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

Hi people! 馃檪

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

here.

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. 馃檪 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! 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

My Jackophilia.

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

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

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? 馃檪

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? 馃檪

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 Bi艣bi艣, 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 Bi艣bi艣, in third person, I sometimes still do especially when I am very excited about something or feel a bit odd… like a Bi艣bi艣, 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? 馃檪

Question of the day (15th August).

Hey guys! 馃檪

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. 馃檪 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. 馃榾

So, what are your experiences? 馃檪

How do you imagine them?

Hi guys. 馃檪

Thought I’d do another round of this game, this time there will be only girls’ names in it, and most of them will be from one of the last rounds of this and that, I just didn’t have much of an invention for finding new names today, the more that my Internet is a bit sluggish today. 馃榾 Come on, turn your imagination on and play along! As a quick reminder for those of you who are new to it – I give you a couple of names, and your task is to write how you imagine people with these names, keep it as long or short as you wish. You can find my descriptions under the list of names.

List of names:

Charlotta

Eeva

Elaine

Grace

Hannah

Hanne

Hedvig

Holly

Imelda

Mai

Maria

Miranda

Sarah

My descriptions:

Charlotta – I see her as a Swedish woman in her thirties. She’s tall, well-built, but in this case well-built isn’t an euphemism for “fat” or anything like that, she’s just a big, tall woman, whom you’ll easily see in the crowd and who makes an impression of a very responsible, down to earth person. She has long, brown hair, may be a little curly, and dark eyes, though I’m not sure what could be their exact colour. She is very feminine and has a strong personality. She’s very determined, definitely introverted. Loves being out in nature, is also very strong physically. She is rather a bit of a loner, but you wouldn’t call her shy, she just likes her own company. Sometimes may seem overly proud, but she definitely isn’t. She is very protective of her loved ones, and is fiercely enraged if someone tries to harm them in any way. Deep down, she’s a little romantic, but she hides it so well that even herself isn’t necesssarily aware of this side of her personality. She definitely though has a very rich imagination and a little sarcastic sense of humour, likes observing other people.

Eeva – Finnish, in her early twenties. Blonde hair, green eyes, short and slim, has a lot of charm, though her looks are rather average. She’s very girly. May be a little shy, but this shyness only gives her more charm, and shouldn’t be much of an obstacle in life, in fact, Eeva is a very sociable creature and likes to have fun. She is very bright, and has a generally cheerful, positive and likeable personality. She is very idealistic. I imagine her as a student, full of enthusiasm and zest for life, and having a lot of friends with whom she likes to party, but when it’s needed, she is very focused on her goals, her personal development and takes things very seriously.

Elaine – a woman in her late thirties, she’s an American. She has dark, always neatly combed, blonde hair, dark blue eyes and pale, oblong, freckled face. she’s very slim. I think that women named Elaine have to be always passionate about something. I see my Elaine as an English teacher for some reason. She tries to be serious in her job, which can make her a bit stiff sometimes, but generally she’s full of enthusiasm, a real language lover and a lover of words, for some reason I see her as an avid reader of Shakespeare, she generally loves to read, is full of expression, when she can be a little more laid back and doesn’t think about being perfect. She is very creative and emotional, it is easy to move her to tears. She loves helping people when she only can. Loves going to the cinema, theatre, art galleries, she just loves anything related to art, culture and language.

Grace – she’s an English woman in her early fourties. She’s tall, very feminine looking, has blonde hair and warm, blue eyes. She’s generally full of inner warmth, and makes for a great mother and wife. SHe has a strong personality, is mature, kind-hearted, likes to laugh and does it often, though may be a little impatient and stress easily. She likes to sing, and has a warm, low and a little husky voice. She values her freedom and independence, is always very honest and respects people who are honest to her, she has a great intuition. Tends to worry about her children much more than necessary.

Hannah – a woman in her early fifties, can be from anywhere in the English-speaking world. She’s short, a little fluffy, has rosy cheeks, grey-ish hair and brown eyes. She may look older than she is. She has a very fiery temper and is not the easiest and the most conciliatory person to live with. She actually quite likes to argue and can be a bit of a drama queen at times. Though she’s not a bad person and likes helping those in need, particularly if the help their need is of a practical nature. She loves her children and grandchildren if she has any, though may intervene in their lives and relationships between them a little too much. She likes cooking, gardening, taking care of her house and households, may also like sewing and other such things, she’s incredibly active and industrious and doesn’t like lazy people. She’s extroverted and energetic, never hides her feelings and is not particularly diplomatic.

Hanne – she is Norwegian, a bit younger than Hannah, looks a bit more majestically – she’s much taller and bigger, but quite skinny –
she’s rather phlegmatic than as fierce as Hannah, but other than that, they’re pretty similar. Both very strong personalities, very active and hardworking, and incredibly practical.

Hedvig – a lady in her seventies, either from Germany or Scandinavia. She may look a bit frail and vulnerable on the outside, mostly because of her age, but she has a fierce spirit. She knows it well that life isn’t easy, often quite the opposite, and had a lot of time to adapt to it. She isn’t very talkative, but very active just like Hannah and Hanne. Actually, one could think that she lacks imagination, and while it’s hard to say if it’s true, she certainly doesn’t have very much of it and doesn’t like to use it, she much prefers all that is visible, measurable and can be useful in any way. Her beliefs – be them moral, ethical or religious – are very important to her. She’s very loyal and faithful to her family, though she doesn’t like to talk about it, she’d rather show it by her actions.

