First names (real ones!)

Irina Rempt ira at
Sat Jan 15 16:50:03 EST 2000

On Fri, 14 Jan 2000, Britta Koch wrote:

> [1] my parents have names like Veronika Lisa Hildegard and Werner
> Peter Klaus - so they're not too keen on second names.

Well, I like all your mother's names, as well as 'Peter' :-)

Our daughters: 

Naomi Anna Magdalena - Naomi from the Old Testament, it means
"graceful". Anna for my foster-sister, who is a nun (she thought she
couldn't be a godmother because of that, and found out that she could
after all when Naomi had already been christened, and became
Rebecca's godmother). Magdalena for another dear friend, and because
we couldn't let her have NAR for initials, it means "jester".

Rebecca Christina Maria - Rebecca, again, from the Old Testament; a
good strong woman, and we like the sound of it. Christina for
Boudewijn's grandmother who died when I was expecting the twins;
Maria because Naomi already had three names, and we thought all our
kids should. Anyway, naming a child after the Mother of God is never
wrong. I'd have liked 'Antonia' for Boudewijn's mother (my own
mother's names are Geertruida Egberdina (yuk) and she was still alive
at the time and didn't want it anyway) but my mother-in-law was
against it. 

Menna Henderika Elisabeth - Rebecca's twin; we never thought they
might both be girls, so we had one set of names for a girl and two
for boys, though I was practically sure the one on the left who
kicked so hard must be a girl. Two days before they were born we said
"and what if they're both girls?" and hurriedly leafed through the
Bible. Boudewijn didn't like Sara or Hanna, we couldn't very well
name twins Rebecca and Rachel, and we couldn't agree how to spell
Miriam/Mirjam, so we took out the Book of Saints and found an obscure
fourteenth-century Provencal saint called Menna. Henderika is for
Boudewijn's other grandmother who had also just died (not a name we
would have chosen otherwise, but she likes it :-) and Elisabeth for
her godmother, my best friend, who spells it with 'z'.

Boudewijn also has three names (Boudewijn Simon Anthonie), but I was
christened "Ruth" which may be all right in English, but in Dutch it
sounds kludgy and rhymes with any number of rude words. My parents
didn't believe in flowery names, they wanted to name their kid
something in one syllable which couldn't be mangled or varied. As
soon as I saw the opportunity - that is, when I joined the Orthodox
Church - I chose a name of my own and used only that one (with the
middle initial until I married someone with an R, so I could use the
same initials) in everyday life. 

We wanted to spare our kids the limitation of only one name, so we
gave them a lot of choice. They're not really using it yet, and
Rebecca is the only one who has a nickname at all (apart from calling
them "mouse" and similar things): when the twins were about 15 months
old, I carried Rebecca into the room when Menna was already in bed,
and Menna pointed at her sister and said "Ebba" - so Ebba it is, some
of the time anyway. It seems to be an existing name in Sweden.

(Oh, Britta? Every one of your paragraphs is one long line. Are you
using Outlook Express (it tends to do that)? Can you *please* try to
tell it to wrap at 72 columns or so? Otherwise, it's very hard to
read for people who use a text-based interface (like me). Thanks!)


            Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay.
irina at (myself) - (Valdyas) (home)

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