Why aren’t Turkish babies named Natasha?

American writer Meg Nesterov is chronicling her experience of being pregnant in Turkey over at travel blog Gadling. Her latest post has to do with choosing a baby name:

“Whatever you do, if it’s a girl, don’t call her Natasha,” was the first bit of advice a Turkish friend gave me about having a baby in Istanbul. While a common and inoffensive name in the US and Russia, in Turkey and many other European countries, Natasha doesn’t have the best connotation. It tends to be slang for, well, a certain kind of professional woman from Eastern Europe, or just a gold-digger; not things with which you want your baby to be associated.

She also mentioned several English names that don’t sound quite right in Turkey, such as Erik (which means “plum” in Turkish) and Dana (which means “veal” or “calf”).

So go check out Meg’s “knocked up abroad” series. (And leave her a comment with your favorite Russian girl names while you’re there.)

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