Holly – she’s in her twenties, she’s British. She has ginger hair, hazel eyes and round face, is short and might have a few extra pounds, though you wouldn’t call her fat. She’s lively, very communicative and talkative, very dreamy, energetic, incredibly sociable, has a steely will and always knows what she wants and what’s the best way to get it. SHe rarely hesitates in anything. She may be very artistically talented, or even if not, she’s still very creative. She can be quite noisy and never makes a neutral impression on those she meets. She can be quite anxious though.

Imelda – I know that probably for most of you Imelda sounds like an old-lady-ish name, and I can understand it, though when I first heard that name, I imagined Imelda as a little girl and it’s still the first picture that comes to my mind when I hear it. Well maybe she’s not little, she’s in her early teens, and actually can be pretty tall. She likes to eat a lot, so can be fat too if she’s not controlled. I think she’s Italian, or maybe Spanish. She has black hair and dark eyes and dark, tanned skin. I think she is quite a pretty girl overall. She’s actually very hard to control, because she has an explosive personality and is just hard to bring up. Just like Holly, when she wants something, she’ll most probably get it. She’s very energetic, but when she doesn’t want to do something, she won’t, unless her parents are very determined and strong-willed too. She’s just spoiled to put it simply. She has a whole crew of friends, but not always any best friends. Likes to show off with al cool things she has. But she’s actually quite sensitive, not as empty as she might seem, and often all her tricks and troubles she makes are a sign of rebelling against something that is hard for her to cope with. She’s very intelligent, too, and can do well with subjects such as maths or science. When she has very determined and loving parents, she can be tamed with time.

May – a girl in her early twenties, I guess she’s British. SHe has blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin, has rather subtle features, she’s rather skinny. May is an introvert, can struggle with close relationships because she simply doesn’t like herself or doesn’t think she’s good enough to be liked by others. She’s a perfectionist, and very nervous, fearful and anxious by nature. She’s quite quirky, has her own, unique style. She is often interested with everything extraordinary, things connected to spirituality, esotericism, psychology, things that are kind of abstractive by nature. She is very fragile emotionally. May is a very independent girl who loves having the consciousness that she’s free and no one can tell her what she should or has to do, though at the same time she’s not particularly assertive or self-confident. She may have issues with trusting others.

Maria – Maria is Polish. Generally, in Poland Maria is a name popular in older generations, but it’s also quite common among little girls. The one I’m imagining, is about 6 or 7 years old, has blonde hair and blue sapphire eyes. She’s a very obedient, almost angelic child, extremely good-natured, so that it seems almost unnatural and artificial, but definitely isn’t. She is very attached to her parents, particularly to her dad. Maria is calm, likes to take care of others because it makes her feel important, and she’s very responsible as for her age. She may seem a bit too serious though, and like she wasn’t actually a child. She’s very intelligent and bright, and has a lively imagination, but lacks spontaneity and some carefree attitude. She is an aesthete and likes things that are visually appealing and beautiful. I think she likes to draw and does it well. Likes to ask a lot of questions, is stressed easily.

Miranda – Miranda is American and in her late twenties. Has light brown, wavy, long hair, green or blue eyes, I think though that she can also be a redhead. She’s tall and slim and very charming. She is very self-confident and likes to flirt, or even if she’s not self-confident, flirting is her coping strategy and helps her feel more worthy. She’s a bit of an attention seeker. Sometimes her attitude might be a little artificial. When she’s not focusing on flirting though, she’s usually a nice person and often has lots of interesting things to say. She tends to live in a hurry, and I think she has a responsible job. She’s a perfectionist and indeed may seem to other people like everything in her life is perfect. It’s not always true though, as for all of us.

Sarah – an American elderly lady, short and skinny with grey hair and blue eyes. She has a very charming personality, is a very good listener and advisor, is warm and has a lot of wisdom. She’s very dedicated for those she loves. A bit scatty, she has still an imagination and creativity of a young girl, and is very sentimental and romantic. Loves to bake. Likes to be surrounded by beauty. Sometimes can be melancholic, but is not depressive or pessimistic.

And how do you imagine these women? 馃檪

How do you imagine them?

I’ve come up with a new sort of name-related series to replace this or that. This one will be rather short, just to see if any of you will like it. Join in and let me know if you like the idea.

The idea is – I give you the list of names, and your task is to imagine people with these names. Write as much or as little about how do you see them – how they look, what they are like, what they do for living, what they like, what their age is, whatever you want about them. If you know anyone with this name, try to think a bit out of the box and don’t let your previous associations disturb too much the picture of a person you’re creating, although it’s natural and obvious, or at least very likely, that both the person you know and their fictional namesake will have some traits in common. Of course, since I am a name nerd and people watcher, I won’t be just an altruist providing you the game, but I will also play along and perhaps help you figure out how to do it, you’ll find my descriptions below the list of names. My descriptions probably will seem a little outsider-ish to you, because I don’t live in an English-speaking country, so I don’t know people with most of these names and am not always oriented in what is their popularity or in which age group exactly. I’ll try for the names to be from different cultures so that it’d be possibly diverse and interesting.

