Authentic Ethnic Names, Baked Fresh Every Day!

Aug 13th 2009

Does your family have Scandinavian roots?  Would you like to honor that tradition with your daughter's name?  Here's a great choice to consider:


Ronja is a literary name, the heroine of a novel by a revered Swedish author.  The book and name are both well-known and well-loved throughout Scandinavia; the name is a current top-100 hit in most of the region.  Ronja is the local spelling, Ronia the standard English equivalent.

That's a rock-solid ethnic name, right?  A name distinctive to Scandinavia, with meaningful cultural/literary origins.  Now: does it matter when that literary origin took place?

The book in question is Ronja Rövardotter (Ronia the Robber's Daughter) by children's writer Astrid Lindgren, author of the Pippi Longstocking books.  (Regular readers may recognize this book as the source of another name I described recently, Birk.) Ronja was published in 1981, and a 1984 film version was a huge regional hit.  So the name is the product of one woman's imagination, less than 30 years ago. Doesn't that make it a modern, invented name instead of an authentically ethnic one?

Perhaps the answer is that it's both, modern and "authentic."  After all, the name Wendy was created by J.M.Barrie in Peter Pan. Vanessa was dreamed up by Jonathan Swift for Cadenus and Vanessa.  Great authors enrich their cultures with names as well as ideas, and that's every bit as authentic a process today as in centuries past.

If you look closely, you can see contemporary, authentic names being created all the time. For example, saoirse is the Gaelic word for freedom.  Patriotic Irish parents started using the word as a name in the 20th Century, and it's today it's the 29th most popular girl's name in Ireland.  It's not a traditional given name, but a truly and purely Irish one.

Does it mean anything, then, to talk about "real" or "authentic" names from a particular culture if new authentic names can be created every day?  I think it does mean something.  It means...that it means something.  That the name has cultural meaning and resonance beyond an individual family's choice.  A beloved book by a local literary icon or a term from a cherished linguistic heritage is an emblem of shared meaning, part of an ethnic identity that binds a people together.

In contrast, a baby name invented by one family is about individual rather than collective meaning.  Even if that name grows into broader popularity, it doesn't have the same hold on a culture's shared sense of self and community...for a while, at least.  Individual inventions have to prove themselves.  If an unrooted name manages to stick around long enough, it can create its own roots in the culture in the form of the generations of people who live their lives with that name.  Eventually, its origins may cease to matter.  After all, how many of us hear Vanessa today and think Jonathan Swift, or hear Cheryl and think "creative made-up name?"


By Guest (not verified)
August 16, 2009 1:39 PM

I agree- you just can't make these assumptions./ My daughter has a friend named MacKenzie, who goes by Macc, who is strong and fun and sparkly. Her mother is a doctor. It is not my kind of name, but it works perfectly for this kid.

August 16, 2009 3:19 PM

sarah smile-Your post @99 made me smile. It is hard to think of Peyton being a grandma name but you are right. In another 60 yrs (or so) this is what will be.

As far as sibsets, matchiness does make me groan slightly and NON-matchiness makes me scratch my head if it is so stylistically off. Matthew, Luke and John go together well and make have been picked for their simplicity, family honoring or their biblical references. Olivia and Isabella the same thing but both these combos are a bit too matchy for me. Rather I would do (example): Matthew, Luke, Alex(ander) and Olivia and Julie.

By Eo (not verified)
August 16, 2009 3:22 PM

GoldenPigMom, with your mention of "Micheal" as a possible misspelling, or a misguided "fancy" (I prefer this old term to the newer "kreative") spelling, you made me remember something interesting:

Remember when Natasha Richardson tragically died in a skiing accident? News accounts repeatedly referred to one of her sons as "Micheal" instead of "Michael".

At first I was taken aback-- then it struck me, since Liam Neeson is the father-- could Micheal be an Irishism or Celtic variant of some sort? And therefore, quite "authentic" within the Irish language and culture?

If it is, then it makes a larger point that sometimes what we think of as "kreative" can be much more rooted in language and history than we know.

Random namespotting: I like the name Elisabeth Hasselback (sp?) chose for her third child, "Isaiah Timothy Hasselback", EXCEPT for the fact that all three names each have three syllables! For some reason that throws the rhythm of the whole name slightly off for me...

The matching sibling names that bug me the most are when they are all insistently "hipnik". For better or worse, the hipnik category is my least favorite, and when that type of name is compounded within one family, it grates!

