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The Happiest Baby Name - Allegria

Updated on February 10, 2018
kallini2010 profile image

Kallini is an amazingly intelligent woman who is easily understood. She is wise, and funny. An entertainer - philosopher at heart.


I dedicate this article to Mr. Happy. His nickname suits him so well that I have difficulty remembering such harmony between a person and his nickname. Name is a suggestive command, they say. Did Mr. Happy choose his name or his name chose him? He has his own story to tell and his own theory about names. But I wonder whether it is a coincidence that he recommends to his readers the book “Happiness is Overrated” written by Raymond Angelo Belliotti. The only thing I know is that Mr. Happy brings HAPPINESS to my world.

Italian hit "Happiness" with English subtitles

What do the words “STUPID” and “HAPPY” have in common?

Maybe, you would say “STUPID” + “HAPPY” = “IGNORANCE IS BLISS”. These words are neither synonyms nor antonyms, but what do they have in common? Like all words both “stupid” and “happy” are concepts. Names are words and more often than not, names are words with a meaning; therefore, names are concepts.

What concepts do you know that are often used for names?

The list is long, but let’s say:

Light, God, Defender,

Happy, Happiness,

Farmer, Warrior, Glory,

Names of Flowers,

Hope, Freedom, Angel… Judge…

Judge? Yes, Judge. I have one at home.

Name is Daniel = “My Judge is God” (origin: Hebrew)

Why did I choose a name that is not Russian and which meaning does not appeal to me at all? That is another story, but in essence the decision was strongly influenced by conservatism of my husband. He was determined to prevent me from choosing a STUPID name. A STUPID name? A name that HE DID NOT LIKE.

But most people including me do not want a STUPID name for their child and it is all in pursuit of future HAPPINESS. Something like that.

Would you like to call your child “HAPPY”?

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Would you like your child to be called “STUPID”?

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What makes a name STUPID? Who is to judge?

“It's not given to people to judge what's right or wrong.

People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.”

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Most of the time a stupid name is nothing more than an unusual name. Stupid and unusual are not synonyms. Conservative people prefer choosing and using familiar names, familiar as in accepted by the majority, safe names. Unfamiliar names, names created on the spot, badly, oddly sounding names are denounced depending on the level of intolerance.

The message that society sends to defiant, eccentric parents is “Don’t you dare to invent your own names!” But all names were at some point created. Somewhere. By someone. At some point all names were just new.

But even on ACCEPTABLE/ACCEPTED names opinions differ and fall into different categories:

  • · I love it
  • · I like it
  • · I dislike it
  • · I hate it
  • · I am indifferent

You cannot like/love all names, can you? Neither can I. How do I make a judgment? What aspects of names irritate me? My likes and dislikes are very personal, but I have come up with a few reasons why names are declared STUPID:

What do you dislike in a name?

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Gender Ambiguity

There is a strong desire to keep names divided along the gender line – female versus male, girls versus boys. But as it often happens, there is some blending, some diffusion – boys get names that USED TO BE for girls and girls get names that USED TO BE for boys. It has been speculated that a name affects his or her bearer so strongly that girls with boys’ names become more masculine and boys with girls’ names become more feminine. I am not going to argue.

I know that sometimes when names cross a geographical border they cross the gender line as well. They become TRANSGRESSORS OR IS IT CROSS-DRESSERS? Long time ago Roman names RIMMA and INNA were male names. Now in Russia they became strictly female names.

Maybe Romans would have objected, but it is too little too late. They are all dead now. But the words live on.

A word spoken is past recalling.

Romans will be fine, but we have to accept this everlasting trend. Names migrate and they change their gender. They always did and they always will.

For example: NIKITA is a male name in Russia and it took me quite a while to get used to the idea that it became a girl’s name abroad. I do suffer from the same affliction, I thought it was STUPID. Then another name bothered me – MISHA Barton – MISHA is a male name, short for MICHAEL. But…I relaxed my views with age.