Here we go:

List of names:

Eline

Eliam

Fiona

Garrett

Frida

James

Ida

Rune

Matilda

Archibald

Isabella

Angelo

Isabel

Emmanuel

My descriptions:

Eline – she is a Norwegian, in her early thirties, very smart and nerdy, but also good-looking, though rather shy. Eline is tall, slender, has chestnut hair and dark green eyes, her face is pale. She doesn’t tolerate stress well. Often feels lonely and misunderstood. Tries to overcome her shyness a lot and in fact is a very curious person, observes the world around her with interest and reads a lot. She is an introvert and deep down is rather dreamy, though doesn’t like to show it. Is also very sensitive and likes to help others. Tends to overthink a lot. She is a rather sporty person, but doesn’t like team sports, she rather prefers hiking alone in the woods or swimming in the sea. Eline has a very analytical mind. Sometimes may seem a bit detached, but this is her way to protect herself. I imagine her as a woman living in a town and single mum to one son whom she loves a lot and who means the world to her. She likes all kinds of crafts and is herself good at this kind of stuff.

Eliam – that’s a hard one a bit. I guess he’d be a Jew, it sounds very Biblical to me though I actually don’t know for sure from where this name comes. OK, so he’s a Jewish boy in his early teens. He has black hair, brown skin and hazel eyes, is rather small and thin for his age. He is very withdrawn, very different from his peers, is nerdy, likes fantasy books and games, often feels sad, comes from a very religious and not very warm family. Is interested by everything that has to do with magic or is enigmatic/mysterious. Hates school. Has issues with concentration, mostly because he dreams a lot and sometimes just disappears emotionally from his surroundings, this is his coping strategy. May be a bit selfish at times, maybe because I see him as an only child in the family. Doesn’t have many friends other than imaginary. Dreams about big adventures and being a hero/explorer.

Fiona – Scottish girl in her late twenties, with dark blonde hair, round rosy cheeks and big green eyes. Isn’t beautiful, but interesting and just nice, and that’s what people like about her. She appears to be very chatty and self-confident, but in fact is a bit insecure. May lose friends because of being too forthright. Is very determined when it’s needed. Fiona has a good, a bit self-deprecating sense of humour. She enjoys her life. Sometimes tends to catastrophise, but overall is rather an optimist and a very positive person, often inspiring for others. She is a good advisor. She is very modest and dedicated for her loved ones.

Garrett – American, in his thirties, sporty, tall, well-built, well-off, liked by women. He is a courageous, assertive man who always looks for new challenges, leads a dynamic life and is always in a hurry. He hates routine. Is easily annoyed. Doesn’t like to show negative emotions, other than anger, as they are a sign of weakness for him. Can be very blunt at times. If he has a wife or partner, his relationship is stable, though he likes to argue just for the sake of arguing and can be hot-tempered. He is very hardworking and wants those he loves to be safe and happy.

Frida – she’s Swedish, in her early fourties. Is very shy and introverted, not very liked and isolates herself on purpose from people. Leads an apparently very boring life, but her inner world is very rich. Frida isn’t the most cheerful person, but if she trusts you and if you are her friend, she is also very trustworthy and you can count on her. Her life isn’t easy, but she is very strong. She treasures her privacy, can be very suspicious of others. She’s tall, well-built, has sharp features, very light hair and pale skin, grey eyes. which she then tells others as true, although they sound very unlikely. She has a real willpower and is incredibly stubborn. She has a good relationship with his dad. Can be possessive of her friends or younger siblings if she has any.

James – he’s British, can be pretty much any age. Knows how to act in every situation, is charming and likeable. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, is tall and manly. James is a bit of an aristocrat, no matter his roots, he is classy, has a refined style, is kinda sophisticated, but not overly, just very naturally. Isn’t the most emotional person in the world, or actually it isn’t easy for him to show his emotions, but in fact he is quite sensitive. He is a strong man who likes to be a leader, but doesn’t have a problem if he has to follow instructions. he’s rather calm, but if he gets angry, he’s VERY angry. He is a loyal friend and loves deeply.

Ida – a girl in primary school, she’s Polish. She is short, skinny, very energetic and hyperactive. She’s a redhead with shiny green eyes. She has a fierce personality and appreciates her freedom above all. She asks lots of questions and has a very sharp mind. She is very curious about the world, and incredibly brave. Can be very impulsive and hard to tame. Likes to be the centre of attention, often makes other kids and even adults laugh, has a tendency to lie or at least make up a lot of things that sound very unlikely. Has a good relationship with her dad. She’s incredibly stubborn, often possessive of those she loves, and her moods change quicker than the weather.

Rune – he’s Swedish, in his late fourties. He’s a phlegmatic, a big thinker. He never speaks before thinking twice or thrice, which results in him being not very talkative. Rune likes family life, even if it’s predictable and monotonous, he hates any changes. He is a good person, though not the easiest to talk to, he seem to be constantly immersed deep down in his innermost world and barely notices what’s going on on the Earth. In fact though, he really cares about his loved ones and has a big heart, he is also very hardworking. He is a stocky man with shaggy, blonde but greying hair and gentle blue eyes with thick eyebrows. For some reason I think the guy named RUne I’m imagining has myopia.