Of course, I'm thinking of that design couple whose children's names keep coming up on this blog-- "Five", "Holleder", "Tallulah", "Wolfgang", "Breaker", etc. Some of the names might even not be bad on their own, but when compounded, gack! Just my personal quirk, of course..

Did someone, way back, ask about literary names that become nicknames, or vice versa? Charles Dickens used the pseudonym "Boz" early in his career. It had been a nickname for his brother, a corruption of "Moses", believe it or not! I guess Moses became Moze and morphed into Boze/Boz. Dickens obviously liked it and it suited his jaunty but complex persona...

By Eo (not verified)
August 16, 2009 3:41 PM

Oh, forgot to give an example of "coordinating" sibling names that I DO like. I love it when a whole family has traditional names that are not necessarily currently popular with the cognoscenti. Let's see-- an example might be:

"Peter", "Sally" and "Mary".

or maybe: "Hugh", "John" and "Kitty" (girl)

or even: "Joan", "Mark" and "Timothy".

The kind of modern parents who would give traditional names to their baby darlings that might strike some people as still a bit musty-- I know I would LOVE those parents!

By billl (not verified)
August 16, 2009 3:55 PM

my cousins born late 70s to late 80s are a good style matching but not "matchy" sibset.
(unspaced to prevent googling)

By PunkPrincessPhd (not logged in) (not verified)
August 16, 2009 6:17 PM


You're right on the money: "Micheal" is an accepted Irish variation of Michael. It is traditionally pronounced "Mee-haul", Liam is from Ballymena, co. Antrim (NI), so I'm not certain if the Neeson/Richardsons have used the overtly Gaelic pronunciation.

August 16, 2009 6:18 PM

I agree about the too matchy being a little annoying or more predictable. I actually don't mind un-matchy sibsets but do always want to ask about them as I wonder whether there is a story behind it. Of course not everyone is as into names as we all are, and some people just don't realise they have committed the sin of an un-matched sib-set :) For the record my own siblings have very unmatched names (youngest sister got the far-out weird one).

August 16, 2009 7:29 PM

Kim in Philly- I think I've cracked the "Islin" pronounced Eyezlin name that you came across. I bet you anything it's Aislinn.
Beyond the Name says it's Irish and a variant of Aisling.

Under Aisling it says:

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Irish

Pronounced: ASH-ling
Means "dream" or "vision" in Irish Gaelic. This name was created in the 20th century."

I think the parents took Aislinn and pronounced it as an English speaker would, without realizing it has a traditional pronunciation. Any thoughts PPP?

Talking of unmatched sibsets, I know a family locally with kids (all teens):

I find this an unusual combo- what do you think?

By hyz
August 16, 2009 9:07 PM

I ran into a nice bunch of kids' names at a neighborhood get-together tonight (siblings grouped)--ages here range from 6mos to 12 years. Owen, Graham, and Silas (not at the party tonight, but recently overheard at the playground) are all on our boy list--I guess that makes us pretty on-trend with our peers... :/









and Ivy, of course

By Bianca not logged in (not verified)
August 16, 2009 10:16 PM

Some 'm' names: Monroe Martial Morris Matthias Marlowe Maxence Madoc Merrion Morgan Milan Mason

I may have said this before, but I sort of compare a NE's dismissal of well-used names to that of any connoisseur or hobbyist. Music fans cringe when you only know or like an artist's hit song. My hair stylist friend dies of boredom with standard styles. Another person can't imagine you haven't switched to soy milk and natural toothpaste yet. Everyone is passionate about the full spectrum of their interests, and sometimes enthusiasm to get past basics comes off as judgmental.

Prying for name info on a friend's soon-to-be-niece yesterday. The parents really love Lauren, but unfortunately ln will be H1ll. Brother is W3sl3y.

August 16, 2009 11:14 PM

Bianca-So VERY well put in #110. I love the analogy. and btw, I don't think your friends ideas are that bad. What puts them off to the girl combo?

By hyz
August 16, 2009 11:32 PM

Bianca--agreed, and well put.

August 16, 2009 11:51 PM

Yes I did ask opinions on names... not pregnant yet but hioing to be soon and I always just love coming up with my names. Still on the fence about my names... most of the responses here where about the unmatchiness of my names. I like different styles of names and would like my kids names to reflect that...

