For Christmas, one of my students gave me a calendar and, I have to say, it really is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do I now know what day it is most of the time, I am also aware of the name days that are being celebrated on any given day. After three and a half years here, I thought I had encountered most Latvian names, but I’m delighted to see that this is not the case.
In January and February alone, a plethora of names have caught my eye – and tickled my funny bone. For example, Spodris, Spulga, Tenis, Donats and Justs.
As the temperature today was -13 with a ‘comfort’ level of -19 (comfort, my arse), I decided to entertain myself by delving deeper into the world of Latvian names. I was amused to see that ‘Smaida’, which means ‘smile’, is a name. According to my research, there are 307 ‘Smaidas’ in Latvia. Having never met a ‘Smaida’ in person, I was wondering if they live up to the name. A quick message to a couple of Latvian friends revealed that one girl does indeed know a Smaida.
Me: Is she smiley?
Spodra: Nah, she’s a miserable bitch.
But if you think it stops there, prepare yourself. ‘Gonoreja’ is a name in Latvian. And yes, it means exactly what you think it does. I’m not sure what parent would curse their child with the name ‘Gonoreja’, or the effect that it would have on one’s future…
“Good afternoon. Gonoreja speaking. How many I help you?”
“Hi, my name is Gonoreja and I’ll be your waitress this evening…”
It would be a rather unlucky British stag night that came to Riga and bumped into Gonoreja and her buddies, Sifilis* and Klamidija* sitting at a bar.
It normally costs 50 lats (or around €70) to change your name in Latvia but unsurprisingly, Gonoreja is on the list of names that they will allow you to change for free.
My research also reveals that there are 9 Stalinas living in Latvia – it’s a girl’s name. Once I’d picked my jaw up off the floor, I got to thinking about how being called Stalina might actually be kind of cool. Picture the following playground scene, if you will.
Stalina: Get off the swing. It’s my turn.
Jānis: Who’s going to make me?
Stalina: I am.
Jānis: Ha, ha, ha! You and whose army?
Stalina: (Latvian Girl Death Stare)
Jānis: Oh, er, right. Here you go. Sorry about that Stalina, won’t happen again…
The name Indeguna also exists, however, if I may, I would like to make a small adjustment to this one and shorten it to just ‘Inde’, which means poison. I feel that more Latvian women should be called ‘Inde’. Think about it – if you marry a woman called ‘Laimdota’ (gift of happiness), you’re really just setting yourself up for a fall, aren’t you?
However, if you married a woman called ‘Inde’, well, then you’d have a much better idea of what was coming. It would be like the Ronseal of Latvian girls’ names.
In Latvia, you also need to be careful about the first name-surname combination when naming your child. While I can’t imagine what surname would go with Prezidents or Afrikants, here are some other possible catastrophes you could saddle your little bundle of joy with: Alnis Zaķis (Moose Bunny), Kaija Putniņa (Seagull Bird), Jautrīte Skumjā (Cheerful Sad – a bi-polar disorder waiting to happen, surely) and wait for it, Kails Gailis (Naked Cock). I suppose, if you wanted to be really mean, you could call your kid Spodrs Gailis (Clean Cock) and then, just for the laugh, try to introduce him to a girl called Gonoreja…
However, my absolute favourite is Maiga Vāvere or Gentle/Soft Squirrel. It’s made all the funnier by the fact that Vāvere also means, um, ‘lady parts’ in Latvian.
In fact, I think I might change my name…
Changing your name to Inde Vāvere? €70.
The look on people’s faces when you tell them your name is ‘Poison Vagina’? Priceless.
(*These may not actually be names, but anything is possible I suppose.)
What do you say about Valda Skudra (Ruling Ant)?
I’m outraged that I was not informed about this earlier 😉 Hilarious!
Haha, nice one!
I am a Latvian and I really like your blog! Keep doing it, you are doing it right!
Ps. My name is Santa and when traveling abroad I often have fun moments with my name too! As currently I’m living in Italy, 7 out of 10 times they will ask me if it’s my name or surname because in Italian it means ‘a saint’ and is not common to name some one as a Saint unless you really are. 😀 And elsewhere abroad I am Santa Claus ahah. Sometimes they don’t believe until I show my ID card.
About the funny name combinations I wanted to mention one – Arta Zeme which means ‘ploughed ground’ 🙂
Cheers from Italy and forgive my English!