Matilda – she’s a British teenager. Comes across as sour and rebellious, and rather isn’t liked, it seems even as if she would do everything to discourage people from talking to her or even just being around her. Sometimes can be really annoying with this attitude. In fact though, Matilda feels lost in her life, and often just doesn’t like herself. She’s capricious, fussy, moody, irritable, withdrawn and depressive. Though when she gets through this hard period, she becomes a much nicer and approachable person, with a lot of charm, that she doesn’t even know she has. Matilda is a slim redhead with green eyes and freckled face. She has often a very original style of dressing, and is generally a very extraordinary and quirky person.

Archibald – Archibald may be from Canada, I think. He is a guy in his 60’s. His hair used to be black, his eyes are brown, he has a beard and is a little overweight. He is a big man and still very strong, despite not being very young. He is incredibly determined, has strong will, is very proud and not the nicest of characters, however he’s very wise, fair and wants the best for his family, even if he seems unfeeling. He knows the worth of money and is quite rich. He doesn’t tolerate oposition and is very bossy.

Isabella – a woman in her 40’s, can be from anywhere actually. She is very beautiful and knows about it. She is tall, skinny, has blue eyes with long thick lashes and black hair. She is very feminine, likes dresses, high-heel shoes, is into lifestyle, health, fashion. May seem a bit shallow and vain. She is very sensitive and sophisticated though and is also interested in things like parapsychology or spirituality. She is a mum, and loves her kids. As a wife can be a bit difficult and make her husband feel jealous on purpose, she’s also very capricious and changeable. It is a very ambitious person, a real perfectionist.

Angelo – a Spanish guy in his twenties, he’s a Christian, has a heart of gold, is very energetic, an idealist. He loves music. He’s so much of an idealist that he may actually seem naive. He loves will all his heart and can do a lot for those he loves, he likes children and can work with them. Girls like him because he’s handsome and charming and always positive. He has dark brown eyes, almond-shaped brown eyes and very tanned skin, he’s not very tall, but well-built.

Isabel – she’s pretty much like Isabella, but more dynamic, and more passionate about life in general, a bit less egocentric. EMmanuel – a guy in his 30’s, with black hair, dark complexion and dark eyes. He is an artist, is very open-minded and generally thinks a lot. May seem a bit too detached at times. He has lots of great ideas, but too little will to realise them at times, though it doesn’t have to be a rule. He lacks spontaneity. EMmanuel is a very good advisor and always looks at things objectively.

How do you imagine them? 馃檪

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.

Hi guys. 馃檪

Here’s the last question from our little series about various people we know, and it’s inspired by the thread on Behind The Name message board. It’s to do strictly with names, and I realise not everyone has their own list of favourite names, the more other people to talk with them about it, but still I don’t think that the topic of names isn’t so very uncommon even for those who aren’t name geeks, so I decided to ask this question. So here it is, and my answer to it.

Have you ever known anyone who hates your very favourite names?

My answer:

Yeah, my Mum. I don’t know why actually, because pretty often we seem to have a bit similar styles in many things, but definitely not in names. We both like traditional names, but I also like some very original names and a lot of names from other cultures, and even the traditional Polish names which we like or some vintage ones are different in their feel. Sheesh, she even hates the name Jacek, despite it’s her husband’s name. I don’t think I could live for 20-ish years with someone whose name I’d hate. He’d have to be really really perfect in all other regards. And by the way, I think if I’d have a husband, and wanted to have kids, I’d also have to look for someone with the exact same taste with names as mine, or not colliding too much with mine haha. I can be a very conciliatory person usually, but I just can’t imagine naming my child a name I really dislike – even for a middle name – just because my husband likes it, and so many mums I know seem to do it. My Mum says my name tastes are to quirky and sophisticated for her. Whereas I can agree for sophisticated somewhat, because I like a lot of quite classy names, particularly for girls, but for boys too, I don’t think my tastes in names are really very quirky. Like I am quirky, and many things I like are quirky, but not necessarily names, I don’t like too much originality with them. Just a bit is OK. Also there are lots of name lovers I know, and I know quite a few whose tastes seem to be definitely different than mine.

How about you?


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More girl names, this or that?

Feel free to let me know which ones you prefer, keep your answers as short or long as you want.

Anna or Anya?

Becky or Nancy?

Carmen or Clare?

Catrin or Catreen?

Ela or Rafaela?

Elin or Else?

Frances or Flora?

Frida or Freda?

Greta or Meta?

Gretchen or Christa?

Helene or Elaine?

Linda or Lana?

Mairead or MCKinney?

Meinir or Marylee?

Melanie or Angelique?

Mell or Mel?

Octavia or Oona?

Sal贸me or Joelle?

Sarah or Deborah?

Sophie or Sofie?

Verena or Victoria?

My choices:

Anna or Anya?

Definitely Anna. I love Anna. It’s my Mum’s name, it’s also my middle name, and I know so many great women named Anna, it’s just a beautiful name full of personality, still being very universal at the same time.

Becky or Nancy?

Rather Nancy, but I’m not crazy about either.

Carmen or Clare?

Hm, maybe Clare? I much prefer Clara or actually Klara, or Clarissa, and am rather neutral as for both Carmen and Clare, but OK, let’s go with Clare.

Catrin or Catreen?

Catrin, Catrin, and once again Catrin. Catreen looks slightly weird and too creative to me, whilst Catrin is one of my favourite forms of Katherine. Ela or Rafaela?