Why? Well, maybe where is MICHAEL, there is MICHAELA and then MISHA would be just fine except for the fact that it is a short form and that is another trend that I cannot stand – using short (diminutive) forms as full names. It sounds so immature. Can you imagine MISHA Gorbachev? I cannot and I don’t want to.

My first bout of “Stupid Names Intolerance”

...happened when my mother had bought me a present – “Dictionary of Russian First Names”. I opened it eager to find a mind-boggling variety of names. And I did, only the mind-boggling part of it was my shock that those names were NOT Russian by origin and most of them were completely unacceptable, in other words, STUPID.

For example:

Female: Hariessa (? – but it comes from the word Charisma)

Male: Sozont (? “zont” in Russian means “umbrella”, but in Greek it is “He who saves”)

You see? There is nothing wrong with the concept, but there is everything wrong with the way it sounds. No one, correction, no Russian parent would choose a name like that.

Where did these "RUSSIAN" names come from?

We love to collect, especially in our childhood. We collect mostly worthless things, but things that fascinate us. I keep things, but I am not a collector. My passion for COLLECTING names did not last too long, but my passion for names remained.

At the age of ten I started collecting … names. I was recording every name in a notebook, every name that I could find.

The problem was I could not find too many. All names in use seemed to be so common, so used and overused. In every class, there would be a few Svetlanas, a few Irinas, a few Marias, a few Natashas (Natalias), a few Yekaterinas… Same crap for male names. Russians lacked either imagination or they lacked names.

Lack of imagination is nothing else than conservatism, but what about lack of names? Why were the choices so limited?

It turned out to be that Slavic names were thrown to Dnieper when Russia took Christianity together with all pagan paraphernalia such as statues of Gods. New names were taken from the Bible and they were mostly Greek, Roman, and Jewish with a few additions here and there. I don’t think Russians ever became ardent believers or devout Christians, but they accepted and used new names. They accepted, but apparently they were not HAPPY. Why apparently? After the Revolution in 1917, religion was denounced, abolished, persecuted and one of the freedoms the Soviet (Russian) people got was freedom to choose names. Of course, there was a surge of ridiculous (STUPID) new names like REVOLUTION (female), but they did not make it in the long run. But those Biblical names that were inflicted on Russians a thousand years before did not make it in the long run either. And a thousand years is an awfully long run.

Nobody, nobody kept naming children with those abhorrently sounding Greek names. It’s not their stupidity that did them a disservice, it was only phonetics. Most of Greek names were too unpleasant to the Russian ears. It was all Greek to us and it was not SOUNDS OF MUSIC.

So, here we go. The majority of names used before Revolution was abandoned, but Russians never returned to the old Slavic names either. Now those names sounded STUPID (as in strange, unfamiliar, new) as well.

What was left?

Next to nothing.

Next to nothing.

Words are not only concepts, but words are SOUNDS!


I don’t think anyone, correction, any Russian who speaks English will call their child MODEST or MODESTA. It is a modest, but not a HAPPY choice. Nothing wrong with the meaning, but I don’t like it.


What is your reaction? Something like “So? What is wrong with that?”

This Greek name actually means “to save” + “kin, father”.

Nothing criminal, so to speak, but to the Russian ear? A disaster.

Because the first part “SOSI” means suck, the whole thing sounds like “Suck your father”.


AKAKIOS (Akakiy) means “not evil”. It may mean “not evil”, but no normal Russian parent will choose a name that sounds almost like “defecate”. That would be EVIL. That is when we say STUPID.

Names originate in one language and then migrate. If in the original language they mean something “not evil” and most of the time really good, good, HAPPY things, in the host language they become phonetic combinations that get associated with… the closest PHONETIC combinations.

But it is JUST ME. I don’t denounce these names as STUPID. But some people do, they have long lists of names they don’t like and don’t accept. SIMON, ELECTRA, DAMIEN

I wrote a whole (long and winded) article trying to say that there is nothing wrong with the name SIMON(E).

