Instead of question of the day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question of the day.

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

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

   My answer: 

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

   HOw about your twins? 🙂 

Question of the day.

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

   My answer: 

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

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

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

   How about you? 🙂 

Question of the day (15th February).

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

   My answer: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

This or that (name game with different spellings).

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

Violet or Violette?

Juliet or Juliette?

Katelyn or Caitlin?

Adeline or Adalyn?

Amelia or Amilia?

Louisa or Luiza?

Isla or Ayla (EYE-luh)?

Evelyn or Evalyn?

Cecilia or Cecelia?

Maisie or Maisy?

Mae or May?

Aria or Ariyah?

Wren or Ren?

Emmeline or Emmalyn?

Lucy or Lucie?

Lily or Lillie?

Claire or Clare?

Jane or Jayne?

Lila or Lyla?

Elizabeth or Elisabeth?

Amelie or Amalie?

Seraphina or Serafina?

Sofie or Sophie?

Ariel or Arielle?

Caroline or Carolyn?

Sophia or Sofia?

Zoe or Zoey?

Finn or Fionn (FINN)?

Felix or Feliks?

Greyson or Grayson?

Lucas or Lukas?

Martin or Martyn?

Oscar or Oskar?

Phillip or Filip?

Michael or Mychael?

Emmanuel or Emanuel?

Callum or Calum?

Alasdair or Alistair?

Eric or Erik?

Paul or Pól?

Glen or Glyn?

Tommy or Tomi?

Stephen or Steven?

Mine:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zoe or Zoey? Undisputably Zoe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael or Mychael? – Michael for sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question of the day.

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

here,

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

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

Alright, let’s do it:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat: Euphemia (Fiffi).

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

And what do you choose for yours? 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your turn. 🙂

Question of the day.

What are/have been your nicknames, if any?

My answer:

Well, I’ve had a lot of them. Most importantly Bibiel, which y’all probably know about already. Before Bibiel, there was Bisbis, or Biśbiś in Polish spelling. It was Sofi who came up with both. When she was very little, and I was 10 or so, I used to listen a lot to Polish Radio BIS which no longer is a thing (BIS was the acronym for Bardzo Inna Stacja –
Very Different Station – it was a radio station aimed at young people, with a lot of “weird” music like alternative, reggae, hip-hop, folk, what not… they also had a lot of educational programmes for example for learning languages). I really liked this station and I really liked the word Bis (pronounced like bees but with s in the end, not z, so that it rhymes with peace). I made tons of neologisms using it, with the word Bis itself in my “language” meaning either any child of any age, or anyone who was, to put it briefly, more or less cool and I liked them so that they deserved being a Bis. Naturally then, I often called Sofi Bis and I couldn’t wait for her to be able to speak so that she’d learn to say the word Bis. 😀 She quickly picked it up and associated the word Bis with me, so that when she started to say her first words and using different words to refer to all of us in the family, she started calling me Biśbiś (most children raised with Polish will say ś instead of s as they learn to speak, ś is like the English sh but a little bit softer). I considered it really funny and cool and it stuck for a really long time. Then I started using Bisbis as my username online so some other people started calling me that too, and even I started talking about myself in the third person as Biśbiś, when I felt like doing so, and later Bibiel, as you know. I’d already had a tendency for referring to myself in the third person sometimes, but not all the time, just when I sort of felt like it sounded better for whatever reason. Then when Sofi was older, and saying Biśbiś all the time felt childish and sometimes a bit of a mouthful (she said it like Bibiś most of the time anyway and so did I), she started contracting it to Bib (kinda like you’d say beep in English 😀 ). We considered it super funny at the time. We both always make up a lot of words and nicknames for each other spontaneously (and now for Misha too), so a lot of other things have also evolved from both Biśbiś and Bib, but they didn’t stuck quite as much. And when she was already going to school, she, spontaneously as always, came up with Bibiel. I didn’t like it at first ’cause it sounded almost like Bieber or something like that but then I ended up liking it a lot and started using it myself. And I still do. I tried to use Bibielka in Polish or Bibielle in English ’cause that sounds more feminine but somehow it never stuck permanently, but I still sometimes spell it Bibielle and sometimes Bibiel, however I fancy really, it’s not a real word so who needs a fixed spelling rule. My Dad also calls me Bibiel, and other people when they feel like it.

Some people also called me Bisia before, mostly at school, which is an actual name, or rather an actual diminutive from names like Sabina or Balbina or Bibianna (there’s even an Arabella in the book series by Małgorzata Musierowicz who goes by Bisia sometimes), for me though, obviously it was to do with the Bis thing.

