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.

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 (5th May).

Would you ever consider naming your child after yourself, so she/he would be a “junior”? What would you think if this custom came back?

My answer:

Back when I was still using my birth name, and didn’t really think seriously about changing it, despite I did already think about myself as Emilia and loved this name, I thought that maybe if I had a daughter, I could call her Emilia instead. But now, even if I wouldn’t change my name to Emilia, it doesn’t seem a good idea for me. I think I would feel like something is not right if I did that. I could give my potential daughter my name as a middle, but probably wouldn’t, despite it is a kind of custom in our family and our region. I find it nice but boring.

Emilia is also a really hot name at the moment, I guess quite a bit more popular than among girls my age, not far below the top 10 and rising, and with Amelia being #9 and other -lia names in close proximity, and that’s off-putting for me for a baby name. As for this custom in general, of naming children after parents, like using a parent’s first name as a child’s first name, it’s not really common in Poland. I remember when I was a child, Olek told me about his class teacher “You know, you would get along with my class teacher, she likes the name Jacek, just as you, her husband is Jacek, and her son is Jacek too!”. 😀 And we were both like WOW! That’s crazy! How does she tell them apart? She really must love that name. So, I’d say it’s not really normal here. If you want to name your child after yourself or your spouse, use your name as their middle name. OK, my Dad wanted to call me Anna, after my Mum, but that’s probably why he didn’t in the end, because it’s her name already and because it’s not normal. But since I am now pretty familiar with lots of weird naming customs all around the world and especially in the English-speaking countries, it doesn’t really impress me and I don’t mind it, if someone wants it, it’s not my business. I just think it’s a little bit boring because there are so many beautiful names out there. Why limiting ourselves to just a handful?! Because I can see that if a parent names their child after themself, and a lot of people start to follow that trend, their children will likely do the same, and then naturally people’s names might suddenly become really boring and repetitive. I even have a problem with this middle names tradition over here, that everyone needs to have their parent’s name as a middle almost obligatorily, even though I do love my middle name after my Mum, I feel like it doesn’t allow creativity, especially that you can have only one middle in Poland if you’re a Polish citizen, not counting confirmation or a few traditional/obsolete hyphenated exceptions. Also, I can’t ignore the baby namer in me shouting “NO!” because as a firm believer in that a name carries a personality, or at least a strong potential influence on a person with itself, I just can’t help but feel that if you call your child after yourself, he or she may feel kind of unconsciously forced to be like you! To fulfill your expectations, follow your footsteps, won’t feel their own sense of identity, or at least that their name doesn’t belong fully to them. I was named after a close family member and my Mum’s best friend at the same time (they both shared a name), and still felt that way, like they want me to be someone I’m not, so how must a person named after their parent feel? That’s how I see it, you don’t have to agree with me and I’m pretty sure many people wouldn’t. So if someone would ask me for an advice regarding this, I’d say yes, you can, but if your name is easily nicknamed, try to find a different nickname for him, even if it’s just one letter or syllable more/less or a slightly altered spelling or let him have a nickname unrelated to the nickname that he likes and can go by daily, you’ll have to try to show your child that you embrace who he comes to be, that you accept him as he is and you’ll have to really stress that in his upbringing and make sure his personality develops harmoniously. I feel though like there really is a risk of some kind of disharmony between your own individuality and the way your family influences you. On a little different note, it’s just a little thought and it doesn’t mean that I have a problem with people naming their kids after themselves or am prejudiced but in a way it kinda feels a bit selfish to me. ‘Cause generally if we name our children after someone, we admire that person, or want to honour them because of something. So it feels slightly as if someone had a bit too large an ego. 😀

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (23rd March).

Hey people! 🙂

Oh God that was such a weird week for me really. Don’t know if I’ll be writing anything about it, it’s very complicated and I’m terribly ambivalent about the whole thing, but if I will, not now I guess, need to think about it. The definitely positive thing is that I got to finally finish my Welsh course for good, and now I’m doing very advanced stuff, or so it feels for me, my brain is all steaming and burning.