Stupid Kid Names

Now there is a new list (long and winded) that I took from the web site Stupid Kid Names and while I don’t know most of those names (as never heard of them and have no idea what they mean), I got that unmistakable feeling of hatred so often associated with everything not to the likes of the people behind it.

I was puzzled why these names were proclaimed STUPID:

Achilles, Aidan, Allegra, Chloe…

I don’t have to like these names, but I find them quite acceptable.

Especially ALLEGRA. Happy, happiness.

Remember it is a concept. Those HAPPY names are used and accepted. In English? In English.

The problem with HAPPINESS is that you cannot make everybody HAPPY.

To some, ALLEGRA means HAPPY, while to others it is nothing more than a string of sounds… (that make them unhappy). ALLEGRA is a bad, foreign name, but what if the name is translated and instead of its form it would keep its meaning (concept)? What if a girl was called HAPPY?

Spectacular clip!

ALLEGRA makes you feel and it makes you feel strongly

As for the sound, please listen to the song – I can guarantee it will stir and elevate your emotions. This song ALLEGRA makes you feel and it makes you feel strongly. By the way, do you know what the name of the singer means? PETRA means “rock, stone”. If I had to choose between these two names, I would go for…

I am happy

In English, the name HAPPY would sound the same for a boy and a girl. Right? I am dreaming… Who in their right mind will call their child HAPPY?

In fact there are plenty names used in English language that mean HAPPY.

FELIX is just one of them. And you know what? I considered it for my son.

Only my husband thought it was STUPID. Was it?

Every time I would have called my son, I would have said:





HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY...............Go Lucky.

Remember WORDS have tremendous power and if you hear HAPPY every day, maybe you’ll become happier. Maybe our ancestors knew better after all.

Do you think that Allegra, Allegria and all its forms are acceptable and "normal"?

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What about name Happy?

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You'll Never Think about Happiness the Same Way Again

© 2012 kallini2010


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    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      17 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      Yes, the Russian Empire - the true empire of evil. Did you see the film "The Soviet Story" (it's available online)? The Soviets had concentration camps long before Germans and did not close them after the war. In fact, Germans studied how to organize and run camps in the Soviet Union, they just did it better - more efficiently.

      I believe that Germany is misrepresented.

      For every movie that is done about Nazis, there should be one about the Soviets and a movie about other places where genocide took place.

      China, Japan, Vietnam, India, Middle East, Africa - where are those?

      Speaking of Middle East and its history - the West remains deeply ignorant about Middle East and all there is - fear, not a scrap of knowledge. Not to say the illusion of superiority.

      That's where my thoughts go every time I think about Germans. They were not much worse than others. Hitler said about his own people, "Soldiers dying on the Eastern front? But that's what soldiers do. Berlin in ruins? I don't care about "so called" civilians, they must die for their country. Everybody will die anyway - sooner or later."

      The most shockingly surprising discovery for me was - humans have "us vs them" gene. It's natural for us to fight - we are tribal. The "other" is the enemy and for survival "we" must destroy "them".

      It's not exactly what we are being taught in school.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      17 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I was aware of the facts of when it was written and also that the manuscript, hand written and fragmented, was found by her daughters and subsequently published.

      But I read Irène Némirovsky's novels and collections of short stories relatively recently at the behest of another friend of mine who reads widely and is a constant source of amazing literature.

      I have also read of the very talented woman;s almost unstoppable headlong rush towards her ultimate fate... her expulsion from the Ukraine and their escape from the Russian Empire to Paris. Poor soul... poor souls, the victims of the Holocaust.

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      17 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      I would not know either - how could I? It makes me very curious (probably a good scientist died in me), but I know one thing for sure - mothers tend to love the weakest children the most. Other - healthier, more psychologically well-balanced kids are fine with less care/attention.

      My grandmother had four children and her last son was "a problem". He was her favourite. He ended up spending most of his life in jail. I think she was right, he needed different type of care, but the times were different. If you are weak, it's your fault.

