Wednesday, November 13, 2013

About her name

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:

photo (4)


  1. Beautiful girl! Congratulations.

    Annika has long been a favorite name of mine. It's even my beloved OB's name!

    Hope the four of you are getting some good rest!

  2. I love it, I love it all. And you. And her.

  3. Aww, this is so sweet! My cousin is ANN-ika and a dear (half Finnish) friend from high school is AHN-ika, I like both, but I really thought AHN-ika fit so much better with her Finnish last name and ANN-ika fit perfectly with her very American last name. Isn't that funny!?

    I love the middle name, this whole thing just makes me smile.


  4. Maybe because I've heard you pronounce the name, I don't think it would cross my mind to pronounce her name ANN-ika. But I love it, it's perfect. Will you call her Annie or something of the like, or are you sticking to the full name? And I did not know the correct pronunciation of Lila, how perfect. Love it.

  5. EEeee I love her, and I love her name. Also, that picture, I just keep imagining her thinking "OMG MIIILK"

  6. I love Annika! It's also Swedish, so here in Minnesota, I've only ever heard it pronounced the way you do and love the pronunciation.

  7. Hi, Annika! I love that name. My former coworker who is German named his girl Annika. I love it.

  8. Congratulations! I LOVE her name! My BFF's little girl is Anika (one N "so people won't call her Ann") and they call her Nika (knee-kuh) with I think is adorable. Love the Lila lee-luh too. Lyla lye-luh was our girls name :) I hope you are all doing well!

  9. Congratulations! I am also quite partial to the name as I am of Dutch heritage and have an Aunt Anneke. And I love the story of her middle name!

  10. Great name! If I saw it I would pronounce it AHN-nika because of the Annika Sorenstam (pro golfer).