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How to name children of mixed heritages?

(12 Posts)
Awomancalledhorse Mon 13-Jun-11 20:22:43

Wanting a bit of advice/opinions!

DH is a terribly British person, racially.
However; my fathers family are Italian/Sicilian, my mothers are Lithuanian & everyone is Jewish..which throws in another bunch of naming ideas!

DH is against any of the Lithuanian/Jewish names that sound a bit 'odd' in English (eg Casimir, Zemyna & Vojtech) as first names.

What would be the best way to 'honour' this blend (mash!) of places? One name for each heritage?

Has anyone 'left out' a heritage of their family & regretted it?

Should we just say 'bollocks' to our genes & choose any random names we like?

LO is not due until Dec so we've got time to argue about it all grin

ILoveDolly Mon 13-Jun-11 20:24:57

I bet you can find lots of names which are in common usage as 'English' but are Jewish, Latin or Eastern European in origin. Ultimately though it's your choice, not your family's!

scurryfunge Mon 13-Jun-11 20:27:01

Fantastic opportunity to think of a unique combination.
Your first priority will be to choose something you both like with perhaps a second name that reflects heritage. Some names are likely to be common to all cultures in one form or another.

NotJustKangaskhan Mon 13-Jun-11 21:12:15

My husband and I are very similar. His family trace their Englishness back to the hills, while I'm a bit of a mutt myself. We tend to put names that sound 'normalish' to the British ear as the first name for sanity's sake, then go nuts in the middle - all of our children have two middle names, though that's a family tradition on my side - and I tend to really like Hebrew names that British people go "what the?".

First priority is finding something you both like regardless, but I think if you look through Sicilian, Lithuanian, and Jewish names you'll find British-ish names. You may find this site which lists by popular country usage useful.

bruffin Mon 13-Jun-11 21:28:46

Not such a big mix but I'm half cypriot. My sisters and I all got anglicized versions of Greek names. My mum is actually Welsh but she didn't want to give us any middle names. It would have been nice to have a Welsh middle name.

RubyFakeNails Mon 13-Jun-11 23:53:05

I completely understand this, I have a Jewish mum with a russian father and polish mother. My dad is so British, his only cultural identity is as a cockney. I identify as a kind of Russian/British Jew while my DH is British/Jamaican. When naming our dc's I did think about using Jewish names but they weren't really to my taste and I got quite caught up in the thing of finding a name which suited all backgrounds but in then end we just went with our instincts and ignored our heritage, apparently DS's name is asian, I had no idea i just liked the way it sounded.

I think you have 2 options. Whats your name(s) do they nod to your cultural background, do you feel that you cultural identity is strengthened by your name? If you think that your child needs or you feel it is very important to you to give your child a name which reflects your background then do it. Go for something which are jewish italian names but also sound english to suit DH, for example

Samuel, Gregory, Isaac, David Lucca ...
Sadie, Maria, Sofia, Anna, Rosa Isabella ...

or decide that its just a name as I did and its more about upbringing which reflects these things. Yes maybe if I had called my son Meyer Sacha ... he would feel more Jewish/Russian but I'm not that Russian, I dont speak a word, have never visited Poland and last went to shul 10 years ago.

manicinsomniac Tue 14-Jun-11 09:30:25

My children are half English and half Brazilian so they have British first names and South American middle names.

slowshow Tue 14-Jun-11 10:38:22

We've chosen the "bollocks to our genes" option grin

I am bog standard English and my husband is of Indian descent. We have chosen names because we like them, not because they suggest any particular culture or ethnicity (and, in fact, DH was extra keen on choosing an "ambiguous" name so people wouldn't be able to guess the baby's ethnic background!)

I suggested using an Indian middle name, but he isn't bothered, and since I'm not equipped to choose a name from the right language / region, I'm happy to go with his wishes. I'm sure our child will get a sense of their Indian heritage in other ways.

squeak2392 Tue 14-Jun-11 20:29:48

I think race should only change your opinion of a name if you the association with somewhere is too strong to ignore.
As it happens, I think Casimir is really nice.

Whatever you do, I don't think their names should be strongly anything. You've got a really far-ranging pool to dip into there - I'm sure you can think of something that works in English too!

I really like (easily pn-able!!) Eastern names, so I would probably go that way, but if you want a balance you should go Biblical - that suits the Jewishness and the Italian (or at least the fact that Italy was once heavily Catholic).

KvetaBarry Tue 14-Jun-11 20:31:44

we went for a name that is the same in both languages - will go for one which is pronounced, if not spelt, the same in both next time! DH is eastern European, I'm Scottish, so a nice blend grin enjoy!

Bonsoir Tue 14-Jun-11 20:45:35

If your DH is British (and, I presume, CofE) and you are of mixed Italian (Catholic) and Jewish heritage, you should look to the Old Testament for inspiration that may just capture all of your future DC's heritage.

Lonnie Tue 14-Jun-11 22:32:07

We also went for the Bollocks option on some level.. We went with names that was pronounced the same in both languages..

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