When we picked Callum's name, we originally hoped to find something German, but found that German boy names were either VERY German (Fritz, Heinrich) or also mainstream American to the point of not sounding German at all (Alexander, Benjamin). So ultimately, finding nothing we liked, we gave up on our hopes of a German name and went with the boy name we liked best.
This time, with a girl, there WAS a German name that we both loved. In fact, it was the name that we had discussed using for Callum if he had been a girl. And we were delighted to get to use it. It's German, but also familiar here (and actually more common in the US than Callum: Annika was number 528 for US girls in 2012, while Callum was number 810 for US boys). It has a good nickname option. I think it fits nicely as a sibling name for Callum. And I think it's beautiful.
We are pronouncing it the German way: AHN-ika. (The true German pronunciation is a little closer to AHN-ee-ka but I can't say it quite how they do, and don't try.) However, we don't plan on being aggressive about correcting people who mispronounce it. Unlike people who say CAY-lum or CAH-lum instead of CAL-lum, it doesn't bother me at all when people say ANN-ika--I think that's the preferred pronunciation in the US anyway. But since it's a German name and she's a half-German baby, we are using the German pronunciation.
Also, on the middle name, we wanted something that was special and meaningful. Callum's middle name is for my uncle Michael, who died when I was 10. Annika's middle name (Lila) is the German word for purple. (It's not a name in Germany, just a word, just like "purple" isn't a name here.) It's pronounced LEE-la. Isn't that awesome? I love it so. It's German, for Torsten, and it means purple, for me, and I just love how it's a little piece of each of us, and also a pretty name. I would never use it as a first name, since it's a non-standard pronunciation of a common American name, but for a middle name, which is perfect for something meaningful and impractical because it's rarely used, it's perfect.
Just like her. I mean, LOOK:
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