It's a Wonderful Name

Dec 23rd 2010

As you settle in with a favorite Christmas movie, join me in a little reverie.

You were one of four Jennifers in your seventh-grade English class. You were Jen C. in college. Even out in the working world, you felt that your name was just a placeholder. It didn't set you apart; it wasn't memorable; it didn't reflect what made you uniquely you. If only your parents had been more creative. If only they'd imagined the possibilities of a non-Jennifer future, with name that would make people sit up and take notice...hey, who's that beatific fellow?

Yes, it's your own personal name angel. Call him Klarynce. Klarynce listens to your name woes. He understands. And he offers you the tantalizing chance to live out your "if onlys." Say the word, and he'll rewrite naming history, giving you the life you would have lived with the name of your dreams.

Do you take him up on it? And if so, what name do you choose?


With best wishes of the season,

Laura

Comments

1
By C C & B's Mom (not verified)
December 23, 2010 11:31 PM

I can't imagine changing my name. I really like my first and last names and my middle name is just OK. But it just seems like me - I rarely think of my name as a name it is just who I am.

2
By raabia (not verified)
December 23, 2010 11:35 PM

I think I would have preferred to have a more traditional spelling of my name (Rabia instead of Raabia). It's Persian so most people aren't familiar with it anyway, but the double-a spelling confuses people even more.

I kind of cringe when I see parents give their children names with unconventional and unintuitive spellings. It's just such a headache.

Other than that, I have a two aunts with really neat names: Zora and Atlas. I wouldn't have minded being named after one of them, but otherwise I'm happy with my name.

3
By Jenne (not verified)
December 23, 2010 11:38 PM

Yes, I'm one of those Jennifers!

I would like to be named something really awesome and epic-sounding, like Athena or Juno.

4
By Mara (not signed in) (not verified)
December 23, 2010 11:52 PM

My name is Mara and, with the exception about about a week when I was 10 and wanting to be a "normal" Jessica, I have always loved it.

I get complimented on it on a weekly basis. I worked as a kid, a teen, and now a (young?) adult at 28. I feel good putting it on a resume and it suits my work in design.

My mother combined the names of my grandmothers MAry and noRA though it's pronounced mahr-ruh not mare-uh. It means "sea" in Gaelic and she liked that it wouldn't feel too strange in most languages.

The only downside is that it's just unusual enough to get mispronounced 50% of the time and I never even give people the chance to spell it. I say, "Mara, em aye are aye."

5
By Mara (not signed in) (not verified)
December 23, 2010 11:52 PM

Oops - IT* worked as a kid.

And it goes without saying that I would not change it.

6
By Kari
December 24, 2010 12:18 AM

I've wanted to change my name my whole life. I got the more unconventional spelling of "Kari" and have always preferred "Carrie". I've been using that spelling for years now and I'm contemplating legally changing the spelling, or perhaps just changing my full name to Caroline, because I've always wished I had a more formal sounding name to put on things.

7
By lia
December 24, 2010 12:48 AM

When I was a kid, yes, definitely - no one ever knew how to pronounce my name, I could never use it on waiting list at restaurants. I used to give fake names (Lia is one). I loved the fact that my name represented my Indian heritage, but hated that the correct pronunciation of the vowels didn't have a counterpart in English. I wished my parents had chosen a name that could be pronounced correctly in both cultures, like Maya or Sheena.

As I grew up, I got used to the blank looks people would get after I introduced myself. One girl even looked at me and said "I can't say that. Do you have a nickname?" I can't say it got easier, but somewhere along the road it stopped mattering so much.

8
By Thea (not verified)
December 24, 2010 12:49 AM

I can relate with most of your comment, despite having a totally different name.

Mine is also one that is mispronounced 50% of the time (it's THAY-uh, but most folks call me THEE-uh), so I, too, automatically spell it for people.

