Varina vs. Victoria

hi all. you helped us settle on Elise Victoria quite a while ago. recently i brought up to friends and family the possibility of using the middle name Varina, which is a variant (slavic) of Barbara, which was two grandmothers of mine, name. Barbara itself seems too clunky and Varina was my favorite of all the variants i read; it rhymes with Marina.  The informal family/friends poll i took pretty much split people down the middle. the more adventurous namers chose Varina, the more classic fans, Victoria. My husband will not have a chance to weigh in until the baby is closer to the due date, as he is deployed and unable to contact us. last we had spoken, he agreed to Victoria after i dug up evidence of it being a family name on both our sides. so for sister of Clairissa Joyce Burrows (goes by Clair on a daily basis) which should we pick: Elise Victoria Burrows, Elise Varina Burrows. thanks! by the way, my husband likes family names as a middle, but does not insist that both sides of the family are covered when picking.

Replies

1
August 11, 2012 11:29 AM

Ok, I know Barbara isn't an option-but I really kind of like Elise Barbara, especially since the sister name is Clairissa Joyce.  There is a nice symmetry between Joyce & Barbara.

However, since you don't like Barbara and the choices are Varina & Victoria...I like them both.  Varina is unique & a little exotic & sounds nice with Elise.  Victoria is classic and strong & also sounds nice with Elise.

My main concern would be if your husband will think it has enough of a connection to Barbara to count as a family name.  On the surface, Varina & Barbara don't seem to have a connection.  I certainly wouldn't have guessed it as a Barbara variant if you had not told me.  

2
August 11, 2012 8:15 PM

thanks first poster for your reply. you are probably right about my husband and how he would think.

3
August 11, 2012 11:48 PM

I also like Barbara as a sister-middle to Joyce: there's a nice parallel in their popularity history (a bell curve centered on circa 1940). I actually kinda like Barbara on its own -- I much prefer it to Joyce, anyway. (I like the Hungarian form the best: Borbála. I had a great-great-grandmother named Rőczey Borbála, which I think is one of the nicest-sounding names in my whole family tree.)

I gotta ask: where did you find Varina? The closest I can find is Verena, which is unrelated to Barbara. (It has some connection to Veronika.) The usual "characteristically-Slavic" form of Barbara is Varvara, which I suppose could get nicknamed to something like Varina, but the connection is tenuous at best.

Varina versus Victoria: I give a slight edge to Victoria, because it's more familiar, and thus matches her sister's name better. Of course, sisters don't need to match, so I think it comes down to husband-palatability; in that, Victoria is the clear winner.

4
August 12, 2012 10:45 AM

i found Varina as the last variant listed on ThinkBabyNames.com don't think capitalization m

matters for that site. 

5
By EVie
August 12, 2012 2:22 PM

I've also heard of Varvara as the Russian variant of Barbara, with Varya as the nickname. I've never heard Varina before, but I suppose it's plausible—there are a lot of Russian names that end in -rina (Irina, Arina, Ekaterina). Still, it seems like a stretch for the namesake of an non-Russian-speaking Barbara. It's pretty, but I would probably stick with Victoria.

6
September 5, 2012 8:16 PM

Just so you know...there is a town in North Carolina named Fuquay-Varina.  It was once two different towns that merged into one (so one side is the Varina side).  Not sure that would sway you one way or another, but at least you know its a town.

7
September 10, 2012 7:14 PM

yes Isamom3, my aunt Vicki, lives there! she voted for Victoria, unsurprisingly.