      Speaking of names - his name was "Good Genes". He was anything but.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      17 months ago from USA

      I'm not sure whether Happy is called that because it's aspirational or because it's in jest. I do know he's one of his parents' favorites, terrible disposition and all.

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      17 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      Yes, Ian, I agree wholeheartedly - if anyone is excellent and believable in the film - Kristin Scott Thomas is number one. The novel itself is a gem for many reasons, but I would point out one aspect - it was written as the events were unfolding and not what we thought had happened later.

      Matthias Schoenaerts plays a strikingly nuanced German officer and I don't know how it is possible not to fall for him.

      Even though I read the novel, but I did it so long ago and I did not remember (probably because I did not pay attention to) the more disturbing details - not the black and white - Germans, the Enemy, the Invaders vs. their victims, but how the conquered population behaves. It's not only French phenomenon - it's not the kind of movies we would like to see that shows us in such a light.

      Another actor - Tom Schilling (Lieutenant Kurt Bonnet) is worth mentioning - he plays dramatic and visceral roles.

      Films like that make us rethink and reconsider the history lessons.

      I do think of you often too.

      Much love,

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      17 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Dearest Svetlana, I heartily approve of your comments regarding Matthias Schoenaerts in Suite Française. And of course, nobody could have played Madame Angellier any better than the wonderful Kristin Scott Thomas, one of the most beautiful and talented actresses.

      I have read the book, and although the film deals with a small section of that book, and although the script or story was manipulated somewhat, I think the very talented Irène Némirovsky, if she had not fallen victim to the atrocious behaviour of the Nazis, would have applauded its move to the cinema screen.

      Thinking of you often, my dear friend.


    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      17 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you, Flourish for your comment.

      I can understand forgetting a name when you get to a fifth kid. Totally. In fact there is an old Russian name roughly translated as "the ninth - o". Naming was no longer a priority - as long as parents could count.

      I can understand the Q - family. Hard Q - are effective sounds (if you ever happened to wonder why the f-word is so ...).

      There are plenty of seemingly weird names, for example, Odd Bull. Well some names are even, some names are odd.

      It surprises me, though, why your nephew has his Happy nickname. Is it to make fun of him? Calling him the opposite of what he is? How does he feel about it?

      I can understand disposition. Not all of us are blessed with easy-breezy-wonderful personalities. But as you know there is 50-50 of nature vs. nurture. Maybe he feels like that because something is missing in his life?

      There is a short story by a Russian writer about a man who loved melancholic women. So, he found one, fell in love and married her. It turned out to be that she was suffering from some condition. He took care of it and the condition was gone. Together with melancholy.

      You see my point?


      about Vladimir Putin - he always reminded me of a rat. But I think an actor - Matthias Schoenaerts - he reminds me of Putin in a good way. I think he could be very cool (he played in Suite Francaise).

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      17 months ago from USA

      I liked this. I once lived in a small Southern town with a fair number of interestingly named people. I went to high school with a Pressphonia ("Press" for short). A prominent man in the town was named Sterling Silver (first name Sterling, second name Silver). The mayor (whose middle name began with a Q) named all of his kids Q names: Quincy, Quay, Queenie, etc.

      I have a nephew nicknamed Happy. He is the last of five children. His mother originally named him Evan, but after taking him home as an infant she found that she just couldn't recall his name. It was also too similar to his older brother, Ian. They changed his name to Justin when he was three days old because the hospital hadn't officially filed the birth certificate. Little Justin is now almost 10 and has always had a terrible disposition. He is very cranky and unpleasant. The poor kid is also a dead ringer for Vladimir Putin. (Looks just like him!) The family calls my nephew "Happy." It's strange to hear a kid named Happy say, "Don't you make me hurt you."