Your English is fine! Thanks for the comment! I often wondered how the name Santa would work abroad – good to know! And maybe you really are a saint – there are a lot of them 😉 Linda.
Just remembered of a former colleague of mine, a teacher Ziedīte Dzeguze. Would translate as Blossom Cuckoo.
Ha, I like that! I might change my name to Linda Cuckoo 😉
It turns out Latvians have squirrels, British ladies have beavers. more furry, huh?
That’s my morning laugh sorted! 🙂
I know someone called Ziedonis Abelite (spring apple tree) – very poetic:)
Aw, that’s quite nice actually!
One of the most beautiful Latvian name/surname I have come across has been the artiste Dzidra Dzelme.What romantics must the parents have been !
I wonder if her name influenced her choice of career!
Have you heard about Latvian American Steve Gulbis? Since in Latvian passport it has to be written as it is pronounced in Latvian, it is Stīvs Gulbis (stiff swan).. Not a bad combination either! 😉
He’s lucky he’s not Stīvs Gailis 😉
I used to work in inner city schools were names can be wacky. I had a student whose name was, and I kid you not the poor child, Placenta.
Oh my god! That’s awful! Poor child indeed! 🙂
As it’s already pointed out, you can check if it’s true or an urban legend here:
We are also aware about sound of Donats, there is even a doughnut shop called Ze Donats (The Donuts).
A noticed your passion about Miervaldis. Have you noticed that Putin has got the Russian version of this name?
The given names of currencies (Dolārs and Dinārs) are usually given in gypsy families.
I use to say that a word that has a meaning in Greek is a Greek name and in that sense yes, we do have Latvian names. The emotional Jautrīte, Maigonis and Smaida seem quite funny to us but there are also some very nice names from the nature like Vilnis, Ausma, Sarma and plenty of flower names.
But what I find more interesting is the fact that Greek name doesn’t make you Greek here. For example, if you are called Juris like me, people will think you are Latvian, but other Greek names like Konstantīns, Kirils and Aleksandrs will make people think you are Russian. And Jewish names like Anna and Jānis are considered “Latvian names” here while Sāra or Ābrams is known by everyone to be Jewish names.
Sorry, I happen to write A instead of I and ir instead of is sometimes 😀
My students say ir instead of is all the time 😉 One did it just this morning 😉
I was aware of the Vladimir/Miervaldis connection alright! But wait, Janis is a Jewish name??
Origin – Hebrew, Meaning – Graced by Yahweh. Can you get more Jewish than that? And the “In other languages” section includes all the localized versions like Jānis, Ivans and also the Irish Seán and Siobhán (should be latvianized as Sīnis (sīnis=drunkard) un Sjobana, I believe).
And ебаный is the Russian curse word that Sjobana seems to sound like. It is pronounced like “yobunni” or “yebunni” and it is common to hear phrases like “jobanie krievi” from Latvians.
Interesting stuff! And I know a new swear word now 😉
I believe I see a picture from “Chomsky” toilet door?
You are correct, sir! It’s my new favourite bar 😉 That real fire on a cold day is to die for 😉
May that help you. You won’t be able to find “Gonoreja”, for example. That database contains Gonorata but it has came from Polish (version of their Honorata that’s quite common name for them).
Thanks for that!
I love those weird and funny names & combinations. Btw, every year they’re adding more and more to the calendar. I certainly don’t remember any Indeguna in it when I was little.
Also, I always thought the Latvian name Mētra (which literally means Mint) was great, even wanted to name my daughter like that (changed my mind now. still think the name’s cool, though).
Oh, and don’t forget – when you’ll have your Name Day, people can actually turn up on your doorstep uninvited with some cake & stuff. It’s totally legit on a Name Day!
I thought I had to provide the cake and snacks – I would have been hiding behind my sofa so nobody could see my total ineptitude in the kitchen 😉 This is good news indeed! 🙂 Mētra sounds nice in Latvian – you’d run the risk of people calling her Metro if she moved to another country though 😉
Nah, not necessarily! Although having an extra bottle of wine is always a bonus 😀
Yeah, foreign country is probably one of the main reasons I wouldn’t call her Mētra.
Speaking of funny foreign names, when I first arrived to Ireland I found the name Siobhan incredibly funny (that is before I learned how to pronounce it correctly). If you pronounce it the way it’s written and do it with a slight Russian accent and emphasise the O, it could almost sound like a Russian swear word.