So let’s get to our overdue questions of the day.

Are you named after anyone? If you had to choose, who would you be named after in your family?

My answer:

My original (birth) name was after my Mum’s friend, and my aunt –
Mum’s sister, they both had the same name – though if you know me a bit better you know that I changed it, and my middle name Anna is after my Mum, and I’m very happy about it, although that wasn’t very creative because in our area most people have their middles after their parents first names, Zofijka’s middle name is also Anna, I’m curious what would they come up with otherwise. I certainly wouldn’t like Anna to be my first name, it’s so typical and universal and although it’s absolutely beautiful, I just wouldn’t like to be one of millions of ANnas in the world, plus I think that the sort of default nickname in Poland – ANia –
takes away lots of charm from very elegant and sophisticated sounding Anna and makes it shallow, I definitely wouldn’t like to be an Ania, and being an Anna in Poland I would inevitably be called Ania by almost everyone pretty much automatically. If my first name was Anna, I would like to be called just that, Anna, but that would be quite unusual here, where people like to nickname most names, especially if I was a kid, I doubt anyone would call me by my full name. 😀 But I’m digressing horribly hahaha. So yeah, I’m named after my Mum, and I’m OK with it. But if I had to choose another person from my family to be named after, I would go with my grandma – Helena. – I just love this name, and I’d like to be named after her. And I could keep my middle name happily. I could be also Anna Helena, but, as I said, as long as they’d call me Anna, or maybe even (a bit fancifully) with my both names, that would be cool, albeit a little snobbish I guess to always go by Anna Helena. 😀 Not quite normal here.

OK, so how about you? 🙂

Another round of This Or That, still with girl names.

OK, so because as I mentioned today, we have a holiday in Poland, let’s have some fun with the new round of this or that I’ve just made up, as always, if you’re willing to participate, just leave me your choices in the comments, and feel free to add your opinions on names if you feel like it, you can also make a response to this post on your own blog if you wish so, and you’ll find my answers and opinions after the list of names.

Ailbhe or Alleyne?

Aine or Aoife?

Alva or Ava?

Amie or Jami?

Ann or Anne?

Beth or Bobbi?

Camille or Catharine? Catherine or Christina?

Cathy or Christie?

Chantal or Shantel?

Chelsea or Amelia?

Christel or Evelyn?

Dagny or Dagmar?

Elaine or Elsie?

Eva or Edna?

Hannah or Harper?

Hattie or Nettie?

Heather or Holly?

Helene or Elvira?

Hilde or Hilma?

Hildur or Hermine?

Hope or Honey?

Ingrid or Sigrid? Lleucu or Leeah?

Marte or Milzie?

Molly or Kelly?

Nia or Nyah?

Sally or Polly?

Tiana or Tiara?

My choices:

Ailbhe or Alleyne?

Ailbhe. It’s pronounced like Alva. It’s certainly ot one of my favourite Irish names, but I just prefer it over Alleyne, as for Alleyne I actually think it’s pretty masculine-sounding.

Aine or Aoife?

Aoife.

Alva or Ava?

Alva, not a fan of either but I really dislike Ava.

Amie or Jami?

Both are cute, but I like Jamie for both genders, and the spelling Jami is nice too for a girl. Ann or Anne?

Anne sounds moe elegant and complete.

Beth or Bobbi?

Beth, Bobi was my dog’s name, I don’t think about it as a serious name for a child, or maybe it can be OK for a child, but not so much for an adult person in all kinds of circumstances and life situations.

Camille or Catharine?

I love love love Camille.

Catherine or Christina?

Catherine.

Cathy or Christie?

Cathy, though both are nice as nicknames.

Chantal or Shantel?

Shantel, but not very enthusiastically.
Chelsea or Amelia?

Um, both are lovely but also have their downsides to me… I guess Amelia, it’s more classy.

