Katinka, Sari, Ella, Mici, Terka, Liza and Klara were the names of the seven sisters in the lost silent film The Seven Sisters (1915), which was based on a Hungarian play.
A 1916 advertisement for the movie, which was a vehicle for silent film actress Marguerite Clark, offered the following summary:
The story is as simple and as sweet and dainty as Little Marguerite herself. She is the fourth of a family of seven sisters. Under an old Hungarian marriage law she must not marry until the elder sisters have gone off. How she and her lover clear the way with the aid of that young man’s marriageable friends affords scope for some delightful comedy amid the quaintest and most beautiful old-world surroundings ever portrayed.
The names Katinka, Sari, Ella, Mici, Terka, Liza and Klara are Hungarian versions (or diminutives of Hungarian versions) of the names Katherine, Sarah, Eleanor (or some other El- or -ella name), Mitzi, Theresa, Elizabeth and Clara.
And now for today’s question…
Bacon, George Vaux. “Seven Sisters.” Photoplay Magazine Sept. 1915: 112-120.
A reader from Sweden is expecting a baby. If the baby’s a boy, she’s thinking of naming him Ove. Here’s what she’d like to know:
I want the name to be internationally viable and wonder how an American would pronounce it. Does it look strange to you or is it common?
[Before reading on: Please leave a comment with the way you pronounced Ove when you read it in the title of this post. Thanks!]
Ove is a very rare name in the States. I’ve never met anyone here with the name, and I’d imagine most other Americans are also unfamiliar with it.
My first instinct was to pronounce it OH-vay, with a long o (as in old) and a long a (as in day) — almost like a Spanish olé, but with the stresses swapped. I also think OHV (rhyming with stove) would come to mind for a lot of Americans, as we’re accustomed to silent e endings.
According to the Swedish pronunciation I found online, though, neither guess is correct. Ove is more like OH-veh. I don’t know how many Americans would get that right on the first try. (Then again, maybe I’m underestimating our ability to pronounce Swedish names…?)
This reader is also looking for a few name suggestions:
If you have suggestions for names that work in both Swedish and English, feel free to help!
Many of the top girl names and boy names in Sweden right now are also popular in the U.S., and elsewhere. I think these would be great options. Some examples:
I’ve also written a few posts (here, here, here) about Swedish names that work well in English. These might be helpful as well.
A reader named Alexis wrote to me a few weeks ago:
My husband and I are expecting a baby girl in February 2009. He is Irish and I am Swedish so we are trying to find a simple girl’s name that is either Irish or Swedish. If you could help us it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
About a month ago I listed a few simple Swedish names, such as Elin, Inga and Lina. Simple Irish names are a bit harder to come by (Deirbhile? Muirgheal?) but there’s always Fiona, Nola, Oona or Orla.
Personally, I like both Molly and Nora.
Molly tends to be associated with Ireland–perhaps thanks to Molly Malone–and is currently popular in Sweden. (It ranks 30th in Sweden, 18th in N. Ireland and 23rd in Ireland.)
Nora has literary connections to both countries: it was the name of James Joyce’s wife and of a character in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. (It ranks 36th in Sweden, but doesn’t rank in Ireland.)
Many other simple names, though not specifically Irish or Swedish, are popular in both areas as well:
Anna (#10 in N. Ireland, #20 in Ireland, #56 in Sweden)
Clara/Klara (#13 in Sweden, #84 in Ireland, #74 in N. Ireland)
Ella (#3 in Sweden, #3 in Ireland, #22 in N. Ireland)
Emma (#2 in Ireland, #4 in Sweden, #5 in N. Ireland)
Hanna/Hannah (#9 in N. Ireland, #13 in Ireland, #20 in Sweden)
Sara/Sarah (#1 in Ireland, #7 in N. Ireland, #26 in Sweden)
What other name suggestions would you offer Alexis?
Update, 4/18 – The baby is here! Check the 2nd comment to find out what her name is…