'International' name for baby girl #2

Need advice! I am due in less than two weeks with my second daughter. Our naming criteria with our first was as follows: a) something that has an 'international' flavor -- I am Greek, and I want something that honors my roots in some way as well; b) not too trendy, but not too rare -- my husband has an extremely common name, and I have a less common one with an even more uncommon spelling, so we wanted a middle ground; c) a pretty, feminine name in the style of 'Olivia,' 'Sophia,' etc, but without the trendiness factor.
Our first daughter's name is Luci@ Eleni, which I think fits all of the above -- Luci@ is present in many cultures, and Eleni is a Greek name that has special associations in my family. For baby number #2, my husband is set on Anna Katerin@ (again, Anna is an 'international' type of name, and Katerin@ is a family name). I am half on board, but not sold. Anna seems to me plainer and more popular than Luci@ -- but its simplicity is also appealing. I have suggested, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, names such as Penelope, Ariane, Anastasia, and Irina/Irini, but my husband does not like them as much as he likes Anna. His alternatives are Fiona and Nora, which I feel are too far away from the pan-European style.


By Guest (not verified)
April 19, 2012 7:11 PM

What about Eva?  It's got a bit more panache than Anna, and is much less popular.  But I think it fits with your pan-European naming style, and with mn Katerin@.

April 19, 2012 8:01 PM

Anna Katerin@ is a fine name but for me it runs together a bit and ends up sounding like Ekaterina which is a different name. There might be an issue if this happens when others say it too. It does fit your criteria though and matches quite nicely with Lucia. I would have suggested Anastasia but you already mentioned you tried that. Helena, Teresa, Juliana, Francesca, Natalia are others with similar cadence.

April 19, 2012 8:04 PM

Congratulations! Love your first daughter's name.Your husband's choice is lovely, too.

Some girl names that carry into many languages (with Greek versions in parentheses) are Ann/Anne (Anna or Nani), Christine/Kristin (Christina), Elizabeth (Elisavet), Emily/Amelia (Aimilios), Helen/Ellen (Elena, Helena, Lena), Jean/Jane (Ionna), Julia (Ioula, Ioulia), Karen/Katherine (Katherine, Kolina), Lucy (Lucia), Margaret (Gryta), Mary/Maria (Maria), Sarah/Sally (Zaharia), Sophie (Sophia, Sofronia), Stephanie (Stefania), and Victoria (Nike).

Some other Greek girl names that I find enchanting: Adara, Alethia, Antonia (An-to-NEE-ya), Ariadne, Artemisia, Athena, Calandra, Calantha, Calida, Calypso, Candace, Cassandra, Cynthia, Damara, Delphine, Elaine (which means 'light', as does Eleni), Kalliope, Selena, Tatiana (which is think is actually Russian but is popular in Greece), Vanessa, and Zoe.

April 20, 2012 1:00 AM

Oh I love Ariadne and Kalliope!

April 19, 2012 11:38 PM

Many nice suggestions.  Can I interest you in Marina?  I have known people by that name who were, variously, Greek, Russian, Italian, and British, so I think it meets your international stipulation pretty well.  Obviously, it's not ideal in front of Katerina, unfortunately.  Still, not trendy, and very lovely.

But actually, I do like Anna a lot.  I am also a huge fan of the nickname Anya, if you want something a little more unusual for everyday.

April 20, 2012 12:28 AM

What about:

Maura/Moira, Kira, Lena, Malia, Nina, Julia, Talia, or Annika?

By Guest (not verified)
April 20, 2012 3:41 PM

Thank you so much for these wonderful suggestions! It's nice to see options that I haven't thought of, and I appreciate the tips about names or nicknames that play off of 'Anna' (such as Anya, Annika).

April 20, 2012 4:21 PM

Anna Katerina does fit your criteria, but also runs together a bit as zoerhenne points out, though I wouldn't call this a deal-breaker. What does sound like a deal-breaker is you don't really love Anna. While I find the sunny simplicity appealing, I think what's "missing" for you is the gentle sophistication of Lucia Eleni. Maybe use Katerina, which has little more heft than Anna, as a first name? Or go with Diana, which elaborates on the sound of Anna, but sounds a bit more regal, with the Greek goddess connection?

