Introducing: Anna Hermione Io Angelopoulou-Quinn
It's been a few weeks, but I didn't want to officially announce her to the world until she had a name and believe it or not, that took a while to put together. It turns out that selecting a name for your child when she's the product of a cross-cultural relationship is actually pretty difficult.
We had a number of restrictions guiding our decision-making process:
- I wanted the name to be exciting, but not in the way Christina thinks is exciting.
- Christina wanted the name to be interesting, but not in the way that I think names should be interesting.
- The name had to be "doable" for both families. Names that make sense in Greek mouths aren't always compatible with white bread world I grew up in.
- It couldn't be too long, because her family name was already imposing.
- It couldn't have an
rin it, because Christina can't roll her r's for the Greek pronunciation.
- It had to be pretty, because we both like pretty.
We wrestled with the name for weeks after she was born. What originally felt like an easy job spiralled into a constant debate:
"X is lovely, but what if no one will take her seriously?"
"I like Y, but I don't think your parents will get it."
"What about Z! It's awesome, right?", "No."
The process was especially hard on Christina who went back-and-forth a lot, long after I had resigned myself to a position of "any of these 5 will do". In the end though, we got there, and my daughter is officially ready to meet you all.
An explanation of the name, for those of you who might be a little confused:
Anna (Άννα) is simple, pretty, and universal across cultures. The name is common in Canada, Greece, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, etc. etc. It's unlikely to catch anyone off guard and pronunciation/confusion are probably not going to be a problem for her.
Hermione (Ερμιόνη) is a traditional Greek name that somehow became rather popular in the UK. Then JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter and with it created the badass that is Hermione Granger. For those of you who never saw the movies, it's pronounced "her-my-knee".
Io (Ιώ) is named for my favourite moon in the solar system. Pronounced "eye-oh", it's a fascinating world warped and pulled through tidal forces acting on it from Jupiter and its sister moons. Seriously, read the Wikipedia article. Io is amazeballs. The name also originally comes from the Greek Goddess, but that story is dumb and pales in comparison to the reality of space.
Angelopoulou-Quinn (Αγγελοπούλου-Κουίν) is the hyphenate of our two family names -- sort of. A fun fact about Greek family names is that they change based on the gender of the person. Additionally, countries outside of Greece often don't recognise this which leads to cases like Christina: her family name is Angelopoulou, but when acquiring her British citizenship, the authorities over here wouldn't recognise the different spelling and required that she have her father's last name: "Angelopoulos". So, while the name on Christina's British passport (and our marriage certificate) is "Angelopoulos", that's not really her name. It's going to be a fun one to explain at customs I'm sure.
Welcome to the world Anna Hermione Io, first of her name. I'm excited to see who you become. Until then, we can all watch you grow.