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you, aethelthryth, for your comment. I did not think it was a real name until you told me - I am not an expert in names, but I looked it up - -

      of course, it is a difficult name to pronounce - for me!

      but in an English speaking country, it should not be a problem. At least it would be my assumption. (My struggle is with "th" sounds simply because there are no such thing in Russian as "th").

      In any case, it is a choice and having a difficult name can have two distinct outcomes -

      some children go through "torture" from others who dislike everything unusual, ab-normal


      they learn how to fight for themselves, their names included. I saw a living proof of that when a Spaniard was named with a typical Russian name. He was fighting for it like a lion all his childhood.

      I wanted a special name for my son, but I went for peace in the family. I wrote that story

      So, I think, when it comes to names, there are no stupid names - there are choices.

      I honestly believe that a child must have a say in choosing a name.

      If a person is conservative, then s/he will go will a common name.

      If a person is more creative, then s/he will go will a more unique, rare name. (I chose a pen name - Dolores, well, there are reasons. But when I warmed up to the idea of having multiple names, I can accept changing them daily. Just for fun!)

      In any case, it is in our adulthood we are capable of standing up for our own choices. Children are ill prepared for that.

      Maybe you will consider writing your own naming story as well.

      And thank you again for letting me know of such a beautiful name as yours.

      All the best,

    • aethelthryth profile image


      6 years ago from American Southwest

      In my experience (usually but not always), children with unusual names are usually named by the mother, and "normal" names are usually the father's idea. I noticed this after a couple named Jim and Susan argued about children's names. Jim, having grown up with a "normal" name, wanted the same for his children. Susan, having grown up with a "normal" name, wanted her children to have something more interesting. (They compromised, on normal-sounding but rare names.)

      My husband, who has an unusual name (picked by his mother), wanted our children not to have to go what he went through. I have what is now an unusual name, but in my generation, a very common name, so I thought it would be nice to be the only kid in the classroom with one's name!

      So that is how I ended up with the name "Aethelthryth" on HubPages, because my husband did not want a daughter to have to live with a name nobody could spell, and I wanted to use such an interesting name somewhere!

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Martie – you are more creative with combinations than I – maybe you had more practice at it, as well. But does it not constitute creation of new names that is frowned upon?

      I wonder what you would choose for yourself if your mother informed you that there were only two choices – Anasstassiya or Nina. I did not want Nina, but that name is less common and what could have been really a deciding factor for my mother in choosing between those two names – Nina went much better with my patronymic and last name. We have to think about it, too.

      That was one of the reasons some names I suggested for “Daniel” did not get an approval – they created some awkward phonetic combinations with his last name. But if I got “understanding and agreement” with his Dad – I would have gone for a Slavic name. I’ll write that story later. And if I really, really, really have time – I would write a story about my own name – it turns out its story is truly unique and I had NO idea until a few days ago. We don’t know our own history.

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Oh, I don’t find it silly at all. If even now it is hard to trace etymology of certain words and there might be limited interest by linguists only, how could you expect the general public to even wonder? What does this or that mean? We think that we understand. Until we learn something and realize that we had no idea.

      Just today I was browsing a linguistic section and while I had no time to read, one fact jumped off someone’s article. That someone by the name Noah Chomsky had a theory that people tend to express themselves in a similar way and the understanding is universal. An example was simple (simplistic if you want) “a black car” – it would be understood regardless of a particular language that a car has a black exterior, not interior. My reaction? I take it in, it seems very logical… Later in the day, I browse another article and there is information about Slavic names – Light(part2) or Black(part2) names would refer to the hair colour. It makes sense, too. To me. In fact, I remember when I immigrated to Canada during the first couple of years when I was describing people I was “translating” from Russian sentences and sometimes it changed the meaning. When we refer to a person as “black”, we refer to the hair colour. “He is black”. It is so AUTOMATIC, that it took me a while to stop and think. There were a lot of moments when structure affected meaning and I would not know as much if I did not have to struggle for clarity. It is the 2nd, 3rd and so forth languages teach you to understand your own better and better. And it also sparks interest. Before, we tend to take OUR OWN language for granted.