For a while in elementary school, I wanted to be a Chelsea, but I, like you, now love my name. It's suited me through the various stages of my life, and I really don't think I'd change it, Christmas wish or no.

9
By T is for Trista (not verified)
December 24, 2010 1:45 AM

Growing up I went through a period of wanting to be called Cassandra. (Wayne's World, anyone?) My name is Trista. I really liked it growing up and occasionally get compliments on it. It's only now that I'm older that I realize how 80's it really was/is. The hardest thing is being called Trisha. I was the only one with my name in my class though so that was good.

I'd like to be Cordelia. Or . . . Cecilia! That would be fun.

10
December 24, 2010 3:28 AM

My name was #7 the year I was born, since my mom LOVES my name I would never change it completely, I'd just like to pick a more formal variant.

If I wasn't worried about hurting anyone's feelings, I'd be very happy as an Ingrid or a Veronica.

11
December 24, 2010 4:05 AM

I'm yet another one of those Jennifers. I actually really like the root name, but I dislike how very over-popular it is, especially since my parents thought they were being sooo original naming me after their favorite song. (To be fair, it was extremely original and strikingly unusual for a while... before my parents unexpectedly moved to the US with little me in tow.)

So, I am pretty sure my if-only name would be Guinevere... keeps the name and rhythm, but I think has an even prettier sound.

I actually had a conversation yesterday with my mother (she was trying to fish for names on our list) about how if she'd had to do it over again she would have named me Gwenyth or maybe Gwendolyn or Genevieve -- keeping the root and feel, but making it less expected in the country we ended up in. I would endorse any of those!

12
By Jennifer B (not verified)
December 24, 2010 4:12 AM

I'm a Jennifer ('73!) so you pretty much wrote my life story up there ;)
If you asked me now, No, I wouldn't change it. I am 100% a Jen. It fits me, it suits me, it's a good name for me. Of course, I was never a "Jen" until college - but that is the beauty of a name like Jennifer in that it has a few variations that fit different life phases. A lot of male names do that (William, Robert, etc.) but not a lot of female names.
Also, the nice thing about being a Jennifer, is that since there ARE so many of us, there isn't one "type". Whereas, if your name is "Phoebe" or "Whillhelmina", people tend to jump to a preconceived notion about who you are.
When I was younger, I always wanted to be Holly or Diane.

13
By Amy3
December 24, 2010 8:56 AM

As an Amy surrounded by other Amys (and Jennifers!) I did want a different name when I was a kid. I thought my mn, Christine, was more sophisticated, beautiful, and unusual. As I got older, I grew to really like Amy and now I can't imagine having a different name. It would be interesting to see how different (or not) my life would have been had I been named something else, though.

And, Laura, the blog looks great on my phone. You've made some changes? Very nice!

14
By Leigh (not verified)
December 24, 2010 9:33 AM

My mom should win a prize for having 3 daughters in the '70 and naming them: Lisa, Jennifer and Amy. We renamed ourselves Leigh (my middle name), J.D. (Jennifer Dawn), and Amy often goes by Amy Sue.

As child I wanted to change my name to Madeline and go by Maddie, but I'm happy with how Leigh worked out.

15
By Vicky (not verified)
December 24, 2010 9:52 AM

This is exactly what my blog is about! Well, partly. www.namestory.wordpress.com. I am working on a link where people can fill out the questionnaire about their own experience, so check back in a few weeks about that.

As for myself, I have always felt neutral to positive about my name, so never wanted to change it. My husband insists that he prefers Victoria, but that is so not me, I probably wouldn't answer to it.

16
December 24, 2010 10:05 AM

I'm pretty happy with Christin@ Ruth. They're both family names so changing them would be quite weird. The only real problem is people assuming it's Kristina or Christine.