I guess the Micheal spelling was a bad example.. the one person I knew with this spelling.. I dont think his parents knew that is was an Irish varient... really talking to them it didnt seem so but I could be wrongs. A better example would be Kodey or Cheyann... etc... wher to me it just looks wrong.. or incomplete

As far as Om... i can think if 2 other names Ty and Bo

August 17, 2009 12:26 AM

ah, well i always like names to go together but many people have pointed out that it really isn't very important, and i have to admit that they're right. having stylistically different names does no harm at all, and i understand your desire to reflect your different tastes.

ah, ty and bo. good job! i once met a guy who went by "cy." that was short for something though...

By sarah smile (not verified)
August 17, 2009 12:42 AM

Valerie, I bet you're right. I have known a few Aislinns, and they have used a variety of non-traditional pronunciations. I know I have seen AZE-lynn and AHZ-lynn, so EYEZ-lynn wouldn't be far off at all. Strikes me as similar to Caitlin, in terms of Americanizing the pronunciation.

Interesting new name of an up-and-coming American gymnast: Kytra, pronounced KIH-tra.

August 17, 2009 12:54 AM

Guest (with a question)- Mishael was on my list of boys names to use (until it got scrapped because my in-laws can't pronounce "sh"). It means "who is what God is?" and was Meshach Hebrew name.

August 17, 2009 12:55 AM

lauren hill is a recording artist.

August 17, 2009 1:48 AM

I know a couple of Cys, both born in '70s/'80s. One has brother Lon. Another has brothers @llyn and 3than.

By Amy3
August 17, 2009 7:03 AM

bianca (#110)--Yes, that's it exactly! Thanks for capturing the sentiment so well.

August 17, 2009 9:31 AM

Emily-ty I am a little out of the loop on those kind of things!

By moll (not verified)
August 17, 2009 9:37 AM

as for the sibset question, i personally am not a huge fan of hyper-matchy names (all starting or ending with the same sound, or all with the same meaning). i know a family with 4 children, all of whose names start with Ge'. including the apostrophe. it's a bit much, to me, although its totally the parents' business.

however, i think it's pleasant when names go together. by that, i just mean that it sounds like the same parents chose all the names. i think bill and eo gave great examples. my sibs and i (katherine-matthew-nathan-molly) pretty much work that way (though i felt like the odd lady out, having a nickname-y name instead of a nicknameable name - but that's the sort of thing you only care about when you're 9 and trying to find a reason your parents are so!unfair!)

August 17, 2009 9:43 AM

haha, no problem; i often feel a bit out of the loop as well. i believe she is an african-american singer and pianist, but i could be wrong. thinking about it makes me wonder if a celebrity having a certain name would stop me from using it on a child. i think i might not care, depending on the celebrity. i knew a kid named michael jackson, and while i don't think i'd do THAT, i might do lauren hill. with no intent at all to insult lauren hill, i'm not sure she has the staying power to really taint a child's name for life (taint is the wrong word--i don't mean for it to sound so negative). however, i could be wrong, perhaps lauren hill will be around for decades. maybe it's not worth the risk, as you never know what will happen with celebrities.

By Guest (not verified)
August 17, 2009 10:17 AM

The singer is actually Lauryn Hill (not Lauren), but obviously the pronunciation is the same, and it would definitely be my first thought if I met someone with this name. Of course, The Fugees were HUGE when I was in junior high/high school, so I doubt the association would be as strong for someone just a bit older or younger than me.

August 17, 2009 10:37 AM

ah, thanks guest 123. i didn't realize it was spelled that way. yes, that's the thing. lauren/lauryn would be the first thing some people thought of, but i think there would also be a large chunk of people who were clueless. for example, i have no idea who the fugees are. however, i probably won't name my child fugee. :]

August 17, 2009 11:02 AM

"Either that, or we old-hag WASP English professors have just made a bunch of people sick. But I prefer a hearty defense of names I hate to bland sameness all around, so I hope my first theory is right and that moms of kids with more popular names will thrust and parry with confidence and joy."

Beth, you have outdone yourself! Hilarious.

I love the image of someone with a sword named Kassadee (a name I spotted on a nametag yesterday) going into battle with your trusty sword Caroline.

August 17, 2009 11:06 AM

moll- thanks for sharing your siblings' names. When I saw them, I realized that the three others (Katherine, Matthew, Nathan) all contain a 'th', so I think that also makes Molly stick out a little. However, all four make a great set.

