Girl Honor Name: Yola?

My mother's name is Jolanta{Yo-LAWN-Ta} Its a Polish name meaning Violet that I like but dialike the constant misspelling and mispronunciation of her name. As an honor name for a baby girl I was thinking Yola, which is what she typically goes by but spelled with a J. I haven't met any other Yola's and would like to use the nickname as a full name for a future daugther but would like to know others opinions. 

For a  first and middle name my SO likes Yola Oksana. I like that and Yola Eugenia (Eugenia being my mother's middle name) or Yola Sabrina. 

Replies

1
July 8, 2017 2:03 AM

I think I like Yolanta more than Yola -- the latter reminds me of the anagram for New Orleans (NOLA). Of course, I like Jolanta even more, but I can understand not wanting to saddle a child with the J-for-Y headache. The danger with Yolanta is that people will mistake it for Yolanda, which I've always heard with an /ae/ in the middle syllable, and that's not as pretty.

In Hungarian it's Jolán or Jolánta, and there's a very old folk etymology associating it with jó leány 'good girl'. In fact, it's possible that at least some of the 12th-13th century Hungarian instances of this name are actually old native aspirational names based on those words.

Another option is to use the "retconned" Greek: Iolanthe. Of course, that'd have its own share of pronunciation difficulties... Or sidestep the whole thing and use Violet?

For the middle name, does Oksana have a family connection, too, or just the general cultural one? Speaking as a Julia who named her daughter Julianna, I want to encourage the thought of using Sabrina, but I'm torn on Eugenia: I like the name, but using both parts of your mom's name may come across as a bit heavy-handed, especially to your spouse's family.

2
July 8, 2017 4:46 AM

I appreciate the response. I prefer Yolanta as well but am not as big of a fan of Yolanda despite it being just one letter off. I understand about Eugenia being too heavy handed, I was leaning more toward Sabrina or Oksana anyhow. My SO just adores the namE Oksana, there's no association of any kind. My parents, and unsurpringly my mother, like Yola. I would love to use more names from his ancestry but they do not fit as well in to my taste as I would like. His motger is Betty and a great role model and person but im having trouble picturing a baby Betty. Other names are Paula, Barbara, Beulah and feminizations of boy names like Joie and Danna. 

3
July 8, 2017 7:42 AM

Well, Betty is usually or traditionally a nickname for Elizabeth, so something like Elżbieta or even Liliana could be an honor name for it. My husband's family tree also has a Betti who was formally Barbara (the connecting link being the diminutive Babette).

Also, for a middle name, it doesn't really matter whether you can picture a baby named Betty, as that's not what she'd be called. But there are many ways to honor someone in a middle name, such as her favorite flower, her birthstone, the name she would've given your husband if he had been a girl, etc.

4
July 14, 2017 12:09 AM

Maybe Yolana?  I worry that kids would find a way to tease Yola based on her name's similarity to YOLO (you only live once).

I really like Jolanta best, too.  Have you asked your mother how much she minds correcting people?  Does she wish her name were spelled with a Y?

5
July 15, 2017 1:40 AM

I don't think today's kids make fun of names: they're exposed to such a vast landscape of names that they accept pretty much anything as a name if it's introduced as such. It's us older folks who cringe and roll our eyes at, say, Spurgeon, not the kids. The other thing to keep in mind is that even in our day, it was the kid who was teased, not the name: if the bullies decided a kid was tease-worthy, then any name could and did get made fun of.

6
July 16, 2017 2:24 AM

I don't really mean "mean" teasing, so much as "not this again" teasing--kind of the way i imagine people would sing "Oh, My Darling" to a Clementine so often that she would develop a smoldering hatred for the song...

7
July 16, 2017 7:58 AM

My son Peter gets comments about the pumpkin eater a lot. But he recently commented that with Guardians of the Galaxy (Peter Quill) and Spider-Man (Peter Parker) bot having movies out, he can remind people that he has a super hero name. The comments about the pumpkin eater aren't made to be mean; they just pop out.

8
July 17, 2017 10:53 AM

OK, I see what you mean - like the people who somehow feel it necessary to make a Hungary-hungry "joke" (or, I imagine, Turkey-the-country vs. turkey-the-bird "jokes"), despite the fact that 1. we've heard them all before and 2. they were never actually funny to begin with.

9
By Lexy
July 9, 2017 1:35 AM

I quite like Yola. It isn't a name I have heard before but I like the fact it has meaning to you and it's an honour name. I say if you like it go for it. 

For the middle name I like Yola Eugenia best followed by Yola Sabrina. 

10
July 14, 2017 5:42 AM

Another vote for Yola.  I think it is pretty and fun. 

11
July 14, 2017 11:22 PM

I like Yola Sabrina from your choices - its lovely having mum and daughter with same mn

 

what about Jola  or Violet, Violetta  or even  Yolanda  nn Yola,    Jolana,  Jolanda, Ianthe, Iona

12
July 14, 2017 11:27 PM

I would either go with Yolanda which is a more well-known spelling of the name or Viola which retains the final two-syllables and still relates to the Violet color/flower. Iolanthe is beautiful and also reminds me of Ione, so I like these suggestions as well.

13
July 19, 2017 1:20 PM

I've been reading the Penderwicks aloud to my three older kids and in book two we are introduced to an Iantha. I first thought it was a beautiful name and liked it even more as I read on, so I think Yolanta (quite similar if not identical in pronunciation) would be a great choice. I like longer, heftier names so I would probably use Yola as a nickname for the long form, but either way it's a great choice. I do think using a Y rather than a J makes it a much more straightforward name to wear in an English speaking context... I would have made similar adjustment (Adele to Adela, Wilhelmine to Wilhelmina) in the call name spot myself in adapting family names from the German.