I like both, but i have a sort of love hate relationship with Ela. It’s a cute, a bit magical sounding nickname, or even a full name if you want, but it’s so badly overussed in Poland as a nickname for only EL偶bieta – Elizabeth. There are so many names here with the -el sound, or ending with -ela, or starting with -el, but no, only El偶bietas are called Elas. El偶bieta is still quite a granny name, so it’s the nickname almost only used amongst women 50+. Nothing wrong with that, but just, it’s such a cool nickname, and could be really used more widely and creatively, and this way it’s becoming so prosaic. So as a form of rebellion, 馃榾 I’m going to pick Rafaela. It can be shortened to Ela as well, and Rafaela, although it could be perfectly usable in Poland, is hardly ever used. Rafaela is really cool, so energetic and full of temperament.

Elin or Else?

Elin, I love Elin. Else is cool too, but I prefer Elsa much much more, so I’ll stick with Elin. It’s both Swedish and Welsh name, so a sort of culture compromise of two of my favourite countries, and I know a few absolutely fabulous Elins from both countries and from Faroe Islands, and I have so many other brilliant associations with the name.

Frances or Flora?

Flora. Frances has some nice, classic, feminine charm, and I mostly like it because of Frances Hodgson Burnett, but Flora is just so beautiful and I like it much more.

Frida or Freda?

Frida. Not a big fan of both, but Frida is so very Scandinavian and I like its crispy -ri sound.

Greta or Meta?

Dislike both, but will pick Greta, because meta means finishing line in Polish, so quite weird for my Polish brain. Gretchen or Christa?

Rather Christa. I dislike both, but Christa a bit less.

Helene or Elaine?

Love both, but Elaine is more usable for me, and the Arthurian connections…

Linda or Lana?

Linda, definitely Linda. Maybe for many of you Linda sounds dated or something, as it was so extremely popular in the 40’s in the US and also pretty popular in the UK around the same time, but for me Linda still sounds rather unique. I had a friend at school named Linda and she is the only one Linda in Poland I know personally, it’s an extremely rare name here, and usually liked by people. Oh and one of my favourite groups of names are names ending in -linda, so if you know it, my choice isn’t a surprise for you. Also for me the name Linda has a bit of a Swedish twist, because Swedes seem to like this name as well, there are lots of LIndas there born around 1970 as far as I know.

Mairead or MCKinney?

Mairead. I quite like it. There are lots of Irish names I love, Mairead isn’t among those of my most favourite Irish names, but I still like it. NOt a fan of MCKinney, I’m not that crazy about surname names usually.

Meinir or Marylee?

Meinir.
Melanie or Angelique?

Both are so lovely… Really tricky. OK, I guess Angelique.

Mell or Mel?

Well not much difference haha, I think Mel, it looks more natural for some reason.

Octavia or Oona?

Oona, for the Irish connection, but Octavia is also very cool and elegant.

Sal贸me or Joelle?

Joelle, I love Joelle to pieces.

Sarah or Deborah?

Sarah, it might be boring and overlooked, but it’s a classic, I just like it.

Sophie or Sofie?

Ugh, awfully hard… … Sofie, I guess?
Verena or Victoria?

Victoria, but Verena is nice too, so fresh youthful. But then so is Victoria for me.

I’m curious about your picks. 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

This or that? A little q&A for my readers.