      Even now I am not always aware that certain words in Russian and English are practically the same. They do not sound identical, but when put together, it just jumps out. The latest “revelation” was the word “crash”. In Russian it sounds “Krakh”. In fact there are way too many words in European languages that are interconnected that I began questioning to what degree Slavic languages are indeed Slavic? When fundamental words are practically the same?

      And speaking of Sweet Water – Zucker Wasser, Sugar Water, Sakhar Woda

      And “Sakhar” (sugar) sounds almost like Zakhar (Russified version of Zacharius). But without you I would not notice it. You have lived long enough with this word… I find it all simply amazing.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Anasstassia + Nina could become in my language Anina, Anine, Anastine, Tasnia, Natasni, and so on....

      Ian in Afrikaans is Jan. Diminutive: Jannie.

      The comments in here is as interesting as your hub, Svetlana :)

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 

      6 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      So very true, Kalline, even my own uncle had no idea what his last name--which is the same as mine--meant.

      Our family has mysterious European roots that likely date back to the tribe of Levi in the old testament...the name is Zacharias.

      In the Peasant, Low German that my uncle was so used to speaking, the last name meant "sugar water." In essence, the Hebraic meaning of our last name means "God has remembered." He had no clue of the origins of our family name and, therefore, had lived 70 years without a clear understanding of his own unique surname.

      It is misunderstandings like this that can turn what is perceived by one as a "sweet" name into a very significant 'name shield' that one bears.

      It was simply in the sound of the name in Low German that brought him to believe he was "sugar water," instead of a quick study into the genesis of his own name bearing the responsibility of a deity's memory.

      Silly, huh?

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you, Randslam, for your comment. I am pleased to meet someone who is also intrigued and interested in names. I find that names have very deep roots in history, sociology, liguistics and personal stories. I agree that a name influences character development, but it makes a difference what exactly a name bearer “hears”. If the name is a part of the language and therefore the meaning of it is clear such as Victoria, Earnest, Gloria, June, April and such…. It is one story. Meanings of foreign names are not transparent, therefore the subconcious mind makes phonetic associations.

      [for example, Slavic names would influence us quite differently – Vladimir, Dragomir, Bogdan, Miroslav – unless you speak the language, they are “empty” for you]

      There were studies showing

      That Laura is more likely to become a lawyer

      Dennis is more likely to become a dentist

      Alexis would be better at math…

      But it is a long story, of course. I don’t write research papers on names or treteases – that would take all my life to learn about names, I simply write lyrical essays sharing my thoughts on a subject.

      I am trying to express myself and to pique curiosity of my readers. Maybe they will look into their own names, the names used in their families, the meanings, the history…

      I felt it, too, that the Russian Orthodox Church had robbed the nation of its cultural heritage, but if you have to think about what Churches/Religion is capable of – that is not the worst (compared t crusades, massacres, inquisition, burning witches, etc.)

      I wrote an article a year ago and I thought I said everything I wanted to say about names. Even though, the premise was to write about my own name, but after having read it again, I realized it was more about concepts rather than one single name.

      Just a few days ago, doing a light research for another “name” article – What a beautiful Russian name! – something that I wanted to write for ages – I came across the information that my name is not an old Slavic name. It was coined in 1802 for a poetic personage. The article is very long and I intend to read it, but in essence I felt like

      We never know. We never know enough. Even such trivial subject matter as names can be looked at from so many different angles. Every single name as a thread – if followed – can lead into the Cave of Wonders.

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Dear Ian:

      While I was pondering my answer to your comment and went to check your name specifically and I was surprised to see the results - one learns every day INDEED! - I did learn more about your name,

      but the real shock was

      when I came across my own name. For the first time in my life I discovered that it is not an old Slavic name even though it sounds like it

      it was invented. In 1802 for a romantic song. The article contains way too much information and my internet access is limited for a few days, so I will read it later. The source is a saga in a sense.