Then there were also incidents when I had to call out a name and it was Niamh, Aine and Aoife. Needless to say, I didn’t know how to pronounce them and had to shout instead “Heeey! Yes, yes, you!”
I usually have a bottle of wine in anyway 😉 Yes, Irish names – I sometimes make my students try to guess how they’re pronounced, just for my own personal entertainment! I didn’t know Siobhan sounded like a swear word though! Even better 😉
Ha, this is incredible. I totally want a Latvian name now. Is Malicious Nipple available?
Oh, I’d say so! It’s all yours Ms Nipple! 🙂
Gonoreja??! Seriously? That’s just cruel and unusual punishment.
There are a lot of strange names here 😉
Gonoreja is definitely not a name in any recognizably official sense; no printed calendar would have it, unless an explicitly prank one. You couldn’t find it in online Latvian calendar either: http://www.apollo.lv/varda-dienas Are you sure you didn’t misread another name, like “Veneranda”, which IS in calendar? 🙂
But you did remind me of when Soviet times were nearing end: think 89-90, there were a couple short articles in newspapers about wierd Soviet-time names. The explanation given then was that most of those were given by uneducated peasants somewhere in the middle of Russia, just because they liked the sound of them. The examples given were (yes) Gonoreja, twins Pincet and Lancet, Chlamydia(sic), and, as I remember, Hegel Bismarkovich (so a Russian father with a given name Bismarck, has given his son name “Hegel”). 🙂
I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a couple of such names in Latvia, as people did move around the USSR.
On the other hand, try looking in the word database for “Dolārs” (yes, $). 🙂
Ha ha, yes, I’ve come across Dolars before! I think I meant to include it in the post but forgot – thanks for reminding me! 🙂
I thought you might like this http://www.roots-saknes.lv/Names/calenderA.htm
Thank you! Interesting!
Glad you’ve discovered the joy that is a Latvian calendar! (Although what drives me nuts about them is that you need an entirely different calendar for any notes/events/etc, as the Latvian ones never have any space in which you can write! Hmm, maybe this is one reason folks in Latvia are not big on planning in advance?!) Clearly many of those names are no longer actually given to kids – and for good reason!!
My younger sister and I got many hours of enjoyment from Latvian calendars when were were kids. Because we’re Latvian-American, most Latvian kids we knew here in the States had “international” names – that would work in both languages. Lots of girls named Kristina/e, Mara, Anna, Ingrida, Laura, etc. Lots of boys named Roberts, Eriks, Peteris. Of course, we did know folks from older generations with the more offbeat names such as Visvaldis, Milda, Gunvaldis, Laimdota, Dzintra (which is IMPOSSIBLE for English speakers to pronounce!)
My parents went the “more” Latvian route, naming me Daina and sister Anda (although we would have been Karlis had either of us been a boy). My name is constantly butchered by Americans – they think it’s Diana misspelled, or they just pronounce it Dana constantly. She’s been luckier in that regard, although one not very bright 8th grade classmate spent the whole year thinking her name was “Honda.” Yes, like the automobile company!
Some more unique names by American standards have made a comeback here, as I know some little kids named Vizma, Lauma, Ansis, Krisjanis, Livija
Ha ha! Glad the comment button finally worked for you! I got a great laugh out of ‘Honda’ 🙂 I’m sure your sis didn’t find it that amusing though! Do you know how they choose the days for each name? Or why some days have 4 and some only one?!
Really, which names have 4 days?!? How they make that decision is something I definitely don’t know, but I’m guessing there is a commission for it! I would think that maybe a local Latvian might know… Maybe one of the wise commentators right here on your site? 😉
Bizarre thing is that on calendars in Latvia, Daina is October 23, but the sole Latvian calendar that is published here in the States (by the only Latvian newspaper, LAIKS) has always had my name day on Oct 22! That’s what I grew up with, but – really – if I need to celebrate for two straight days, that is fine by me!
Ha ha, yes, I’d go with that! No, I meant that one day could have 4 names, while another might only have one 😉
Just to put some icing on the cake: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BZgFzFeIcAA2Bw5.jpg:large
Yes, I used that while writing the post! 🙂
Etymology of names always fascinates me. And there are some pretty ones that you mentioned (Indeguna? very pretty), till you break them down…
I think Indeguna is horrible! Guna means dress in Irish, actually 😉
What do you mean, in Irish? You mean it’s not just English spoken with an indiscernible accent?
