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Monday, February 12, 2007
By Any Other Name

A Rose Would Smell as Sweet


Names, that's my subject today. I thought I should address names and pronounciation. I've actually had this post in mind for awhile, but it's time.

Jim and I chose the name Sera for our daughter. Though it has a unique spelling, it is still pronounced Sarah. We chose this name for a couple of reasons. I've always loved the name Sarah. In fact, I've even been called that by some friends from my long-ago past. Since my name isn't even close to Sarah, it was always funny. I got coined with that nickname because of my flare for the dramatics. I'm no where near as dramatic as I was in my teens and twenties, but I really did give the famed actress, Sarah Bernhardt, a run for the money.

As I've mentioned here before, Jim and I met online. We met in an interactive game where we all had character names. Mine was Serafina, but everyone called me Sera. It comes from the word seraphim, one of the orders of angels.

For well over a year, we kept a baby book in the car. Whenever we were in the car for more than 10 minutes, I'd pull out the book and we'd start debating names. There were several we considered for months and months, but we kept coming back to Sera. We decided that Serafina would have been too cruel. We've already saddled her with a unique spelling.

I have learned in the last week that she won't be the only Sera. There's another out there with two adorable younger sisters from China. Hi, Sera! And there's even a Cera, who also has two adorable younger sisters from China.

You might wonder why I'd give my child a different spelling. Finding her name on any product will be next to impossible. But that's okay, it's too easy to order anything you want with your name on it now. I did it because my name is unique, and I love it.

You might have thought that Magi was my internet pseudonym, it's not. It has in many ways, however, been my secret identity. People who knew me professionally, only knew me as Margarita. Magi was the name my family and friends called me. It's a nickname from childhood, and I've never heard of anyone else with this name. It even has a unique pronounciation. That's why it's always been easier to use Margarita professionally. The first syllable is pronounced just like it looks, Ma. Pretend that you are Laura Ingalls Wilder and you are calling for your mother. The second syllable is pronounced with a hard g. It sounds just like ghee, the clarifed butter used in Indian cooking. Now put it all together, and you have Magi.

And that concludes today's lessons on the pronounciation of unique names.

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11 Comments:

Blogger C.J. said...

Thanks for the tutorial ;0)

I got Sera right away...that spelling isn't all that unusual.

Magi - I always thought was a different spelling of Maggie. Thanks for straightening me out on that one!

Blogger LaLa said...

Names..fun fun..oh, and I follow another blog and their daughter in VN is Sera too : )
Anyway, we named our daughter Annslee not a real common name and the spelling certainly isn't. My mom's middle name was Ann and my MIL's middle name is Lee, hence the spelling...her middle name is her Chinese name, JiaNa. I know she will have a hard time finding trinkets with her name on it (it isn't even in the top 1,000 with the "common" spelling of Ansley) but like you said, we can order anything she wants online. Our second daughter (we are almost DTV) from Vietnam will be Malia. Kind of a variation on my middle name, Melinda. Thanks for sharing about sweet Sera.

I think Sera is beautiful. When we had Jackson, eight and a half years ago, he was the only Jackson we knew from this generation. We never heard his name and now we do all the time. I wonder if you'll see more Sera's--well, you already have, haven't you?!

I would never of guessed Magi was short for Margarita!

Blogger petunia said...

It's a beautiful name. My Iraqi friends have a friend named Sera but it's pronounced very differently. I think it does mean angel....
سراي السلطان

My child's name is a common one but spelled differently and now I regret doing it because she will have to spell her name to everyone. We have never had to do that because both our names are comon spellings.

Blogger Kate said...

My kids have the #1 names in each of their respective birth years: Emily and Jacob. This was NOT intentional... I picked Emily out when I was about 12, reading a series by L. M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables, too), and Jacob is the Americanized version of my husband's middle name. Ah, well... I'd prefer their names to be a little less over-common, but once you land on the right name, you really don't have much of a choice!

Blogger Mari said...

My name is Mari Gayle. I'm named after my grandmothers. My mom's mom is named Mary and my dad's mom is named Gail. Although I didn't like it when I was growing up, I really like it now. It is nice to have a story behind my name, just like Sera does! In a way, she is named after you!

Blogger Barb said...

I love the way you've chosen to spell her name. And I have to tell you Ma-ghee, I've been thinking of you as Maggie all this time. That's going to take some getting used to. I'd never guessed Magi was pronounced that way. I kind of like that. :-)

Blogger Colleen said...

Such a teacher... :-)

I love the name and the spelling of Sera. Very feminine.

Very neat story of how you came up with Sera's name :)

~Dawn

Blogger Pamela said...

Magi, I love her name! It has a wonderful meaning and suits her well! We also spelled our daughter's name different than the norm, Chrystal. She loves that it was always different! :)

Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

Beautiful! I have a Timoni and that is very unusual. It's from Acts 6 in the Bible and I added the i on the end. Pronounced Tim-ahnee around here. She had trouble a little with it when she was a child but at 26 she loves it and likes the fact that it is unique.

My nickname for most of my jr high - high school years was Maggie! There were four Kathy's etc... in my class (although I have NEVER gone by Kathy) and the kids found it confusing and one gal labeled me Maggie since I am Irish and I loved Rod Stewart. I never thought it would stick but when I go back home I often here "Hi Maggie!". Strange!

Hugs!

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