I’ve got a very spontaneous idea. I am curious about your name tastes, my dear readers, and so I’ve made a little q&a for you all, in the form of this or that, and you can answer in the comments – or make a separate post on your blog and pingback, if you prefer. I’m curious about which names you prefer. The names have either similar feel, or sound, or something else, some can sound a bit foreign, there are some Polish ones, some Scandinavian ones and some Celtic ones among the ENglish names, I tried to make it possibly diverse, and if you feel like it, you can also tell me why do you prefer certain name over the other and express your opinion about these names as I will do. Write as many or few details as you wish. If there is anyone who has one of the names I included, please don’t take neither my or any of others’ opinions too seriously, if someone has written something negative about their name or that they don’t like it, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you, there are tons of names and everyone has the right to like some and dislike others, and it isn’t related to the people bearing these names, so it’s absolutely not about name bashing or anything, just for fun. Just wanted to clarify, since so many people tend to feel indignant or hurt because of someone not liking their name or the same names they do. Though obviously we need to express our opinions politely, but that’s not a big news I guess. For now all the names are girl names, I can do a boy names post in future. You can find my answers at the bottom of the post. So here we go:
Annika or Anya?
Aoife or Grainne?
Catrin or Caitriona?
Chelsea or Michaela?
Diana or Lana?
Elan or Elle?
Ellie or Nelle?
Elsie or Ella?
Elvira or Elva?
Eva or Evie?
Gwenllian or Gwendoline?
Heidi or Heidy?
Heledd or Elen?
Helen or Cordelia?
Helena or Lucia?
Helene or Adeline.
Hellie or Hazeline?
Hollie or Annie?
Ingrid or Inga?
Louise or Isabella?
Maia or Kaia?
Margrete or Margrita?
Maria or Marina?
Marie or Marion?
Mine:
Annika or Anya?
I think Annika. Anya is cool, and similar to Enya, which I like, and also my Mum’s nickname is Anja, so I have quite nice associations, but I prefer the sound of Annika, and I have a very nice Swedish friend called Annika. Aoife or Grainne?
Hmm, I think Aoife is cute, it’s pronounced EE-fa and I like the way it sounds and how complicated its spelling is hahaha. Grainne is cool too, but AOife’s better. Chelsea or Michaela?
Both lovely, each in a different way for me… I’m gonna go with Michaela, but the way I pronounce it – mee-hah-E-lah – or mee-kah-E-lah, like in Scandinavia. I don’t like it pronounced the ENglish way like Makayla. I also like Michaela because it has so many great nicknames – including Misha.
Diana or Lana?
Not a big fan of either. I really dislike Diana pronounced in ENglish, don’t know why actually, but I do, Polish DYAH-nah is a bit snobbish imo, and we had a neighbour who had a dog named Diana, it’s not particularly popular for people here. I have the weird linguistical associations with lana… And also I associate it with Lana Weinberger from that Meg Cabot series “Princess Diary” or how was it called, she wasn’t the nicest person. Hmm, OK, I’ll choose Diana. Elan or Elle?
I don’t speak French, but I guess everyone knows Elle means “she” in French. I find it weird to call your girl “she”. I mean, I like the sound of the name Elle, but I’d rather use it as a diminutive of something longer. So I’m gonna go with Elan. It’s a Welsh name and it is the name of one of the sisters of my crush. Ellie or Nelle?
Both sooooo cute, but I’d rather use them as diminutives for Helena. Um, really tricky one… I guess Ellie… But I’m not sure. 馃榾 Elsie or Ella?
I guess Elsie is pretty much outdated, at least in US, isn’t it? But Ella is soooo popular. I like them both, but if something is so overused as Ella, it loses some charm for me, and this name could be really very charming, it has something magical to it. So I pick Elsie. I suppose that with all these E and El- names being more and more popular, and with so many vintage nicknames lovers Elsie will become more popular sooner or later. And I guess it already has quite a few fans in the UK. Elvira or Elva?
ELvira! Definitely Elvira! It’s lovely and unique, and so much my style. And Elva means eleven in Swedish. With my hatred for figures, numbers and all related I definitely can’t pick Elva, and I don’t know how Swedish parents can give this name to their kids, it’s like labelling your kids with numbers, isn’t it? I’ve heard Elva can also be derived from elves, but still Elvira’s way better for me. Eva or Evie?
Not a fan of either, but Evie’s slightly better.
Gwenllian or Gwendoline?
Gwenlian, ha, ha, ha. If it was Gwendolyn, not Gwendoline, I could think more, because I have a kinda soft spot for -lyn names, but in this case I’m all for Gwenllian. Heidi or Heidy?
Heidi. Heidy looks weirdly and unnecessarily anglicised to me. And Heidi is so quirky, so Scandinavian, so girly but strong, and I associate it with the Heidi from the Johanna Spyri book, like many people, I suppose. Heledd or Elen?
I love both, but Elen is a bit more girly and more accessible anywhere outside of Wales, where they both originate. Helen or Cordelia?
I love both, but Cordelia mainly because of Anne Of Green Gables associations, and that it can be nicknamed to Delia, which I like. I have many more reasons to love Helen, so I’m going with Helen. Helena or Lucia?
Love both, but Helena is my all time favourite and I just have to be loyal! Helene or Adeline?
I’m always a bit confused as for how to read Helene, should it be he-LEN or he-LE-ne or he-LE-nuh, or maybe e-LEN, and in which language, so Adeline is safer, and so sweet and lovely. And I love both. But I wouldn’t pronounce it with the -lien, rather -leen or -lin in the end. Hellie or Hazeline?
Both sound very hipster and so lovely and brave and quirky. But I’ll choose Hellie, it’s beautiful. Hollie or Annie?
Hollie.
Ingrid or Inga?
Inga.
Louise or Isabella.
Both are beautiful and classy, and in my opinion they have such a similar feel. I don’t think Louise is boring, although I realise how popular it is as a middle name in English-speaking countries. I think it’s sad people tend to overuse it so much as a middle name and don’t think about it as a first name option, it’s such a great first name, not just a filler without its own personality, so that’s unfair. But I think I’m going to choose Isabella, just because I like it that little little bit more. It’s very charming. Maia or Kaia?
I like Maia, and I’ll pick it, even though I have very awful associations with the related Maja. I’m rather neutral about Kaia, and Maia sounds really nice. Margrete or Margrita?
Hate both. Uh. OK, Margrete.
Maria or Marina?
Maria is a kind of stereotypical old lady name in Poland, coming back recently, and it’s just too popular for me, but Marina is completely not my style, so let’s go with Maria, it’s still a pretty and classic, traditional name and I know lots and lots of brilliant people with this name. Marie or Marion?
To me both sound very dated, and Marie is kinda boring because of how often it’s used as a middle name in many countries. But it still has some regal, French charm, and something classic and elegant about it, while Marion doesn’t say much to me, except it looks like Marian, which may be vintage and associated with Robin Hood in other countries, but in Poland it is a male name derived from Marianus, and sound very, very dated, sort of older uncle/grandpa name, definitely not ready for a come back, and isn’t quite liked, rather laughed at. so I pick Marie.
Looking forward to read your answers and learn more about your name tastes. 馃檪

Ideas needed.