Ha ha! Nope, it’s a whole other language. For example, ‘Can I go to the toilet?’ is ‘An bhfuil cead agam dul go dti an leithreas?’ I’ll never forget that one expression as we had to say it in school whenever we needed to go 😉 Thank you is ‘go raibh maith agat’ 🙂
Celtic? Related? What’s the language group?
Yup, Celtic 😉
Look at me, so smart 🙂
You are a smart and beautiful young woman 😉
The words for vagina and squirrel are the same? I’m never going to look at a squirrel in the same way again…
Or a vagina… 😉
I don’t tend to see too many of those about… usually they’re covered 😉
Unless Britney or Paris are getting out of a taxi after a particularly hard night… 🙂
Don’t be so confused. From man’s world ;-): If You use a word “squirell” in this meaning, it’s a slang and refers to english word “pussy”. Just in case.
My Latvian vocabulary is increasing all the time 😉
It gets worse than that. The car brand name Peugeot, if pronounced French-correctly, will sound, but for the ending letter, like THE derogatory Latvian term for female parts (think c**t). 🙂
Ha ha! I’ll make sure not to drive a Peugeot here – Linda in her c**t-mobile 😉
Linda, its funny…, but yet again! You are accusing latvians for something that is absolutely not related to us. All those Stalinas, Leninas, even your most favorite Gonoreja is not and never was given to any latvian child. You seem to ignore the fact, that there are 2 different nationalities ( same concerning that leopard print…) and such things are getting mixed up. Ask about meaning of so many russian family names! However Moose Bunny and Seagull Bird is true. Sorry to spoil all the joy! Names like Kails and Stīvs are just stupid wish of parents to sound modern, those both are coming from Kyle and Steve.
A bit off topic – we found out that there are 3 latvian words you dont want to use in public places in english speaking countries. Those are: faktiski (in fact), šito (this one) and pusīti (roughly-small half). 😉
Yeah, I can see why those would get some funny looks! Sigh – if I have to say Latvian, Russian Latvian, Polish Latvian, Ukrainian Latvian, Belarussian Latvian, ‘real’ Latvian and ‘fake’ Latvian in every post, it will send my word count into the thousands! 🙂
No worries, we will teach you… hard way! 😀 First lesson for free – never use Russian Latvian in the same sentence and we will be fine! He he
By the way – my name is rather old Latvian, but I am used to questions like – ok, this is your family name or nickname, whats the real one? Aaand no, its not Janis… 😛
Is it Miervaldis?!
Hmm, I wonder if, for example, in Ireland and all its parts, it is acceptable to call Irish English and vice versa. 🙂
I don’t think we could differentiate! I’m Irish Irish but I speak English – does that make me English Irish!?
The question actually was, does it make you English? 🙂
I was thinking more like going to some Belfast Irish pub and call people inside English. 🙂
Good luck with that plan! Do you like your kneecaps?!
See the indifferent rudeness in Latvians is just suppressed hate for somebody who can’t discern between Latvians and Russians! We don’t break your knees, but we DO stare at you without greeting, we KNOW you can’t see the difference! ;P
You mean Latvians can read my mind?!
“never was given to any latvian child”…
Given that thousands of ethnic Latvians (Red Riflemen and others) stayed behind in Soviet Russia in the 1920-ies when the civil war was over, I wouldn’t be so sure that there was not a single Lenina of Latvian ethnicity 😉
I’ll say nothing on this one 😉
No, but we read your blog! 😀
Meh, that old thing. 😉 Mind reading would have been way cooler. I know that you ‘read’ mushrooms and berries so mind-reading didn’t seem like that much of a stretch. Maybe like some magical power contained in the 6th toe… 🙂
Gonoreja? Had to google for names and closest thing i found was Gonorata. Pretty close but…
Maybe it’s a Latvian urban legend 😉 Gonorata… jesus. 🙂
Actually, as some commenters have pointed out, these names are given to Russian children, and due to specifics of Russian language, where H often is replaced with G, turned out quite ambiguois. The root fo these names is Latin “honor”, which you recognise in English as well, but, yeah, that stupid G and name of disease… 🙂
It’s rather unfortunate alright! 🙂
Gonorata could be russian version of Honorata: “woman of honor”.