I think sometimes parents (maybe unconsciously) like a particular sound. I recently realized that the same principle may have been operating when my great-grandparents named their four children:
Ralph, Valentine, Bernice and Calvin. Not only is Bernice the only girl, but she is the only one without the 'al' sound. I guess she could have been Alice or Alberta or something!

August 17, 2009 11:20 AM

My children are named Sarah and Peter. I joked with my husband that if we had three more, we should name them Iris, Otto, and Lulu, so that we'd have repeating vowel sounds for all of our kids. And for the "y", I guess we could go almost any route! Mykynzy, Mydysyn, etc.

August 17, 2009 12:39 PM

I'm on the fence with kre8iviteigh. If someone wants a unique name, it's definitely one way to go, but I always wonder if the child will have to spell the name and have everyone look askance at it as they try to wrap their head around it.

Then again, I have a very common name, and I have to spell it all the time for others. So, ultimately, it's most likely a wash.

As for sibsets, I definitely do not feel there needs to be any rhyme or reason between them whatsoever. The whole is maintained in the family social unit, and likely in the surname, as well. What I think does matter is that the name of the first child is an indication of what sort of names might interest the parents for future children. But ultimately, I don't worry if the first is Bob and the second is Cuauhtemoc. Each child will grow up to live with the name individually, and that consideration is much more important to me than sibling matching. As a result, I know I have a blind spot for which names "go together." Honestly, I can't tell (except for extreme cases like Bob/Cuauhtemoc above).

I have definite names I like and definite names I dislike, but I'll try not to begrudge others their choices. Also, I know I need to remember that a trendy and popular choice won't be nearly as large a weight to the fully grown--like the observation of Jessica and Amanda above.

Back on spellings, I'm curious about the spelling of nicknames. For example, when all the Nickies turned into Nikkis in the 80s, or when the Jens turned into Jenns in the 90s. Any thoughts?

By Kim in Philly (not verified)
August 17, 2009 1:40 PM

valerie- I think you're right that the name is spelled Aislinn. Great find!

TV Show- Make It or Break It on ABC Family about gymnasts with some good names.

Carter (teen boy)
Emily (teen girl)
Payson Keeler (teen girl)
Kaylie (teen girl)
Lauren (teen girl)
Chloe (young 30s mom)
Summer (mid 20s)
Sasha (young 30s male) [my BF loves this name for a boy and if she ever had a boy would def use it]
Damon (young 20s male)

I know Payson is so on trend right now, but I love it with the last name.

By Qwen
August 17, 2009 3:25 PM

@zoerhenne – I also love to talk about names regardless of not currently being pregnant and already having my names picked out! I actually kinda like the name Peyton. I haven’t come across it too much here yet though, so maybe that’s why. It doesn’t sound overused to my ears even though I know it’s popular. For your list I like Victoria and Alexandra the best. They both sound a little fancy to offset the spunkiness of Peyton and flow very nicely.

Re: judging people’s name choices: We all judge and categorize, we have to! Otherwise the world would make a lot less sense. But I try really hard not to be judgmental or rude while I’m doing it. It’s one thing to say, “Oh that parent is creative or imaginative or trendy (which isn’t always a bad thing) or whatever…” that’s a valid judgment. It’s another thing entirely to say “That person is low-class, ill-bread or stupid.” That second kind of judgment happens to the best of us on occasion but I like that most people here try to be polite and are willing to concede that just because we get a negative impression from a name doesn’t make it true. (I wrote this before I read Bianca’s post… she said it better!)

Re: Changing perspectives when reading this blog. I’ve always loved names and talking about them so this place has been a haven to me (since normally people only want to talk about names when they’re actually pregnant). I have noticed changes in my thinking since being here but not so much in that I like or dislike more names. More in that I evaluate names more closely now than just my initial gut reaction of “like” or “dislike.” Now I evaluate the flow, the sounds, the cultural ramifications, the popularity… It’s all so interesting! And every time I hear a new name or naming topic I get so excited to come share it with you guys and get all the NE opinions and comments.

@Goldenpigmom – OM?! Wow. Maybe they were into yoga? Om does have some very beautiful meanings regarding the connectedness of humans and nature but as a name… No I still don’t have anything to say besides, “WOW!”

@Kim in Philly – I totally second Valerie’s assessment of Islin. We actually had Aislinn on our list until my husband found out I planned to pronounce it ASH-lynn. He said he only liked it with the “I” sound. :)

@Valerie – I agree that people often have a sound they like without noticing. I know a family who didn’t realize they had a strong affinity for the “Oh” sound until child 3. So they made sure child 4 ‘matched’. I thought it was kinda cute.