I have a question for you guys.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot on adding something new to my blog and thought I could d something related to names. I’ve done a few name games in the past and wrote that post a few days ago about names and people’s personalities, and now I’m wondering what could it be and in what form. ANother series maybe? If series then it would appear weekly I think.

I absolutely love name games myself and I have a feeling that you enjoyed them too, particularly the first one I guess, but I’m not big at making them, unless I really have an inspiration, but usually I don’t have. Those two I’ve done in the past were actually based on patterns of other games as I told you. So name games could be a nice thing, but I just don’t think I could be systematic with it.

I also thought about some kind of more educational series where I’d pick one name and post its meaning, etymology, rankings and stuff, but am not sure whether there’s really a point in doing it, there are already a few blogs on WP about it.

Relating to the post about names and personalities I also thought about writing posts about particular names and traits they give people, or making such posts for your request.

Does any of these ideas appeal to you? Have you any suggestions as for how it could look like? Or maybe you have any other ideas about name posts I coul d make? Do you think there is a point in doing any kind of regular name posts or is it too niche?

Will be grateful for any suggestions cause I’d like it to be fun for you or something people will be interested in. 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.

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

A little name survey.

I’ve found this on the Internet and thought it could be fun to do it. This is not much about naming, but rather about names of other people. I’m curious what your answers will be. This is just for fun, plus I suppose we can have some unusual names here, even just because I’m Polish and live in Poland, so many of our names might be rather unfamiliar for people from English-speaking countries, and from other countries too. Feel free to participate and leave me your answers in the comments, or if you prefer make a pingback. Because these questions are often about people you know and their names, please only reveal what the question is about and don’t share their full name unless you’re sure they wouldn’t mind and it wouldn’t harm them in any way. OK so here we go:

1. What is your supervisor’s/manager’s first name?

Jacek. I work at my Dad’s company so he employs me and his name is Jacek. Jacek looks almost like Jack and they are both often confused, but in fact Jacek is Hyacinth in English.

2. What are the first names of your neighbours (that you know)?

Piotr (Peter) and Marzena (may be some slavicised form of Margaret), Wojciech and Joanna and the other couple of our neighbours whose names I don’t know have two daughters named Martyna (Martina) and Sandra.

3. What is the first name of the coworker closest (in proximity) to you?

Don’t have any coworkers, there is only my Dad and me in his company.

4. What is one of your doctors’/dentists’/etc. first name?

My endocrinologist’s name is Anna.

5. What was your childhood best friend’s first name?

Don’t know whom to choose because I was hanging out with a few friends and liked them a lot. They were Klaudia and Nikola, I also often talked with Oliwia and Maja… But I think I thought about Klaudia as my best friend. Oh and I was writing a lot online with a girl called Angelika.

6. What were your childhood best friend’s parents’ first names?

Klaudia’s parents were Monika and Krzysztof (Chrystopher).

7. Tell me the last name of someone you know that starts with an L.

Leszczy艅ski is my cousin’s hubby’s last name.

8. Tell me the last name of someone you know that starts with a B.

Bana艣 is my only Polish pen pal’s last name.

9. If you had to use a last name in your family tree for your child’s first name which would you choose?

This one made me laugh. Gosh our surnames aren’t usable at all as last names! I can’t even imagine that! 馃榾

10. What is a last name of any of your local TV journalists/weathermen/sports casters?

No idea. I hardly ever watch TV and if I do, it’s only because there’s some film that is really interesting for me, I don’t think I’ve watched any news on TV in a couple of years. If you asked me about radio, I think I’d be less clueless.

Your turn… 馃檪

Rename yourself.

So as promised, I’m posting the name game in which we’re going to rename ourselves completely. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Rules:

Your first name will depend on the second letter of your actual first name. Below are lists of names for both girls and boys with three names assigned for each letter. These aren’t names starting with this letter, but three possibilities of choice you have depending of your actual first name’s second letter.

As for the middle name, the choice will be based on the month of your birth. So go to the list of middle names for your gender, and pick one that you like the most or that fits you the most from three names assigned to your birth month.

Surname depends on the first letter of your actual surname, I’ve assigned a random surname to each of the letters.

If you still aren’t sure how to do it, see how I am doing it for myself below. To make it more challenging, you can’t change the spelling of names you choose.

And please do let me know in the comments how you renamed yourself, do you like it, does it fit you, or to which spelling you’d change it if you could, what nickname would you use. I’m very curious what will come out of this. ALso please let me know how did you like this game overall so if you’ll like it, I might make more name games in future, also with other types of names maybe, as many of these here are a bit unique and all oscillating around English-speaking countries, while there are also so many brilliant names in other languages.

And remember you don’t need to tell me your real name or anything personal, that’s not the case here.

OK, so here we go:

First names, girls.