Honorata sounds much better!
Ha ha, love the idea of Gonoreja, Sifilis and Klamidija on a night out, waiting to enflame an unsuspecting stag group. Very funny 😉
They’re awful tramps, those three… 😉
OMG, I nearly hyperventilated laughing so hard. This was a brilliant read after a stressful evening! Bless your heart (and also your poison vagina).
My poison vagina thanks you and hopes to make you laugh again in the future 😉
I have no doubt that your poison vagina will be the gift that keeps giving.
The fact that squirrel and vagina (?!!!) is the same word is a legit reason to learn latvian! Hahaha
I think so… 😉
It’s actually slang.
In Latvian, “squirrel” is to “vagina” the same way as “pussy” is to “vagina” in English.
I think I might call it my ‘squirrel’ from now on – try to start a trend 😉
Do you celebrate your name day while being here in LV, Linda?
When I remember it! I forgot about it last year as I was just back from England I think. This year, I have the calendar so I’ll have no excuse! I wouldn’t really say I ‘celebrate’ it – I do, however, accept flowers, wine and chocolates. Actually, I accept flowers, wine and chocolates every day 😉
I was taught that English was the hardest language to learn. After reading this post, I just can’t believe that is true.
It’s harder to get squirrel and vagina mixed up in English – that much is true 😉
I a…m… sor..ry…, but I can’t resist…
Ha ha! They do not look like soft gentle squirrels at all! 🙂
Yes, squirrel, lady parts.., in the pants…
“Tell me what makes you jump like that..”
Have you heard of latvian name Viesturs? Someone will maby corect me, but direct translation to english would be Guest keeper (Viesu turis)
Ha, I’ve met a couple of Viesturs – didn’t know what it meant though! I also like Miervaldis – master of peace 🙂
Gonoreja… Parents can be so cruel…
My favorite Russian names aren’t reeeeeally Russian names, but made up Soviet ones:
Dazdraperma: Shortened form of “Long live the 1st of May”
Maels: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin
There are a couple of Leninas here as well 😉 Jesus, Long Live the 1st of May is a bit of a mouthful of a name 😉
How about Valtherperzhenka (Валтерперженка) Valentina Tereshkova – first woman in the space.
Or Lunio(Лунио) – Lenin is dead, but his ideas are alive.
Valentina is a nice name – for a girl anyway. One of my male friends was going to be called Valentine – thank god his mum changed her mind 😉
I do wish I hadn’t eaten quite so much before reading this post…
Did my word vomit make you actually vomit?!
Nooooooo – laughing’s hard when you’re stuffed to the gills!
Tell me when you’re not stuffed to the gills and when it’s safe to publish a post… (I may never publish again!) 🙂
Like you can stop yourself… 😉
Yes, that might be difficult 😉
Fell off my chair (FOMC?) laughing about Gonoreja and Stalina. Coolest post ever.
Is FOMC a thing now?! I’m still getting my head around sista from another mista 😉 And thanks! I like this one 🙂
As usual, I made it up. I like it better than ROTFL. Seems more plausible than rolling on the floor. But believe me, I was laughing. It reminded me of the time my husband was on the rowing machine laughing at his audiobook. And he accidentally laughed himself off the seat. Luckily, I don’t have balls so that can’t happen to me. But laughing is not always the best medicine;)
That sounds painful!! 🙂 But I nearly FOMSL (Fell off my sofa laughing) Apologies to your hubby and his balls 😉
We should totally make FOMC a thing. (It’s probably already a think I’m just slow but humour me.) I’ve never been that into LOL or ROFL but FOMCL I could get into, if only for as long as it takes everyone else on the internet to pick up the lingo.
Meanwhile, I think the part that stood out to me was the fact THERE IS A LIST of names you’re allowed to change for free. How would you feel just knowing your name was on that list? (Belligerent?)
I’d say every country has one – some just ban certain names to begin with which makes more sense to me! So if you wanted to call your child Hitler, you wouldn’t be allowed to. Save the child 18 miserable years until he can change his name! And yes, FOMC all the way! Must check if it is a thing…
Also, just saying, it’s totally free to change your wordpress display name. Admittedly, you wouldn’t get to see the looks on people’s faces.