Hmmm, I'd also suggest Cynthia, Maria, Sylvia, ... but I want something without the -ia ending to avoid rhyming with Lucia (or maybe, depending on how you pronounce Lucia, this isn't an issue).

I also like Ariadne, Daphne and Phoebe for you. They work well in Greek and English but maybe aren't "pan-European" enough.


April 20, 2012 4:44 PM

How about Charis? It fits with Carys (Welsh). Anna Charis?

By Guest (not verified)
April 20, 2012 11:25 PM

I love Anna, in all its simplicity, but unfortunately with Katerina it all blends into "Anna Karenina" (as in Tolstoy) for me. But this is just a data point to consider; it's not like we use full names together all that much. (Most people cringe if they hear their full name: it means they're in trouble.)

April 21, 2012 1:58 PM

Yeah, this occurred to me too ... in the end I decided not to mention it, but since I'm not alone I guess it's likely there will be more who make the connection. I agree with guest, though, not a deal-breaker.

This one I'm sure is just me: Anna Charis makes me think of Anomalocaris, the Cambrian sea predator that was the terror of the trilobites... Only geology nerds are likely to think of that though, and if so they'd probably count it as a plus!

April 21, 2012 3:15 PM

Anna Katerina is indeed quite visually similar to Anna Karenina.  But because the stress pattern of Katerina is so different (ka-teh-REE-na vs ka-REH-ni-na) I don't think they actually sound alike at all when you say them aloud.  Not the sort of thing that should automatically dissuade you, I agree.

By Guest (not verified)
April 21, 2012 1:47 PM

Have you thought of doing a double fn?


Anna-Kate maybe?

I find Anna very charming, and actually quite  a refreshing choice.

I do instantly think, Anna Karenia/Tolstoy. I was surprised it took a few posts before someone mentioned that issue. :)  Up to you, whether that's a deal breaker!

April 21, 2012 5:37 PM

I love Lucia! Such a beautiful name!

Here are a few ideas that incorporate or play off of Anna:

Antonia, Anthea, Annette, Giovanna, Evany, Shana, and Vivianna.

And a few more suggestions:

Viola, Cecile, Talia, Verena, Reyna, Vienna.

Good Luck!

April 21, 2012 8:36 PM

Some suggestions paired with your names: (and some repeats from previous posters)


Katerina Zoe

Anna Marin, Irina Marin (better than Marina, I think)

Anna Elisavet (love this flow)

Katerina Elaine (very pretty together)


To be honest - I have absolutely nothing against Anna Katerina - I think it's beautiful.  It does remind one of Anna Karenina, but it is rare that you will introduce your child with their entire given first name (rather than a nickname or pet name) let alone with their whole double-barrelled name.  I think it would be unlikely to come up in regular daily life.

I do agree with the above posters that there are a lot of slightly more exotic Anna-type names that you would probably easily persuade your husband over to if you want something with more panache, and something that would visually distinguish the name from Anna Karenina.


As individual suggestions - Phoebe and Lucia are both beautiful, and would look well with a Luci Eleni (perhaps Lucia might be a little matchy, but depends on where it's placed.)




April 22, 2012 9:04 AM

Andrea is my suggestion. wdyt? Andrea Katerin

By Guest (not verified)
April 23, 2012 7:11 AM

My first thought was Athena (and I see someone else mentioned it)- do you like it? I think it's absolutely beautiful.

By Guest (not verified)
April 23, 2012 9:31 AM

How about Adelaide?

May 12, 2014 2:25 AM

Philomena, nn Mena?

May 13, 2014 11:13 AM

Tell your DH that "Frozen" will make Anna too common, sometihng you might not realize until kindergarten, when she becomes "Anna G." :-P

Seriously, though, you're not in love and the PPs have made more than a dozen wonderful selections. I second everything they've said.