  • A – Katelyn, Lenore, Hanna.
  • B – Joy, Deirdre, Mae.
  • C – Harper, Larissa, Euphemia.
  • D – Ashlyn, Sibyl, Tabby.
  • E – Simone, Lauressa, Skye.
  • F – Isabelle, Sunshine, Topaz.
  • G – Avalon, Sheenagh, Leatrice.
  • H – Nan, Angelle, athena.
  • I – Danielle, Raquel, Christianne.
  • J – Leann, Eleanor, Mandy.
  • K – Rachel, Vera, Rita.
  • L – Louisa, Fallon, Beatrice.
  • M – Cathy, Nellie, Marybeth.
  • N – Whitney, Prue, Quintella.
  • O – Rowanne, Lyndsey, Naomi.
  • P – Caitlyn, Wynona, Angelina.
  • Q – Elissa, Stone, Susan.
  • R – Meagan, Charity, Tilda.
  • S – Candy, Catelin, Vickie.
  • T – Tamela, Maureen, Camryn.
  • U – Alisia, Livia, Deloris.
  • V – Katie, Lizzie, Totty.
  • W – Rue, Ethelyn, Petronel.
  • X – Michaela, Elea, Ina.
  • Y – Pip, Shari, Bettice.
  • Z – Rosie, Rebeccanne, Christabelle.

First names, boys.

  • A – alex, Joel, Phoenix.
  • B – Kevin, Sinclair, Ezekiel.
  • C – Cullen, York, Clancy.
  • D – Alexander, Grahame, Nelson.
  • E – Lowell, Michael, Jack.
  • F – Callum, Raine, Ruben.
  • G – Wilhelm, Reece, Maxwell.
  • H – Ford, Ranulph, Desmond.
  • I – Lyndon, Ingram, Phil.
  • J – Franklyn, Emory, MCKenzie.
  • K – Lucius, Rolf, Christian.
  • L – Luke, Gordon, Lucian.
  • M – Gabriel, Zachary, Fulke.
  • N – Ethelred, Olaf, Jacob.
  • O – Linton, Riley, Ozzie.
  • P – Lachlan, Cameron, Christopher.
  • Q – Claud, Royce, Stevie.
  • R – Benjamin, Jackson, Grey.
  • S – Louis, Brennan, Rain.
  • T – Rowan, Nathaniel, Cliff.
  • U – Xander, Merlin, Jeff.
  • V – Charlie, Nicholas, Farrell.
  • W – Dashiell, Bill, Clay.
  • X – Landon, Mike, Leo.
  • Y – William, Delbert, Vincent.
  • Z – Lewis, Albert, Lucas.

Middle names, girls.

  • January – Angelica, Carmel, Merrilyn.
  • February – Gloriana, Ginger, Josephine.
  • March – Veronica, Celestine, Modesty.
  • April – Missie, Lizette, Kerenza.
  • May – Christy, Lori, Dulcie.
  • June – Jeanette, Hyacinth, Happy.
  • July – Renae, Elyzabeth, Ida.
  • August – Dory, Crystal, Tory.
  • September – Anemone, Cindy, Hortense.
  • October – Libbie, Honour, Jodie.
  • November – Emelia, Sarah, Aileen.
  • December – Ursella, Lilly, Nettie.

Middle names, boys.

  • January – Ocean, Ramsey, Peter.
  • february – arwel, Torquil, Cornell.
  • March – Dillon, Karl, Ross.
  • April – Clifford, Ariel, Odin.
  • May – Neely, Garland, Glen.
  • June – Joyce, Lionel, Roswell.
  • July – Devon, Samuel, Smith.
  • August – Mel, Emmanuel, Montague.
  • September – Jeffery, Cornelius, Griffith.
  • October – River, Timmy, Geordie.
  • November – Geoffrey, Reynard, Tim.
  • December – Crispin, Greer, Daniel.

Surnames.

  • A – Randal.
  • B – Wallis.
  • C – Wilcox.
  • D – Garrard.
  • E – Fortune.
  • F – Alberts.
  • G – Chamberlain.
  • H – Mulvihill.
  • I- Gillingham.
  • J – Cook.
  • K – Neil.
  • L – Merrill.
  • M – Fanhope.
  • N – Eccleston.
  • O – Bernard.
  • P – Payne.
  • Q – Dickinson.
  • R – Fisher.
  • S – Davis.
  • T – Humphrey.
  • U – Fairburn.
  • V – Blackwell.
  • W – Milward.
  • X – Kelsey.
  • Y – Blakeley.
  • Z – Williams.

Mine.

So my name is Emilia. The second letter in my name is M, which means I can choose my new first name from Cathy, Nellie and Marybeth. Honestly I like them all to some degree, but the only one that doesn’t seem to clash with my personality and looks is Nellie. So I choose Nellie. Yippee! I must say I really like those kind of vintage, sweet nicknames of girly names. I think I would prefer to have some longer name like Helena or Cornelia and then go by Nellie, but it’s really OK, I think I would quickly get used to being Nellie.

My middle name. I was born in February, so I can choose from Gloriana, Ginger and Josephine. Mmmm… Definitely not Ginger. Quite cool name, but not my style and would clash so brutally with me so that people wouldn’t even believe I’m Ginger. 馃榾 Josephine is nice and similar feel to Nellie I suppose, but… I have an impression it doesn’t go well with Nellie. Nellie Josephine… I don’t know. And it doesn’t really suit me I think. OK, I’m gonna pick Gloriana. It doesn’t sound perfect with Nellie either, but it is a pretty name, kind of princessy, not quite like me, but not so very different, I like it.

My surname starts with Z, so simply my new surname would be Williams. Nellie Williams… I think it’s fine. Nellie Gloriana Williams not so much, but I’ve seen worse sets, I wouldn’t be unhappy with that as I like both these names, even if they don’t play very well together.

I’m very curious how you guys will rename yourself.

The names to this game I took from here

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.