August 17, 2009 3:29 PM

my siblings and i all have an "ee" sound (emily, olivia, haleigh, and annalisa), but i suspect that is fairly common...

August 17, 2009 4:06 PM

I've been catching up (as I seem to always be behind now posting less, reading more), so Bianca said everything so well just wanted to chime in to say that!

Also when it comes to sibsets I enjoy a nice connected one because it's interesting. However realistically I think it's only a problem if they are too matchy as that can lead to teasing as a kid. Names that seem to be from different styles entirely aren't really a problem unless one kid is jealous of the others' name (and that can happen with anything!).

Also my friends and I were talking about baby names last week as we prepped for a wedding and everyone categorically shot down Abigail when I mentioned it, especially with the nn Gail. Doesn't really phase me, but I thought it was really interesting that this group of 20-somethings all disliked the name. I didn't bring out the stats on how popular it is (which is a reason I'm not as crazy about it as I used to be), but I thought the whole thing was funny.

Also my parents are naming a new cat and asked me for naming help (yay!). Right now they have two (one recently died) and since two were all black we went with a "witchy" theme. Salem called Sally (the one who passed recently), Witch Hazel called Hazel, and Miranda which just kind of sounded witchy (and also shakesperean... I don't know but it works for us:). My parents mentioned Minerva McGonagall and I thought Minerva nn Mini could be cute. They liked McGonagall but I think that's kind of hard to say.... I also so loved all the chicken names we came up with that I kind of want to name her a fun spice name and forget the theme. But I thought I'd throw it out in case anyone has a fun ideas! She's apparently white, black and brown.

By moll (not verified)
August 17, 2009 4:12 PM

Valerie - excellent observation on the "th"! It drove me INSANE when i was little, but my complaints were always met with a "oh, that's ridiculous!". i was a name-nerd in progress!)

i think the repeating sound thing is interesting. i'm metally going through sibsets i know, and while a lot of them don't rhyme, they have repeating sounds (e.g. - sh@nnon and p@trick - short "a").

What I'm wondering is if this is because the parents gravitate towards these sounds, or if it's because, after the first child is born, the parents - consciously or not - look for names that are harmonious and "flow" well with the first name.
Let's say parents have a daughter named Maria. When choosing their son's name, they imagine introducing their children: Maria and John, Maria and Peter. Maybe they land on Peter because of the harmony of the "ee" sound? Just a theory.

Also, I remember reading (here??) that parents gravitate towards sounds in their own name. Brother N@than and wife Adr!enne considered the names N@talie and A!idan - see the similarities?

(From my nerdy perspective, i was THRILLED that the boy got a cooler (IMO) name than A!idan)

August 17, 2009 4:15 PM

jenny leigh,
they rejected abigail? how odd. i thought abigail was sort of universally appealling. apparently not!
and yay, cat names! this is such a fun game. i'm a fan of minerva, nn min or mini (i agree that mcgonagall is a bit of a mouthful for a cat). you could go with elphaba (from wicked) and call her elphie, which i think is fairly adorable. or, along those same lines, there's always glinda. hmm...

August 17, 2009 4:37 PM

interesting names from my local listings: KYRA - AMELIYAH - JORIAH - HEAVEN - ROMANCE - MAX-REIGN - ASHDEN - MATIX

By Amy3
August 17, 2009 4:55 PM

RobynT--Now I want Romance and Kasual to get together! :)

Jenny L3igh--I think Minerva would make an adorable cat name. Love it.

August 17, 2009 4:59 PM

Qwen-I know the preferred pronunciation of Aislinn is Ash-linn but to me it will always be Ayz-linn from both the look and the fact that I know one.

Jenny L3igh-Abigail from a 20 something perspective is apparently like Jennifer or Melissa is to us. Something we would never use in a million years! I imagine it is either to overused in their crowd or bordering an old-lady name.
Cat naming-My first thought was Samantha nn Sammi to match Miranda. Also goes along with the witch thing too from Bewitched. So Tabitha would be cute but the nn Tabby would be a bit silly IMO. I also like Lucinda nn Lucy, or Cleo, or Calypso. From the spice pov, maybe Coriander nn Corrie, or Cassia.