17
December 24, 2010 10:28 AM

I love Klarynce up above in the opener Laura, that's a good one! I'm not sure about changing my name. I've always loved a lot of different names especially Jessica. I recently discovered that this was Kris Kringle's love interest in the cartoon "Santa Claus is comin to Town" so maybe that's where I picked it up years ago. Anyway, it has gotten easier for me with my name over the years. Many more people actually ask how to spell it now than in years past-Yes it's E-Y thanks for asking.
I love these thought provoking topics Laura but the best one is still what name would you choose if you were the opposite gender. I would still pick Gregory.

Happy Holidays to All!

18
By C C & B's Mom (not verified)
December 24, 2010 11:30 AM

By the way, my first name is Shannon (love!) and my middle name is Denise (just OK).

Still would never change.

19
By Allison Margaret (not verified)
December 24, 2010 12:39 PM

I have always felt pretty neutral about Allison - I don't hate it, but I don't really like it either, and my concept of a person named Allison doesn't fit who I am. I have long wished my first name were my middle name, Margaret. It is after my grandmother, whom I loved dearly, and I remember asking my mom not long after my grandma died (when I was 8) why she hadn't named me Margaret instead. Her answer was that she didn't like having the same first name as two of her grandmothers (Helen) and wanted to spare me the familial confusion, but since then she has said that if she'd known that her mother would die so early in my life, she'd have named me Margaret anyway. I've thought about going by my middle name, but I don't have the guts to make the transition. It would be great if Klarynce the name angel would just do the job for me.

20
December 24, 2010 1:51 PM

My first name is Elizabeth. It's one of those few "timeless classics" that everyone claims to like... but I never really have. As an adult I can appreciate its classic qualities, but as a girl, I hated it: the tongue-twister of heavy consonants, the conservative stuffy Queeny image, and most of all, the unsexy nerdy nickname Liz which has dogged me forever!

As a kid, I really wanted a softer, more feminine, more contemporary name - Amanda, Laura and Melissa were my favorites then. (The first two I still like, Melissa not so much anymore.) In my teens and 20's I preferred names that were more unusual and striking. Nowadays, I might choose something like Julia or Claire - all the good qualities of my own name, but a little softer, a little fresher, and no obvious nicknames.

On the other hand... liking or disliking your own name could say more about one's self-image or self-esteem than it does about the name. Who's to say that if I was born a Julia, I might not have disliked that just as much, and want to be Elizabeth?

21
December 24, 2010 2:26 PM

I wouldn't change my name, but back in fifth grade I wanted to be named Stacie (with that cutesy spelling). My friend Angela wanted to be named Megan, so for a while we would refer to each other as Stacie and Megan instead of our real names.

22
By Allison (not verified)
December 24, 2010 2:41 PM

I am an Allison who grew up with 2 other Alison/Allyson's in my class at school. It bothered me a bit, and I never really liked my name as a child. Now as an adult, I love my name and don't mind at all when I come across another Allison. Maybe it is because my name wasn't ridiculously popular (not quite a Jennifer), or maybe it's just that I've grown into it, but I actually like meeting other Allisons, kind of like we're kindred spirits or in the same club or something.

I wouldn't ever change it now, but when I was a preteen I would have loved to be a Mallory (ah, the influence of prime-time television).

23
By NW Girl (not verified)
December 24, 2010 5:04 PM

My parents named me Donna Jo (Jo being a middle name) at the tail end of any popularity "Donna" may ever had had (e.g. Donna Reed). I've never liked it. I rarely went to school with or worked with other Donnas, however, so I didn't have the "Jennifer" problem.

My parents are from Canada and moved to southern California right before I was born. What always used to bug me was that folks thought I was from the south (like Mary Jo, Sally Jo, etc.).

When I was in my early 40s I dedcided to legally change my middle name, but wanted to keep the same initial. As I was scouring "J" names. I would throw out suggestions to my husband for his opinion (some that caused chuckles were Juanita and Jihad). And then I came to Josephine. My mum-in-law is Josephine (I call her Gran) and she is a wonderful, loving person. And that was the end of the search.