      One does learn every day.

      And Ian is a beautiful name.

      Your mother was a very wise woman.

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 

      6 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      Thanks, Kallini, for a hub that informs and invites along with some silliness...for added happiness

      I've always been intrigued by names, because so often, even when a person doesn't know the meaning of their own name--the label seems to fit.

      My own theory involving the 'what's in a name' quest resides there--even if you don't know what your name means it very likely describes elements of your nature and personality.

      If more people looked at the importance of naming one's children with purpose maybe it would be a happier world?

      However, the diminishing of names as the Christian Russian example fascinated me--shows the limitations that one's theology can place on parents--and their children.

      Good hub...with lots more to say...but I don't want to name call anymore than I already have.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thanks for pointing out that the Weslh spelling of my name is probably a direct transfer from the Hebrew. Ioann with the last "n" removed, I didn't know that. The Welsh are a pretty religious group... well the ones in my mother's village were when she was a young girl, so maybe...

      One learns every day, Svetlana... err... Dolores.

      But a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet... and in your case, write as exceptionally well.

      Thanks, my friend.

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      You are very welcome, Mr. Happy, but I have to admit that I went for a ride myself. This article was not intended and it started with just stupid names with no happiness in sight.

      It was almost ready when I came across Allegra and I said to myself - "What is wrong with Happiness?"

      Right or wrong, but for me Happiness and You are a very strong association. And even though I did not read the book, I read the excerpts (out of curiosity) and I agree - it is a must read. When I have time I intend to read it.

      We all have our interests, so names were always an interest for me, even more so - a passion.

      So, that is why I keep writing about them.

      Thank you for reading and enjoy the wine, it is a good choice for an evening like that!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Well, I was the only one (for now anyway) who answered the last question with: "I accept it unconditionally". Cheers to the whoever said: "It's stupid". Haha!!

      I have to accept it ... it was given to me, what else can I do? Or why not?

      "The problem with HAPPINESS is that you cannot make everybody HAPPY." - No, it is not a coincidence that I am promoting Angelo Belliotti's book "Happiness is Overrated". Ya, I'm overrated ... for sure! Haha ...

      Gotta read the book - I do not comment on it except to say that it is a great text, worth every penny and the time for sure. I should know ...

      Thank You for the ride again Kallini and thank You so much for the dedication. You know a lot about names ... I'm nowhere that informed. I actually do not care much about names - I think they're just labels which people put on us. I have many too - everyone who meets me seems to give me a nickname. I'm fine with it, I don't care; whatever works ...

      Thank You for putting this together, for sure! Loved the songs too: the Albano and Romina Power was fabulous, a favorite since I was a kid and all the others too. My Tatone (Montepulciano D'Abruzo 2007) goes great with the Alegria song. Cheers! : )

      Happy-happy joy-joy!

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you, Ian for such a lovely comment.

      I am glad you could laugh.

      I agree we all have our preferences for names.

      Some people do not want them shortened, some people do not want them lengthened.

      Indeed Ian is a variation of John. But look at the way it was shortened from the original Hebrew form

      Ioann - I(o)an(n).

      If you look at it this way, your mother’s name Ann is contained within Ioann.

      The name Ioann came to Russia in its original form but somewhere in 16th – 17th century even Ioann the Terrible was referred to as Ivan the Terrible and as some say Ivan The Awesome.

      In English Ian has two syllables, but in Russian there is another reduction to Yan. “Ya” is one sound similar to German “Ja” and represented by one letter. Even though the name Yan is short as it could be (two letters only), there are plenty of diminutives. I like diminutives, but I also take a consideration what a name bearer wants. I ask how can I call a person and I respect the wishes, I think it is the very least we can do to show respect.

      Ever since I introduce myself as Dolores it is another comedy. I might write about it if I have time – if before people were messing with Svetlana (we cannot pronounce it, can I call you Lana?), now once they hear Dolores they WANT to call me Svetlana. What is your real name? What is your legal name?