August 17, 2009 5:16 PM

the only problem with your abigail theory is that i am a twenty-something. perhaps i am an anomaly?

i like your suggestions of samantha/tabitha/calypso for the cats. very witchy. :]

By Anna (not verified)
August 17, 2009 5:26 PM

Cat naming:

I'm rooting for Swift-Tuttle in honour of Swift-Tuttle-the-Comet (northern hemisphere, August). Seriously, do you know any comets with cuter names?!

By hyz
August 17, 2009 5:35 PM

Jenny L3igh--fun cat question! Ok, I'll have to think on it more, but for now I like all of the names mentioned--Minerva (although if it were me I'd use the whole Minerva McGonagle, and switch around what I called her for fun--Minerva, Ms. McGonagle, Minnie, etc.), Elphaba (loved Wicked, btw), Glinda, and Tabitha (which I *especially* like if the nn Tabby would be inaccurate and therefore silly/ironic). Of course, you could use any of the non-muggle names from Harry Potter and still have your witchy theme--Hermione, Narcissa, Bellatrix, Luna, Fleur, Lily Potter, Dolores Umbridge, etc.

Minerva's probably my favorite, though. I love the sound of it so much I almost want to put it on my girl list for future babies, but it's a little too risky for me.

August 17, 2009 5:47 PM

When I read Islin the other day I thought it 'sounded' like a name I knew but couldn't think of what it was. Aislinn totally makes sense!

Oh and I got the Lauryn Hill thing straight away as well. It is probably because I am also the right age for remembering how popular the Fugees were when I was younger and cooler and more into music! I'm not sure Lauryn Hill is that much of a risk as far as name sakes go so I think they are pretty safe with that one, plus both names are pretty common so I'm sure there are others out there. People probably said the same thing about Michael Jackson though.....

August 17, 2009 6:33 PM

Me and my siblings are Emily, Alice and Lucy. And whilst I think that it is a very good sibset, in that its not obvious, but the names do all go style wise, I don't think they have a particular theme. And I can't see a reccuring sound, apart from Emil-ee and Luc-ee.

Abigail is one of those names I like in theroy, and to me it sounds historic and formal, and makes me think of the Crucible, but I know so many Abbys/Abbies/Abis that it has lost is charm. Like Charlotte or Sarah. Names I would like if they were uncommon, but think have become overused, and so commonplace. I can't see any reason 20 year olds wouldn't like it though, unless they wanted something very unusual and modern.

By knp (not verified)
August 17, 2009 6:37 PM

ET: they all have l's, (plus Emily and Lucy are connected by ee sound as you said, Alice and Lucy by the soft c)

August 17, 2009 6:49 PM


Hyakutake is a bit of a mouthful, but cute. A little miscreant kitty could be Hale-Bopp. Still, Swift-Tuttle is a quite appropriate name.

August 17, 2009 7:11 PM

Linnaeus-Hale-Bopp for a boy is TOTALLY cute!

ET-That's kinda what I was thinking of the Abigail theory, that it wasn't modern/unusual or spunky or "something" enough.

emilyrae-Maybe you are, but aren't we all in some way or another :)

Good news announcement: I just found out my cousin adopted a little boy and named him Theodore. It's a family name but totally on target for trend. Best wishes to them!

August 17, 2009 8:28 PM

i really like your sibset of emily, alice, and lucy. i think those all sound perfect together. :]

also, i think these comet names are hilarious. someone else get some more chickens! we've got a theme!

By EVie
August 17, 2009 8:33 PM

Re: Abigail - funny, I just found out today that my cousin named his new daughter that. Don't know the middle name yet. And a couple of months ago a friend also named his daughter Abigail, mn Rose. Both are twenty-somethings, as am I. I actually like the name quite a lot, but also wouldn't use it because it's being overused. I'm surprised that a whole group of people would have a strong negative reaction - it's such a classic name that I would expect a "meh" at worst.

Witchy cat names - this may be too esoteric a reference, but you could go with Kiki, as in the witch in the Hayao Miyazaki film Kiki's Delivery Service. Really cute movie if you haven't seen it, and great for kids (it's animated).

August 17, 2009 8:53 PM

Local popularity results through Aug 15-




August 17, 2009 11:23 PM

I realize I'm late to the party here, but as a result of how new the name is, I'd say it's a REGIONAL name rather than an ETHNIC name.

My two cents.

PS - Did anyone else see the movie The Proposal and find it odd that Ryan Reynolds had to choose between two women: MARGARET and GERTRUDE??? Odd name choices, although I personally like both of them.