The day of the court hearing to change my name was Gran's b-day. She thought she was there to see me "in action" in court (I'm an attorney), along with all of her kids and grands who live locally.

When the case was called, the judge asked if Mrs. Josephine W___ would come forward. Gran's eyes got as big as saucers as she walked forward, with me and the rest of the family following behind. The judge said to her, "We're here today for your daughter-in-law's name change petition. Let me read you what she wrote in her petition about why she wanted to change her name," and the judge proceeded to read what I wrote about Gran. The judge complimented Gran on what a special lady she was to have made such an impression and been such an inspiration to her children.

The judge allowed me to read a little passage from Proverbs 31 (A woman of nobel character, who can find? . . . She is worth far more than rubies . . ."

It was a brilliant day. And then we all left to have brunch and celebrate Gran's b-day.

Donna Josephine Hamilton

24
By alr as guest (not verified)
December 24, 2010 5:24 PM

And me to the list! I'm another Alison! I have always loved my name.

In fact, I quite agree with one of the other Allisons above (hi!) - I, too, sort of feel like kindred spirits with other Alison/Allison/Alysons. In fact, in first grade there was another Alison in my class - we thought it was so cool to have the same name that we became the very best of friends. We are now 30 and live on opposite sides of the country and are still best friends - like sisters. I have my name (and my parents' taste, I guess) to thank for that! :)

I even love my less common spelling - go figure. The only time I am ever annoyed when people assume it's Allison is when they really should know better - ie we've known each other for a while, or they're emailing me using the address I wrote down for them right next to where I wrote (and correctly spelled) my name -that sort of thing. It's more a matter of people just not paying attention that annoys me. ;)

...So is it ironic that my kids have such unique names? Hm.

25
December 24, 2010 6:08 PM

I really like my first name now. Growing up my only complaint was that I desperately wanted a nickname. What's nice now is that my hubby calls me Lo and has since we were dating. I didn't know other Lauras growing up although I now have quite a few friends who share my name. It doesn't bother me at all except I find it sort of funny to look at my cell phone and see 3 different Laura's each with two listings for home and cell phone numbers.

26
December 24, 2010 11:29 PM

This is great! Everyone's story is as unique as their name.
NW girl-Your name made me think of the show "Full House" the older girls name was Donna Jo she was named after her mom in part but I forget which part :) Anyway, they called her DJ. I've always liked initials as a nn, most especially MJ. I tried to find something to agree on to match those initials for my DD but we could not.

27
By Bekah (not verified)
December 25, 2010 12:27 AM

My father wanted to name me Becky. No formal name, just the nickname. He loved it but my mom convinced him to give it the formal Rebecca. I'm glad because by the time I was in the third grade I was desperately trying to ditch Becky. I tried going by my full name, going by my middle name, and three or four different names but nothing stuck quite like Becky.

Until my senior year of high school when my boyfriend (husband years later) told me he had two cousins named Becky and could he just call me Rebecca to make it a little less strange? After a couple of months he shortened it to Becca. I didn't like the way Becca looked on paper so I chose Bekah.

I love my chosen name. I don't hate my formal or childhood nicknames, but I feel like Bekah suits me remarkably well. I might change the spelling of my formal (Rebecca) to reflect the spelling of my nickname but that's an awful lot of work for something that doesn't bother me.

28
By Ann(i)e (not verified)
December 25, 2010 4:27 AM

I was one of 6 Annes in my class and there was an Anna and an Anne Marie as well! So I spent a long time wishing I was called Anastasia or Christina or Martina.

And when I found out my mother had been thinking of Peter in case I was a boy, I wanted to be called Peter too - I hated being a girl when I was 11 and 12.

Like most people here, I am happy now with my name. I rarely meet other Annes now and I have got less uptight about people spelling my name without the e - unless they know me, have seen it written down etc. and still spell it Ann. Like comment 24.

