a few years, the laws aren’t so strict. Now, parents can freely choose almost any foreign name they’d like. You also don’t have to choose the name indicating your child’s gender, so you can freely call your daughter Krzysztof, and your son Anna, if you only fancy. You still can’t choose more than two names though, but you can use nicknames.

That being said, although I think it’s good that people now have more freedom in naming their children, as it paradoxically seems to decrease the amount of weird names given to children, I personally would rather stick to some rules, just to make my child’s name fit here.

While I believe in erudition and intelligence of my compatriots and that they know that Jessica should be spelled JES-i-k? and not yes-SEE-tsah, I also think that not everyone has to be a name/linguistics nerd and know how to pronounce such names like K盲rstin. There are lots of beautiful names, so why make your child unhappy naming them with a name that no one around can spell/pronounce correctly? That can be really frustrating, I believe. Unisex names can be something really cool, but since they’re still not really popular here, I wouldn’t rather think about naming my child with a name used for the opposite gender, the more that although there are some English unisex names I like for either both genders or for the gender that it’s rarely used, I still prefer to use names traditionally, rather not calling boys Elizabeth and girls Richard. 馃榾 Also, my personal opinion is that often such very extravagant, very foreign names with Polish surnames sound a little pretentious or even snobbish. My surname isn’t indigenously Polish, but anyway, I wouldn’t like my child to be perceived snobbish, even though I like for example the name Liselotte. I could use it for a book character, not necessarily my own baby.

Then there’s the thing with nicknames. I love lots of cute nicknames, but most often it is so that I much prefer them as a nickname of a longer name, than a name itself. It just looks more classy. And gives us more possibilities. Look at one of my favourite English nicknames – Lizzie. You give it to your daughter as a full name. And how can you call her? Lizzie, Liz, maybe Liza… but that’s pretty much all about it. You can get bored of it quickly, plus if your Lizzie will want to think about some really serious job, like, dunno, being a scientist, just Lizzie will look a little bit unprofessional. That’s my opinion. ANd now look at ELizabeth. At home she can be Lizzie, at school – Ellie, Ella for her boyfriend, ELizabeth at her job, Lisa for people from other countries, Betsy for her grandparents, etc. whatever comes to mind. Isn’t that much much more creative?!

Plus, the rule about ridiculing names was very reasonable imo. That takes a lot of responsibility off the shoulders of people who are unexperienced with names and don’t really know what they want from the name of their kid. Often people think that giving their child a distinguishing name will make the child successful, but the effect might be just the opposite, and very distinguishing names can be also ridiculing. There is a website of The Council Of Polish Language, they just give opinions about names, or were giving when the laws were more strict. And oh gosh if you could see loads and loads of just so ridiculous names that people were asking for opinions on. TO give you a few examples – Kermit, Strawberry, Legia (Legia Warsaw is the name of a Polish football team)…

So finally, I think I would try to not be too strict or narrow-minded in choosing names for my kids, but also would still try to adjust to the Polish culture and I think I’d like to go at least a bit with the tradition.

I was mentioning some names, most of which were just examples, I do like K盲rstin and Liselotte, but they’re not my most favourites. So here’s the list of the 5 non Polish names I would never use living here for my baby, but could take into consideration in different conditions.

1. Jack (because we have Jacek here, which isn’t the same etymologically, but looks and feels quite the same, plus, because people here have a very annoying and for me weird habit of pronouncing it as Jeck. Grrrrrrrrrrrr I hate it! I can’t understand it at all.)

2. Melissa (it could be perfectly usable and ait’s beautiful, but it doesn’t have any history here and the only thing it would be associated is the plant and its sedative effects, plus I have an inkling most people would think it’s very snobbish. Not like I would care so much personally, but wouldn’t like people to think this way about my kid).

3. Evangeline (too strong association with the Gospel, which is called Ewangelia in Polish, it would look a little bit sanctimonious on a daily basis, I’m afraid, no matter if spelled Evangeline, Evangelina or Ewangelina, plus pronouncing issues, as there are actually two ways to pronounce it here, with hard or soft G, and both are correct).

4. Misha (I guess obvious 馃榾 but really, I wanted to call my child so, Misha is such a cool name. For either gender, but paradoxically more usable for a boy here, because of Russian associations, Misha Barton doesn’t seem to be popular over here, I suppose, although I’m not an expert as for that).

5. Oisin (also pretty obvious, it’d be troublesome in any part of the world except for Ireland, or so I guess. And there are so many Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Cornish names for both genders I’d love to use, but that would be completely inappropriate here).

Very curious to see your favourite but not usable names. 馃檪

Question of the day.

If you met five-year-old siblings named Jane and John, what would you think?

My answer:

I’d be rather surprised, that’s for sure. But, other than that, I could think many things. I would think it’s unusual. I would think what’s their surname and wonder what is more likely, Smith or Doe? I would think they’re both pretty names, but sound a little bit odd as a nowadays sibset. I’d wonder what are they parents like. Are they kind of minimalists? Have a very traditional, minimalistic, classic style? Or are they kinda conservative, maybe wanted to honour someone? Maybe they have their names after their grandparents or grand grandparents? Or maybe they grandparents came up with names for them? Grandparents often aren’t up to date with name trends, at least here in Poland, when I help people on one of forums with their baby naming struggle, I see it often that grandparents tend to suggest name ideas which were popular when their children were born or growing up, and now are kinda auntie/uncle-sounding, not fresh enough for a comeback yet. Maybe their parents have a bit quirky sense of humour and wanted to demonstrate it through naming their kids? While I love quirky name ideas and people adding a little grain of salt to the whole baby naming thing (like I know a family who have 6 children and they are named in alphabetical order, or similar stuff), but not to the point of making a harm to a child, I don’t think such very matchy twinset would have an easy life, unless they also have as much distance to it as their parents. Or maybe it’s otherwise? Maybe their parents are so boring, lacking imagination completely, and simply used the first couple of names that came to their mind? Oh yeah, I have tons of ideas. Some are a bit crazy. 馃榾 Maybe they were orphaned and someone just named them randomly? Or maybe someone changed their names to make them anonymous and protect them from something/someone? I actually like both these names, so if not the fact how plain they probably sound in English-speaking countries, it would be a nice, classic sibset. But yeah, they’re very plain. I don’t know much as for how’s Jane doing nowadays with popularity and what are some most popular associations or connotations related to this name, at least in other English-speaking countries than Us, maybe besides plain Jane thing, but I don’t think it’s much less neutral than John. Pity they were so overused in the past, they’re pretty names. And yeah, John can be nicknamed to Jack! 馃榾

What would you think? 馃檪

Spring name game.

You know it’s snowing here? :O Really! How is it where you live? Anyway, I thought we could play some spring name game, so maybe the spring would finally come to all of us. Are you looking forward to this season? Below you’ll find the list of questions and my answers and just follow the instructions, and leave me your answers in the comments, I am very curious to see what yours will be. Or if you prefer you can make a pingback. And let me know if you enjoyed this game, so I’d make more of them in future. If you’re not from an English-speaking country, feel free to use names characteristic for your country, or for country(ies) you particularly like. It isn’t anything obligatory, but very welcome. Because My own favourite countries are a few, sometimes names of siblings might not be particularly matchy.

Here we go:

聽聽 1.

Name a child boy/girl using March, April, or May as either their first or middle name. Add a first or middle name to go with the name you selected and a nickname you like.

My choice: Lucy May. She may go by Lou/Lu if she wants, but I think Lucy’s fantastic without any nickname as well, if not better. Moreover, LUcy May is short enough to call her Lucy May at times. I’d surely do so.

2.

Name siblings using the initials SP RI NG. You choose the sexes.

My choices: Saskia Philippa, Rhian Isla, Noelle Grainne.

3.

Name boy-girl siblings. Each must have a spring themed first or middle name. A few name ideas:

  1. 聽聽 Anthea
  2. April
  3. Aviv
  4. Avril
  5. Bloom
  6. Breeze
  7. Brooke
  8. Chloe
  9. Dahlia
  10. Daisy
  11. Spring
  12. Brook
  13. Keby
  14. Leif
  15. Leaf
  16. March
  17. Maxwell
  18. Rain
  19. Raine
  20. Robin
    1. Weldon
    2. Berilo

You can but don’t have to use any of these names.. They’re just suggestions and if you have any other spring names on your mind, use them!

My choices: Rhys Jacek and Elen Gwanwyn. Jacek is a Polish form of Hyacinth, while Gwanwyn is “spring” in Welsh.

4.

What would you name boy/girl twins? Use the initials of those names and select new names for them.

My choices:

Raine Joel and Elmerald Giselle.

5.

Rename yourself using these rules:

Your new first name:

You can select between the three names for the month you were born.

  • 聽聽 January: Denver, Easter or Emerald.
  • 聽聽 February: Flora, Lily or Maxwell.
  • 聽聽 March – Maia, March or May.
  • 聽聽 April – Meadow, Neo or Raanan.
  • May – Rabi, Rain or Rose.
  • 聽聽 June – Season, Spring or Stormy.
  • 聽聽 July – Sunny, Thalia or Green.
  • August – Verna, Zinnia or Hyacinth.
  • 聽聽 september – Anemone, Apple or Attwell.
  • 聽聽 October – Aurora, Azalea or Jarek.
  • 聽聽 November – Bloom, Bluebell or聽 Neville.
  • 聽 December – Bradwell, Brooke or Claribel.

Choose a middle name with the letter based on the day you were born:

  • 聽聽 1-5 – R
  • 6-10 – S
  • 11-15 – I
  • 16-20 – H
  • 21-25 – K
  • 26-31 – T

Remember that your middle name mustn’t be associated with spring.

  • 聽聽 My choice:

For my first name… mm, let’s choose Lily. It’s cool and quite universal, and I like it, although not love it, there are so many Lil- names popular over here right now for babies. And my middle name should start with R so… let’s be adventurous and multicultural and open-minded and choose Rhianwen. Rhianwen is a Welsh feminine name and I think it’s beautiful and goes well with Lily.

Looking forward to seeing your choices. 馃檪

Baby name game.

I wanted to share with you something that I’ve found on one of my favourite blogs about baby names, The Name Garden, which is on Tumblr. The post I want to share is a name game, the link is here:

http://thenamegarden.com/post/168092139151/welcome-to-the-last-of-our-baby-name-games-using

If you like baby name games and have never seen this blog, I strongly recommend you to have a look at it. So if you have Tumblr, you can comment on there about which names of these baby announcements would you pick for your children. Also I am very curious about it so I’ll be happy if you would share your choices with me. Here are mine, since we can pick names for three or more children, I will pick for more.

Jack Michael, Eleanora Ann, Liam Daniel, Isabelle Elizabeth, Angus Philip, Seamus Noel, Gabriella Nancy and AnnaLeigh Jayella.