Tonja Name Meaning & Origin
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12-30-2014, I was named Tonja in 1969. My father was a language teacher in south GA. I have always pronounced the "J". I like the way it sound. I still have to help people with the spelling to this day. People want to spell it Tonga. I always get annoyed. How they get a "G" from pronouncing the "J" is beyond my comprehension.
There was a news reporter named Tonja somewhere in Texas I think. Made me feel good to hear her pronounce the J. I'm not from Russia so I don't see any reason why I should pronounce my name with a Russian accent. I am completely happy with the American version. I am in the medical profession and have not met anyone who is not intrigued by my name. They only know the Spanish pronounce Tonja "Tonya". So I like to tell them there is a difference, now I can add that there is a place in Estonia named Tonja and proudly pronounce the "J". Read on.......
I was given this name in the early 70s when I was born on the west coast in the US. This is a Russian name and the j is pronounced like "sonja" (sohn'YA) -- a Russian name more people are familiar with. As a child, both peers and adults could never pronounce it correctly. American's are not used to the letter j sounding like a y. Hearing "tohn'JA" makes my skin crawl -- when I was in early grade school I started writing my name "tonya" for the benefit of others. Now all of my legal documents, credit cards, etc reflect one or the other of the names. As an adult, I'd be happy to use Tonja, but the irritation of hearing it mispronounced is so significant that I can't. People's first inclination on spelling the name "tonya" is to use an "a" - "tanya". Since the most memorable Tonya this century has been Tonya Harding, more people are now able to spell it correctly on the first try. I have worked with people who for months on end will address me as "tanya" in emails or on organizational charts, phone systems, etc.
Later in life, I moved outside of an urban area and found "tonya" to be popular name particularly with African American girls. This seems true for television characters as well. Overall, I like my name - it's a great name to have, especially coming out of high school. When I was young, I wanted to be a "jennifer" or "elizabeth" so badly and find my name on personalized keychains, etc; my mother intentionally gave me a common middle name in case I felt that way in my future. I've always felt very connected to the unique name and wanted to never change it. In my twenties, males typically received it as a very sexy name and would often asked if I had made it up. People with accents tend to pronounce it "tawn'ee'ah" which is cute.
I work in highly professional large companies and have seen the name evoke someone more on the worldly side, little mysterious, professional and skews a little young. I rarely share what I term as my legal name (Tonja) with anyone outside of HR and just use Tonya. When my legal spelling does come up, I say it's pronounced like Sonja, then I'm asked if I'm Russian. People familiar with the name and familar with Eastern European and European names immediately assume I'm Russian. Although I am from European decent, I'm not Russian. I think it's a beautiful name and is a nice accessory to the whole package -- I'm very thankful my name is not Jennifer or Elizabeth, but I still do with I could find the occasional personalized key chain :)
It's so weird how each of us has to just continue off the other person's written contribution. Oh well...here goes...
I'm Tonja. Born in 1973. My mother thought it was a beautiful and unique name and a twist on the name Sonja. All through school, I hated how my new teachers pronounced my name Tahn-JUH...instead of Tahn-Yuh. It bothered me so much that when I got to high school I registered as "Tonya". That seemed to fix the problem, with the exception of the occasional teacher who now pronounced it "TONE-yuh". Oh well. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I began using my given spelling of Tonja and got positive remarks about how beautiful and unique a name it was. Just like Mom intended! I have used my original name spelling ever since. Yes, it goes with having to spell it out and pronounce it for people everywhere you go, but that's just par for the course. I'm happy with my name overall and actually love it now and wouldn't change it for anything. And for those ladies who commented about the fantasies of seeing "Tonja" on personalized keychains, etc., I share in that dream! Fortunately, it's the 21st Century and we can order anything we desire online now. lol Cheers to the Tonja's out there!
- Nicknames for Tonja
I don't know of any nicknames but my grandmother in south GA used to call me Teesa.
----Hello, my name is Tonja as well. It seems I may have had my name the longest. It was bestowed on me in Oct 1964.
It's "MY NAME", even with its beautifully ODD spelling. I jokingly refer to it as my "BIRTH DEFECT" when I have to explain the spelling (and will 1 WILL HAVE TO explain to A LOT). I know it's not the "PC" thing to do,but it "IS" my name!!
MY NAME - I GOT IT WHEN I WAS BORN!!
You had asked about nicknames, and the "PET NAME" that I absolutely adore is, Tonishka (I'm not sure on the spelling)
This was explained to me by an elderly Russian couple that I had become friendly with. And, that's what they called me.
Another nickname they said was associated with Tatiana. I've always felt like that was particular nickname was actually a REAL NAME. So, I never particularly liked being called "Tatiana"
I hope this dd!
- Meanings and history of the name Tonja
German Origin, variant of Antonia. "J" ia "Y" sound
- Famous real-life people named Tonja
- Tonja in song, story & screen