I love when someone calls me Annie - though it rarely happens. The only person is my 3 year old niece -she is Austrian so Auntie Annie rolls off her tongue easier than Auntie Anne.

29
By Kristi (not verified)
December 25, 2010 1:29 PM

My name is Kristi Lynn (spelled like that).

The name itself is OK, but I really wish that it was spelled in the manner most people expect. It's a pain to say "Kristi spelled K-R-I-S-T-I" for everything.

Please, I beg you, take that into consideration when naming your kids! It gets old fast.

30
By EVie
December 25, 2010 2:13 PM

My feelings toward my name have generally ranged from mildly-like to mildly-dislike, averaging around neutral. It's a good name in general, but I have a vague feeling that it doesn't fit me as well as I would like—nothing strong enough to actually make me go through the hassle of changing it, though.

Throughout my childhood, my favorite name was Delilah. I still love it, and have loved it for so long that it feels very comfortable to me and I would feel quite natural wearing it. I like the soft elegance of the sound combined with the rather subversive literary/historical connotations, and the natural nickname Lila. I've considering using it for a daughter, but DH vetoed it as too explicitly Biblical, and I'm not sure I'd feel entirely comfortable giving it to someone else who might be less happy than I am to live with the associations.

These days, I just wish that I had adopted a more casual nickname for my rather regal given name—for example, my internet handle Evie (from my first + middle initials, E.V.), or perhaps Ellie or Nell (which would be pretty natural from my given name). I feel like I would appreciate my real name more if I had the flexibility to switch back and forth depending on the situation. But I feel like I'm too old and settled now to take on a new nickname, particularly one that is deliberately more childish. It would be too weird trying to enforce it with my family, who already have enough trouble keeping everybody's names straight (my grandmother calls me by my cousins' names on a regular basis).

Ayaka - have you ever considered going by Lissa? That would be my chosen nickname for Elizabeth, and isn't so far off from Melissa. (Of course, I suggest that right after explaining why I don't want to take on a new nickname myself...)

Re: names and self-esteem: actually, my DH is a psychology PhD, and according to him, one of the methods researchers use to measure implicit self-esteem is to ask people how much they like their names, or the letters in their names. People with higher self-esteem give higher ratings to the letters in their own names, especially the first letter. Fascinating stuff, huh?

31
December 25, 2010 7:48 PM

EVie-Fascinating stuff yes! I think Laura did a column once (or else I read an article) about how children were more accustomed to getting A's in school if there was an A in their name or something like that. If someone can find the reference for that that would be great!
As far as a nn/internet handle, does anyone else use a beloved name for that? Does anyone else feel like it is their "alter ego"? I love my handle of ZoeRhenne and use it for a few sites. It feels like me more than my real name. Some people who only know me through the internet actually call me that instead of my real name.

32
By KRC (not verified)
December 25, 2010 8:45 PM

Love that story, NW Girl! It made me smile and cry on this Christmas day! Thanks for sharing.

I have a common seventies name and was always one of several in my class growing up. I don't really like my name, but I can't imagine changing it.

33
By hmf
December 25, 2010 9:18 PM

I'm Hannah. Never liked my name growing up, for no particular reason. I wish sometimes my parents had opted to call me HA-nna, not HAN-na (rhymes with banana), as I find the former pronunciation far more pleasing to the ear.

When I was a child I wanted desperately to be Sally or Sal. As a mid-eighties child I would've be lost in a sea of Sara(h)'s, but I do still love those two nicknames. Nan just doesn't quite cut it, nor is it as commonplace.

34
By Kerri (not verified)
December 25, 2010 9:48 PM

I'd choose Mary.

35
By Kerri (not verified)
December 25, 2010 9:48 PM

I'd choose Mary.

36
December 25, 2010 11:05 PM

My name's pretty boring and common... but I never take for granted the convenience of having something easy to spell!