I also had a lot of other nicknames along the way that I either wanted people to call me or people called me spontaneously, and an absolute load of nicknames that Sofi has come up with, not all necessarily being variations on the Bis/Bib theme.

As for nicknames coming from my name, typically people nickname it to Emilka because that seems to be the most default Polish nickname of Emilia. Only my parents don’t particularly like it, my Mum because she had a hard time getting used to it at the beginning when I changed my name and then she said it’s too “farting sweet” (farting sweet in my Mum’s terminology means that something is too sweet to bear), so she prefers to call me Emi or Mila or Milka and sometimes Emisia (which I think is actually even more sweet but okay, I don’t mind either way). You may or may not know that, since I’ve got Misha, I often use the name Emisha online ’cause it sounds like a legit name and it’s a fun combination. It was my Mum who originally came up with that and now when she knows that Misha and me are together she’ll call us “Emisha!”. My Dad doesn’t like Emilka because he says it sounds like e-Milka, as if there was such a thing as an electronic Milka, the chocolate. I think he prefers to call me Bibiel because he hasn’t fully accepted my name change, or rather, can’t wrap his mind around why I’d even want to do so. He usually also calls me Emi when he doesn’t call me Bibiel, but sometimes he also calls me Emil kinda sarcastically which is both funny and annoying. Some English-speaking peeps have called me Millie and Jacek from Helsinki called me Milla most often. And one of my penfriends calls me Milzie sometimes.

My Dad is another person who always has loads of nicknames for people, most of them don’t really mean anything specific or sometimes they’re vaguely inspired by Kashubian words or something like that, and if you doon’t know him, often from the sound of these creations you could assume that they are actually insults. 😀

And my grandad sometimes calls me X-ray because of my apparent skills at “reading” people.

And, of course, I’d had several nicknames that people called me back when I still used my birth name, but since I don’t share my birth name on here, I won’t say the nicknames either.

So yeah, I guess that’s it.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

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

My answer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And how about your triplets? 🙂

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

Hi people! 🙂

Nancy at

Nancy’s Baby Names

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

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

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

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

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

My answer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question of the day.

Hey people! 🙂

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

My answer:

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

So, how about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

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

My answer:

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

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

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

One-syllable names

Even though I am closer to be the kind of person who is more likely to gravitate towards Anastasias, Fiammettas, Leonardos, Zachariahs and the like, I think some of the one-syllable names are really endearing, and, after all, my most favourite male name ever – Jack – belongs to this category, hence I thought I’d share this post of Carrie-Anne’s with you guys.
Which one-syllable names are your favourite?
My most favourite of this list – except for Jac(k) that I’ve mentioned – are: Rhys (I prefer this spelling over Reese for both genders) Anne, Belle, Luz, Lyn(n(e)), Nell, Peace, Cliff, Finn, Flynn, John, Luke and Myles.

Onomastics Outside the Box

While some people gravitate towards long, flowery, ornate, multisyllabic names like Anastasia, Fiammetta, Leonardo, and Zachariah, others have a naming style which favours short, simple, and to the point. Towards that end, here are some names which fit the bill.

For the sake of relative brevity, I won’t be including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese names. One-syllable names are the overwhelming rule in those languages, whereas they’re fairly less common in Indo–European languages.

Unisex:

Bay
Blake (I know this is traditionally male, but I was introduced to it through a female character on Guiding Light)
Dale
Drew
Lee
Quinn
Rain
Reese
Shai, Shay (means “gift” in Hebrew and completely separate from the male Irish name Shea/Shay)

Female:

Anne
Belle
Blaire
Blanche
Blythe
Bree, Brie
Brooke
Bryn, Brynn
Claire
Dawn
Dove
Eve

Faith
Fawn
Fern
Fleur
Gayle, Gail
Grace
Hope
Iynx (INKS), an obscure Greek love goddess. The English forms are…

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My Jackophilia.

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

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

Question of the day.

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

My answer:

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

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (17th August).

Have you come across many people who share your name?

My answer:

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

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

Question of the day (16th August).

So, another name related question of the day is:

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

My answer:

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

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

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

You? 🙂

Question of the day (15th August).

Hey guys! 🙂

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

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

My answer:

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

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

So, what are your experiences? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

A quirky name related question for you today:

Has anyone ever told you that you don’t look like your name? Like: “You’re Mary? You don’t look like a Mary!” and if so, did they suggest what name you did look like?

