In recent years the name ‘Charlotte’ has decreased in popularity the UK (from the fourth most popular in 2000, to 24th in 2013) but it has shot up American charts (from 298th in 2000, to 11th in 2013.) ‘Charlotte’ is already the number one girls name in Australia.
Ironically the most frustrating place to pronounce my given name is in the English-speaking country of Australia, my adopted home. People have spelled my name, Dauun, Done, Don…. Matt tells me to pronounce it “Dorn,” but I just can’t bring myself to do that.
Before becoming a mother, I collected a list of requirements for my future child’s name- to prevent any of the same grievances I have.
- More than one syllable (which helps with point number 2)
- Must sound good in other languages
- No awful Aussie nickname (they will stick an o, y or ie after ANY name) *late addition
- No double letter initials (I was Dawn Denecke for most of my life, DD)
- Different but classic (no Apple’s or Siri’s for me)
“We can do whatever we want,” he replied.
‘Lavinia,’ it will always remind me of our European honeymoon since I had the song on our traveling mix. And it gets better- the traditional nickname for Lavinia is Vinnie (Matt’s Dad is Vince and my Grandfather’s middle name was Vincent) a nickname I could live with-and love.
Virgil’s ‘Lavinia’ was a strong character, described as the ‘Mother of Rome,’ she was so loved by her husband that he named the city after her, Lavinium. My beloved Shakespeare had a character called Lavinia too but she was tragic so we won’t mention her.
And speaking of Lavinia’s Dad, his name was actually David for the first few days of his life before he became Matthew. My name came from outer-space, my poor Mom was super groggy before her cesarean and doesn’t remember adamantly telling my Father and Grandmother to name me Dawn if I happened to be a girl.
And so we have Lavinia Florence. A big name for a little girl with a huge personality. Nailed it.