      Now I have a temptation to change my names more often. Why not? It’s fun once in a while.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      An excellent and thoroughly entertaining hub, Svetlana.

      I laughed, I smiled, I was entranced by the Enya video. How really beautiful to watch.

      My mother was a clever woman, Her name, Ann, she loved, but her whole family, and therefore nearly everybody in the village called her Annie... which she hated,

      I don't like diminutives and neither did she, so when I decided to appear, she chose a name for me that can not be shortened, and there isn't a diminutive form, and one can't even add "y" or "ie".

      So it's Ian... Plain and simple, and cannot be bastardised.

      Ian is the Scots version of John - Gift of God (That's me).

      She had considered naming me with the Welsh version of the name, which is Ioan. She was Welsh, so it would have been appropriate. But I am so glad she didn't because it is a somewhat difficult name to pronounce.

      Once again; great hub. I've marked it UP and INTERESTING, and because I laughed out loud while reading it, there's a FUNNY as well.

      Thank you for brightening up a Sunday evening for me.

    • kallini2010 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you, Martie, for your comment. I did not know anything about naming "code of conduct" in South Africa, neither for whites nor for blacks and I found it utterly illuminating.

      Do not even think about apologizing for a long comment, it was lovely. I think you almost wrote a hub and if you want it, I would "delete" it and you can publish it as your own work (which it is).

      Combining names? Does it always work? My mother planned to name me after either grandmother: Anastassia or Nina.

      Do you think those could be combined:

      Anasstassia + Nina = ?

      I do not have enough imagination for it.

      The way blacks name their children as equally fascinating.

      "Nelson Troublemaker Mandela" - could be a great hub name. You write fast and in an engagingly flowing manner, why don't you do it?

      The beauty about names is that every "name" has a story and every child has a "naming" story, sometimes a story of a combat between parents or extended family. I've enough heard stories and even mine... both for me and for Daniel are stories of disagreement and disappointment.

      This "happy" story was a sidetrack from my son's naming story... I hope to finish it.

      Thank you again,

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Svetlana, this is an extremely interesting and well-written hub!

      For centuries down here in South Africa, Western parents named their children according to a specific code of conduct. First son was named after the father’s father and the second after the mother’s father, BUT the first daughter was named after the mother’s mother…. And so on and so forth. One child could have been ‘cursed’ with up to four names. One of the names would be converted into a nickname – i.e. Martha = Martie, Catherina = Rina.

      My generation started to reject family names, but not completely. They would combine the names of the mother’s mother and the father’s mother, for instance Martha plus Catherina = Marina...

      Parents of today don’t care at all about family names. They search all over for a name with a good sound and meaning, or they will coin something based on the name of the father or mother. For example my daughter’s eldest is called Dané (Danay) after her father, Daniël. The second, Mia, contains accidentally (and to my delight) letters of my name, but it is also, accidentally, a diminutive of her mother’s name (which is also my mother’s), Wilhelmina. My daughter-in-law named her daughter Juneane, after the month she was born, and then she decided her son’s name should also start with a J, so she called him Julian.

      The traditional black’s in our country have the most interesting names, because the babies were observed for a couple of weeks before they were named after their personality or a specific emotion or event at the time of their birth. Many of them were in fact named ‘Happy’, of course in the relevant language. These children became very proud of their names and tried to live up to its meaning. For example, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Like all black children he was given a ‘Christian’ name, or at least a ‘Western’ name – Nelson - because the Westerns could not pronounced African names. (And they still can’t.) Rolihlahla means "troublemaker", so already as a baby he revealed his potential to make trouble, which he indeed made for the whites until he finally succeeded in his mission to get the unjust regime of ‘Apartheid’ demolished. (The letters ‘hl’ in his name is a clicking sound made by the tongue against the middle-to-back of the palate.)

      Sorry for this l o n g comment, Svetlana, but I thought it would be relevant to this most interesting hub of yours.


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