I think I'd really be happy going by my favorite name, Corinne. And it's actually my middle name, but you'd be surprised what a headache I get over the spelling and pronunciation! Just this morning my extremely intelligent sister tried to spell it "Corrinne" and my cousin later pronounced it Co-REEN instead of Co-RIN.

So I got the normal name everyone knows and the beautiful name just to myself. I'll count my name blessings. :)

37
By Guest55678 (not verified)
December 25, 2010 11:22 PM

My name is Michelle and Id just about pick anything different. I hate the name but I guess it fits me and I would never change it. It was sort of passe by the time my parents picked it in the 80s and I only shared it with classmates on rare occasions throughout my school career. I always wanted to be a Rachel or Sarah. Something timeless and classy.

On a different topic--I am friends with a southern Baptist couple here in Arkansas. They want to name their baby girl something Biblical but feel all of the pretty names are too common. So they have decided to go with the Hebrew version of a girls Biblical name: Rivka. They are going to pronounce it Reevka which I'm pretty sure is wrong according to the little bit of research I've done. I figured someone here would know for sure. I have not said anything as it is none of my business but this just seems weird to me. To me, a name like Rivka should be followed by Steinfeld or Feingold or something--not Johnson. I guess Johnson would be okay if the mom were Jewish but they have no link to Judaism at all other than their relationship with Jesus and that link seems tenuous at best. Am I just being fussy or is this just wrong? I'm really not sure. I know we've talked about stealing names from other cultures before and a lot of people are against it--but maybe Rivka is Biblical enough that it works for an All American Baptist girl? Not really sure.

By the way, Merry Christmas to all of those who celebrate it, and a happy new year to all of you!

38
By Guest55678 (not verified)
December 25, 2010 11:39 PM

Re: Above Post

I in no way meant to imply that WASPs are somehow more American than individuals of diverse ethnic descent. I used the phrase "All American" as it is stereotypically used to convey the look and values of the couple. Poor choice of words on my part.

39
By Guest019383 (not verified)
December 26, 2010 12:53 AM

I've come to accept my name, it's not super common but it's also not unknown, i've only met one other person with it in my entire life though, but i think it'd be weird to be called anything else, like just remembering to respond and stuff. when I was a kid (mid-90s) I was obsessed with what I called 'Hippie' names, and I wanted to be named Skye (Skylar, Skylark) or River or Astral - even though it's super tempting I'd probably say no to Angel Klarynce.

40
December 26, 2010 9:04 AM

Guest55678: Rivka would surprise me a bit on a Baptist girl, but I wouldn't say it's "wrong". I can't really give any kind of Jewish perspective, but I don't think Rivka has the kind of significance Cohen does. Also, happy new years all round!

41
December 26, 2010 9:04 AM

Sorry, double post. Feel free to read the comment again though.

42
December 26, 2010 12:20 PM

Guest 55678-the first name I thought of was Bethany. Have they tried that one? Rivka seems a bit counterintuitive the way they are preferring it to be pronounced. It does sound a bit "jewish" also. That is of course not to say that a non-Jewish child named Rivka is ridiculous or anything of the sorts but just that it seems a bit out of place. With the diversity of names out there it is not uncommon to find someone with a name that seems out of place. However, not as out of place as it might have seemed a number of years ago.

43
December 26, 2010 3:04 PM

I love my name. It has become very common, but I am still a loner in my age group (I am 25). Growing up, I loved that there was never another Madeline in my class. I did however always have a problem with pronunciation, it's Mad-a-lin, and people often call me Mad-a-line, which grates on me like nothing else. I don't mind if they say it that way after reading it once, and I correct them. But, it drives me insane when people just keep calling me that without asking if it's correct, and without giving me a chance to correct them.

I also don't like that people try to call me "Maddy" without asking if I care for it. Which I don't.

At the end of the day, I love my name. I love that it is distinct, and I think it is quite pretty.