Yeah, and where’s the fun in that 😉
Totally worth spending the seventy euro.
140 maybe – to change it back again when the joke gets old.
Ha ha, yes, I think that would happen fairly quickly!
Kazakhstan has the most far out first names I’ve met. After you understand what they actually mean, it’s hard to keep a straight face addressing students such as Baby camel’s eyes (Akbota), Light prince (Nursultan), Moonlight soul (Aizhan) Beautiful Moon (Aigerim) or Yergali (mighty warrior)
Fabulous – I’d never manage to keep a straight face!
I’m headed to Riga in the first week of March on business. I’m sure I’ll get a few giggles out of the names while I’m there. Thanks!
If you meet a Kails Gailis, you have to let me know! 🙂
Speaking of vaginas…
There is an urban legend out there that a woman named their daughter Vagina (pronounced Va-gina) after hearing it and thinking it sounded nice. When it was explained to her that that is the name of the private area of the female anatomy, her response was, “No, that’s your hoo-ha.”
Not sure if it’s necessarily true, but you get some really strange names here in the US sometimes.
Ha ha ha! 🙂 One of my favourites is Jermajesty – I think it was Jermaine Jackson? 🙂 Vagina is hilarious though 😉
My husband once had a student named LaTrina. I’m not making this up.
Her mum probably thought it sounded fancy 😉
With all due respect, I do think at least one or your explanations is a bit off. “Laimdota” is most likely “given by Laima”, Laima being a deity [sort of explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laima ].
Unless the calendar gifted to you was some kind of “extended” or even a prank version, I seriously doubt it contains “Indeguna” or “Gonoreja”; I take it you used http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/lv/sakums/statistika/personvardu-datu-baze/ or the like to look up those [I’ll point out though that searching for “Gonoreja” didn’t turn up any entries there]? Be aware the database contains all the names given, of all the different nationalities living here, not all people necessarily being concerned what the name might mean in Latvian. “Gonoreja”, of course, if it really is somebody’s given name, is most likely a product of parents wanting to sound fancy without knowing what the name means.
“Stalina” obviously goes back to the times when everyone was happily building communism. And so on …
I fail to see anything funny about “Spodris, Spulga, Tenis, Donats and Justs” as well. The first two, obviously, have meanings in Latvian; Tenis, again, if memory fails me not, is some deity like thing found in Latvian folklore [or is short for “Antons” according to the “Latviešu personvārdu vārdnīca” [“The dictionary of Latvian given names”]]; “Donats” in the same dictionary is explained as “donatus” originating in Latin [“given”] so basically an absolutely normal “name from the Bible”; same as “Justs” originating in Latin “fair, just”. What is supposed to be funny about that? I’ll admit though that I’m not the sarcasm type of person.
The name-surname combinations of course, are funny, if unfortunate for the person in question. I think you missed classics like “Stīvs Gailītis” and any name starting in M with a surname Ērglis, leading to a signature of “MĒrglis”.
I haven’t read through every month 😉 Indeguna I found on that pmlp website. And no, there is nobody called Gonoreja even though it is a name. The others just sound funny in English – Donats, like doughnut, Tenis, like tennis, Spodris, like spud (slang for potato) and Spulga just sounds like someone vomiting. I hope that isn’t your real name 😉 It’s probably just my sense of humour though – your comment also made me laugh… Linda (Inde Vāvere)
When I started reading this blog, I thought it would be like my Polish name day calendar, with loads of strange biblical names. This is much more hilarious. And seriously, how puritanical would you have to be to call your daughter gonhorrea?
Ha ha, I don’t know if anyone has 😉 Or maybe they did but the daughter changed it (free of charge) 😉 There are none on the official register of names, thank gonorrhea 😉 Deserves a clap I’d say 🙂
Boom boom 😉
Thought you’d like that 😉
Of course! 😀
There is a male name surname combination ‘Vilis Skuja’. It’s quite ok in Latvian (‘skuja’ actually means ‘fir needles’), but its phonetics in Russian is hilarious, it sounds ‘climbed out of ‘gentleman parts’ ‘. Just such coincidence.