Christel or Evelyn?

I love both, but Evelyn much more.

Dagny or Dagmar?

Dagmar, but not a big fan of either.

Elaine or Elsie?

Elaine, because of Celtic and Arthurian connotations, though ELsie’s cute.

Eva or Edna?

Uh, I guess Edna, but I dislike both.
Hannah or Harper?

Harper, because of the harp.

Hattie or Nettie?

Both are cute, but I much prefer Hattie.

Heather or Holly?

Holly.

Helene or Elvira?

I guess Helene, but I love both so it’s a hard choice.

Hilde or Hilma?

Hilma. That Finnish charm.

Hildur or Hermine?

I love Hermine. Would prefer Herminia, but Hermine’s awesome too.

Hope or Honey?

Hope.
Ingrid or Sigrid?
Hm, I can’t say I love them, but I like them both a lot because of lots of great Nordic associations, and they’re certainly beautiful. I guess I like Sigrid slightly more. Lleucu or Leeah?

Lleucu, yeah, I know it’s tricky, it’s a Welsh name, the ll at the beginning is a bit lispy, it sounds a bit like hl, or at least that’s how it’s usually described phonetically in English. And u sounds similarly to ee, so it’s like HLAY-kee, but it’s a very rough description, you’d just have to hear it. As for Leeah, I am not a big fan of Leah (with one e), with two ee’s it looks kinda more whimsical to me, even though I’m generally not a fun of such spelling creativity, so I like Leeah a bit more than Leah, but still, Lleucu’s better. Oh and I forgot to add that Lleucu is a form of Lucy. Doesn’t look (and definitely doesn’t sound) like Lucy, does it?

Marte or Milzie?

I must admit I haven’t heard of Milzie at all before preparing this list, I was using a few different list as an inspiration and got the names of very different places. I couldn’t find where it derives from, but I just love it. I certainly wouldn’t use it for a child in any circumstances, but it is such a playful nickname, and from now on, definitely a guilty pleasure name of mine. I like to think about it as a fanciful nickname for Melissa or names like Amelia, Camilla, Emily, Matilda, or Emilia. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind to be called Milzie at times hahaha. Marte is very dynamic, youthful and energetic and ages well, but also suits a little girl, but it’s not much my style.

Molly or Kelly?

I love Kelly.

Nia or Nyah?

For those of you who are confused, Nia is pronounced NEE-ah. I prefer Nia. A lot.

Sally or Polly?

I guess Sally, but both are nice and vintage.

Tiana or Tiara?

Neither is my style, I guess Tiana’s a bit more usable. Tiara sounds actually very weird for me as a name. Which of these would you choose? 🙂


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More girl names, this or that?

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

Anna or Anya?

Becky or Nancy?

Carmen or Clare?

Catrin or Catreen?

Ela or Rafaela?

Elin or Else?

Frances or Flora?

Frida or Freda?

Greta or Meta?

Gretchen or Christa?

Helene or Elaine?

Linda or Lana?

Mairead or MCKinney?

Meinir or Marylee?

Melanie or Angelique?

Mell or Mel?

Octavia or Oona?

Salóme or Joelle?

Sarah or Deborah?

Sophie or Sofie?

Verena or Victoria?

My choices:

Anna or Anya?

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

Becky or Nancy?

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

Carmen or Clare?

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

Catrin or Catreen?

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

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

Elin or Else?

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

Frances or Flora?

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

Frida or Freda?

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

Greta or Meta?

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

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

Helene or Elaine?

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

Linda or Lana?

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

Mairead or MCKinney?

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

Meinir or Marylee?

Meinir.
Melanie or Angelique?

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

Mell or Mel?

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

Octavia or Oona?

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

Salóme or Joelle?

Joelle, I love Joelle to pieces.

Sarah or Deborah?

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

Sophie or Sofie?

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

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

I’m curious about your picks. 🙂

Question of the day.

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

My answer:

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

How about you? 🙂