44
December 26, 2010 5:27 PM

My husband and I like boyish nicknames for girls, but these often seem to be paired with full names that are too frilly for our taste (e.g. Alex: Alexis/Alexandra, Sam: Samantha). Maybe "frilly" is not the right word, but I guess we prefer simpler names. The best option we came up with so far is Nicky: Nicole, but we're not liking that enough for it to overtake some of our other favorites (current frontrunners are Olive and Coral). I wondered if anyone had other suggestions for boyish nicknames with full names that are clearly girls' names, but on the simpler side.

45
By EVie
December 26, 2010 6:09 PM

RobynT - Not sure how frilly is too frilly for you, but how about Charlotte/Charlie, Danielle/Danny, Juliet/Jules, Christine/Chris, Louisa/Louie... hmm, it seems like the problem is that most names with boyish nicknames are actually feminizations of male names (Frederica/Freddy, Roberta/Bobby), and those are kind of inherently frilly.

46
By Pip (not verified)
December 26, 2010 9:12 PM

Robyn T - What about Frances/Frankie? Also, Olive could be Ollie, which is kind-of masculine since it's already used by Oliver.

47
December 26, 2010 9:35 PM

Robyn T-I thought of some other girl names with boyish nn's. I don't know if you like the girl names or not but here they are:
Jessica-Jess
Stephanie-Stevie
Cassandra-Cass
Michelle-Mitch
Jacqueline-Jack
Melissa/Melinda/Melanie-Mel
Natalie-Nat
Victoria-Vic
Alice/Allison/Alicia-Al

Some of these are stretching the nn and/or hoping a different than expected nn will stick.

48
December 26, 2010 11:36 PM

Guest55678, I generally find mismatch between ethnic origins of first and last names to be rather charming - it usually gives me a frisson of happiness that I live in such a melting pot of a country.

Rivka definitely reads very Jewish to me - I would based on name alone expect a Rivka to be Jewish either in cultural heritage or in religion (or both). I'm neither, so I'm curious to hear other opinions on the question of cultural appropriation. I wouldn't object to a non-Jewish Rivka, myself. I would, however, be curious and, if given the opportunity, ask about why she was named that, assuming that there would probably be a good story behind it (e.g. honoring a friend of the family or a historic figure who was important to the parents).

Anyway, southern Baptist named Rivka can expect to get a lot of questions, and if the parents don't have anything to say beyond "it's a biblical name that isn't common" I'd be a bit disappointed by the lack of interesting story. I'd also wonder why they rejected, say, Mehitabel. :)

Also, REEV-ka pronunciation isn't one I've ever heard on this name before, so I suspect will have a hard time getting that pronunciation from anyone who has ever met a RIV-ka previously. Maybe that isn't an issue in their environment, but their kid might move somewhere else.

49
By Rjoy (not verified)
December 27, 2010 1:31 AM

Guest55678-My hebrew name is Rivka. I don't think it is odd that they want to name their daughter Rivka since Christianity's roots is in Judaism. I think all Christians needs to have more toes in there jewish roots. :) I actually know lots of Christians with Jewish like names. It is getting to be much more common. They will need to do a lot of explaining but once their main crowd knows it won't be a big deal.

I also don't think it is any different then someone naming their daughter Teagan when not Irish, Isabella if not Italian, or Lucia if not Spanish. If that were the case we would all have very boring names.

I pronounce it like they do..Reev-kah. Some would also say RIV-ka. It depends if they are saying it with an Israeli accent or more Yiddish background. Either way is correct. But I am used to the Reev-kah pronunciation.

Don't fret....it could be MUCH worse. Rivkah is a beautiful choice. (also, either spelling is correct.) The actually hebrew would have an H at the end but they could also leave it out.

50
December 27, 2010 2:02 AM

Just for clarification, I agree with lucubratrix and rjoy. They said what I was thinking only they did a much better job. I'd blame it on the eggnog only I haven't had any ;) Anyway, not to steer them away from a lovely name but have they thought of something like Reba?