Ha ha HA! OK, if I ever have a child in this country, that’s what I’m calling him 😉
The funny fact is that there are several variations of this made up name of Stalina, differing with soft/hard “L” and some other things I don’t remember now – not only parents choose wierd name, but also manage to misspell it. Crazy…
There are also 2 Leninas in the country. And a scary number of Adolfs…
A lot of the Adolfs are remants of the early 40s when people thought that the Germans were there to stay and thought that the best way to please the new guys was naming their sprogs after the Fuhrer.
Makes a strange sort of sense I suppose! I think I would have changed my name after that though… There are HUNDREDS of them.
Unfortunately a lot of the more extreme Latvian nationalists have convinced themselves that a German victory in World War 2 would have been good. Bad as the Soviets were, the Nazi plan was to murder half the Latvians and Germanise the rest, banning Latvian language and culture.
Doublecheck guys before you say anything. “Ādolfs” has nothing to do with Hitler and WWII. It’s actualy a Swedish name (have you heard of king Gustav Adolf the Second who founded the Swedesh Empire?) which stuck in Latvia after Sweden ruled here for a while many centuries ago. Has been in Latvia since 16th century, quite a looong time before German dictators, don’t you think so?
Linda, I used to have colleague Liega Nagla (soft/ tender nail). So sweet… BTW, Klamidija would be Hlamīdija in Latvian. 🙂
Ha ha, the H makes all the difference 🙂 Soft Nail… some people are as hard as nails but I’ve never heard of a soft nail! Is Hlamīdija actually a name?!
No, hlamīdija is a bacteria causing the STS chlamidiosis, but Klamīdija has no meaning at all. There is old style person name Klementīne, which is also known in English and which origin is French.
Nah, Clementine is fine! There’s even a song – oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’ Clementine… I don’t think anyone ever wrote a song about Chlamydia though 😉
We had fun as students thinking of combining a staff members first name and the e-mail version (without dots on top of o and a) of a students surname: guy.porn@…. haha.
Ha, I’m just imagining my new name on my CV – firstname.lastname@example.org 😉
…I am imagining what kind of emails you’d be getting… I’m sure the local birds would find that email address easily 😉
I think I’d just be asking for trouble with that one!! 🙂
There are actually a lot of articles covering that topic, I suggest you to google if your Latvian language skills are up to that.
E.g, I once wrote about two sister, both unmarried. One was called Gaida Sirsniņa (Waiting Heart) and the other one was called Maiga Sirsniņa (Soft Heart). I also knew a guy called Džastins Keiss (weird for a Latvian, I know, but try pronouncing it – Just in Case) who said his dream is to marry Džastina Taima (Just in Time). The list could go on…
Neadless to say, one of my grandma’s is called Pārsla (Snowflake) and another one is called Ausma (Dawn). Luckily my name is international and doesn’t have a meaning.
Ha ha, just in case! Also love Waiting Heart and Soft Heart – they sound like fairy tale characters!! My granny is called Margaret (or Peggy) – not nearly as romantic!! 😦
Well, luckily all really Latvian names are very nice and poetic. The ugly ones (like Gonoreja) are some stupid new-world additions which should be forbidden.
Do you know the common Russian female name Gaļina, short form Gaļa? In Latvian it means “meat”, so you can imagine conversations in the grocery story…
Jānis: Sveiki, vai gaļa ir? (in LV – Hello, is there meat?)
Shop assistant: Gaļa, u tebja prišļi! (in RU – Galya, you have a visitor!)
Calling your child Gonoreja really should be against the law! I didn’t actually find anyone called that but the fact that it is a name is bad enough! There was also 1 Afrikants and 1 Prezidents 😉 Somebody was also telling me about Lisija – means bald in Russian? So you could be Lisija Ērgle – bald eagle 😉
Yeah, Lisija is correct!
But Lisija Ergle is not so bad – once a year you could go to Riga Zoo for half price (every year for one day they make a promotion. If your surname or first name is an animal name, you get 50% off. If both are animals, you go for free. Any language will do (might need to take dictionary to prove some harder cases). Good deal, loads of funny statistics every year!
Oh my god, I love that idea! Damn my stupid boring name 😉
Linda, you must have been in extremely high spirits lately to come up with such a hilarious post! 🙂 Literally LOL 🙂
I guess I have been in a good mood lately! 🙂 Glad you find it funny!
Laughing so hard that my jaw hurts 😀
Ha ha, I was the same when thinking about it. 🙂 Something would pop into my head as I was walking around and I’d burst out laughing in the street 😉