My answer:

Don’t know if it was more about looks, or character/personality/behaviour, or perhaps both, but yes, my own mother, who gave me my birth name, told me that. 😀 Isn’t it a bit ironic?! When I told my Mum for the first time that I really liked the name Emilia, she told me that actually, she doesn’t feel like my birth name suits me, and if she was to make that decision again, she wouldn’t give it to me, and that Emilia did feel kind of better though she didn’t know what she’d rename me if she could and had to make her own choice. She said a strange thing, that when she mentions me or talks about me with someone and uses my name, it feels like she’s talking and thinking about two different people. 😀 That sounded weird, but felt even more weird for me because it corresponded with my feeling when people talked to me using my birth name. It felt as if they thought I am someone different, like I need to change my behaviour and the way I act to suit their expectations and their view of me. And there are still people who call me my birth name, and in most cases I get it because it’s family and if you’d always known someone by a certain name it’s hard to suddenly change it, and I still get this feeling when they call me my birth name, I didn’t know why it is so but I always felt a kind of annoyance when someone called me by my birth name, and there was some weird dissonance or something, I guess. Another weird thing here was that apparently when I was born, my gran asked Mum if she’d already picked a name for me. Mum said that she was hesitating, and she suggested Emilia. My gran! I was really surprised when I heard that because, well, my gran has five children, and looking at their names, her naming taste appears to be completely different and I can’t imagine her liking the name Emilia. Of course it was a different time when her children were born, late 50’s-early 70’s, and the name Emilia would be a bit more unusual then, but still… quite unbelievable for me even after a couple years since I learnt about that. Also I’ve never had a particularly close relationship with her, if any at all. That doesn’t mean we don’t like each other or anything, just can’t connect on any deeper level, we’re pretty glaringly different kinds of people, other than that we both seem to like the name Emilia. 😀 She didn’t comment though, or at least not to me directly and not so that I would know, about my name change.

And then there is my aunt, after whom I was named, who says I absolutely don’t fit the name Emilia. And I guess I know why she thinks so. Simply because most of my extended family, who knew me by my birth name, and don’t see me often enough and don’t know me well enough to feel familiar with the change even after about four years, still call me my birth name. And, among them, I don’t feel like an Emilia or not fully. I still feel like I have to play that other girl they want, don’t know why really because I’m not that desperate for their acceptance, maybe it’s just something that I can’t get rid of, or maybe it’s some coping/defensive strategy or whatever. I only feel fully like an Emilia when I’m with people I’m feeling at least a bit of a closer connection and like we get each other, or when I’m on my own, or doing what I love, or with people who don’t know me at all so don’t have any rooted assumptions/prejudices/expectations towards me.

Aside from that, when I was a kid in nursery, I met a woman who constantly called me Anna, and I didn’t correct her, but at some point someone else did, and she was like: “Oh really?! I’m sorry, I must have forgotten. But you look so much like an Anna!”. 😀 I also had a teacher who once renamed me, I assume either on purpose and jokingly or because he forgot my real name but still wanted to call me something, and he called me Maryla. 😀 I am 100% sure he didn’t think that was my real name, because… I don’t know how to explain it really haha… well I guess because it’s one of those names with a really kind of dusty, outdated feel, that aren’t bad or that don’t have any common bad associations but that most people just don’t like. So the likelihood of me or my equal being called Maryla is like if your average kid in an American school was called Muriel for example (I love Muriel but I’ve heard there are also many people in the US who hate it). 😀 A girl standing next to me immediately said in a very serious voice that I am not Maryla, but he was laughing and like: “No? What a pity. But from now on she’ll be. She looks so to me”. That was kinda funny, although, trying to be objective, I couldn’t and still can’t think of anything in myself that could make me seem like an average Maryla. 😀 And the girl beside me was even more confused than me. 😀 The guy was generally quite bizarre though.

Also a girl from our neighbourhood whom I used to play for some time when we were children once said a similar thing, though not exactly that I don’t look like my name. We were playing some make-believe game and I picked the name Helena for myself in it, and she was like: “Oh Helena, you’re really like a Helena!”. I do love Helena to pieces, but I’d go mad if someone called me Hela, if it was my name, and that would be highly likely. And I’m not really convinced Helena would fully suit me, I think you need to be a bit more expressive than I am to be a good example of a Helena and in harmony with this name, not extroverted, but just a bit more expressive, more engaging with other people I’d say, and maybe a bit impulsive too which I’m normally not at all.

OK, so how about you? Have you ever been renamed like that? 😀