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Izabela? - Advice with Polish name for a girl

bholsneck 1 | 3
14 Mar 2012 #1
My wife is from Colombia, and I am from the US but my grandparents immigrated here from Poland, so I am definitely into my heritage. That being said, we decided that we when we have kids, we were going to name the first child a Polish name, and the second a Colombian name. Long story short, we are about to have a girl, and we have chosen Wiktoria as the name. I was wondering if anyone in the States has had a lot of problems with naming their child with a tradiitonal/native spelling. Specifically I am curious to hear from anyone who has used a name with a W instead of a V, but any imput on traditional/native vs. local spellings would help. We are pretty sold on the spelling Wiktoria, but it seems that we are getting quite a bit of backlash from others about how difficult it will be for the kid.

We are also planning on having Isabella as the middle name. I was wondering what is the most common spelling of that in Polish?


Alligator - | 261
14 Mar 2012 #2

Both of these are common in Poland.
Never heard of Isabela or Isabella in Poland.The pronounciation in Polish would seem awkward.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
14 Mar 2012 #3

go with this
Alligator - | 261
14 Mar 2012 #4
There is really not a big difference between Izabella and Izabela since for most of the time she will be called Iza (at least in Poland).
pawian 188 | 17,916
14 Mar 2012 #5

Marcinkiewicz i Isabel. To koniec?
OP bholsneck 1 | 3
21 Mar 2012 #6
Thanks for the input everyone
patrick 6 | 113
21 Mar 2012 #7
Why would you give your child a name that you know she is going to have people asking her how to say it? I am American and my wife is Polish, and we named our kids Aleksander and Helena because they are work in both English and Polish.
21 Mar 2012 #8
Why would you give your child a name that you know she is going to have people asking her how to say it?

Because if they care to know her, they'll care to understand her name. I am also American with a Polish wife, and we named our daughter "Milena", which has already been mispronounced more times than I thought possible. It's a beautiful name, and it's HER'S. I wouldn't change it for a second.
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
21 Mar 2012 #9

Izaleba, Karolina, Monika sound Spanish also, all are good choices.
OP bholsneck 1 | 3
23 Mar 2012 #10
Thanks for understanding. We really want something that shows some heritage and could even be an interesting conversation starter one day. I knew a girl in college, and her name was Waleska. She actually didn't mind explaining to people how to pronounce her name and was impressed when people would know how to pronounce it (i.e. had some worldly knowledge). It is the same with mi suegro (father in-law), his name is Jaime (pronounced Hi-mee) but everyone always says "Jay-me". Also if we have a son, we were thinking of Camilo (pronounced Kah-mee-low), so I understand that there will always be some explaining and misspellings, but I think almost any name (including my own Brian vs. Bryan) will have variations and misspellings. The main reason for this post was to see if anyone with W instead of a V or any other unusual spellings had any horror stories or issues with government docs or anything like that. That being said, I do appreciate all of the reponses.
patrick 6 | 113
23 Mar 2012 #11
Thanks for understanding. We really want something that shows some heritage and could even be an interesting conversation starter one day.

Yes, but why can't you have an interesting name that at least has letters that can be relatively pronounced correctly in both languages? My wife is Ewa and she always has to correct people. Why can't you choose something like Kornelia or Helena, which can sidestep this issue?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,847
23 Mar 2012 #12
she will go through school being called Wiktoria with a W sound.
Why punish your child because of your grandparents emigrating?
Call her Sophia or some international name like that.
polishmama 3 | 279
23 Mar 2012 #13
My name is actually Katarzyna. I love it. I don't care anymore about people who can't handle my name. I feel sorry for them, really. It's a great clue as to how worldly and/or intelligent someone is based on their reaction to my name.

I get issues once in a great while with government documents but that's their problem, not mine. They correct it and we both move on in life. Also, the government workers are much more used to "ethnic" names than you might think.

Another thing to consider, when she starts dating, her name will help her weed out the racists/morons/lazy bums/uncultured boys from the real, intelligent, cultured tolerant men. Another bonus? It will help her stand out in her job interviews and at work, in a positive way. You could also imagine that if she gets a job dealing with people from other countries, that she will automatically be given bonus points by those customers who will associate her with being more travelled, etc. than they would with a woman named "Amy" or something like that (speaking from the international freight forwarding perspective).
Krakman 4 | 58
24 Mar 2012 #14
My name is actually Katarzyna. I love it.

I like that name too!! However, I don't particularly like the all too familiar shortened version 'Kasia'. If there's a problem in Poland, it's shortening of names unnecessarily.
patrick 6 | 113
25 Mar 2012 #16
I still don't see why you can't just give the kid a name that works in both languages, there certainly are plenty. You can still have a name that's easy to pronounce and still have the exotic factor too.
OP bholsneck 1 | 3
26 Mar 2012 #17
I guess the way I figured it, if I gave her a name pronounced the same in both languages but with a different spelling i.e. aleksander or monika, or other examples shown here she would still be spending her whole life correcting people on the spelling. At that point you might as well go with the name you want since you're going to have to correct people anyway. In reality how many people are meeting you as a child with your name written out? The first day of school the teacher may say "Wick-toria", at which point they'll be corrected and from then on, everyone in that class will know her as "Victoria". When she meets new people she will introduce herself as Wiktoria (Victoria), since most times when you meet someone you don't hand them a paper and say "this is my name." Again I figure there is going to be more of an issue with spelling her name, which like I said eariler is the same with many names (myself included Brian vs. Bryan), so in that case might as well go with what we want. I didn't realize that having a little pride and wanting to carry on some memories of ancestors was "punishing the child" as some have said, but I could be looking at this differently than most, which is why I came here to get a reality check. I definetly wasn't especting this many responses, so thank you all for the imput, both for and against using the name.
polishmama 3 | 279
26 Mar 2012 #18
I just spoke to a friend of mine who's German and her husband's Korean. Their daughter is Wiktoria, no issues and she is 7 years old. Go with a name that will benefit her in the professional force. Want an uncomplicated mainstream not special name? That's the type of job she'll be perfect for. Want her to be remembered and work in a professional field? Pick a name that will work in that situation. People who are educated, tolerant and professional will have no issues with the name Wiktoria.
natasia 3 | 368
28 Jun 2012 #19
The issue with Wiktoria is to me mostly that when your daughter is learning to spell, the 'W' in particular will conflict with English for her. IF she were being brought up in a bi-lingual household, this wouldn't be a problem. But she isn't.

It's only one letter, though. She'll just have to get used to it.

And I think 'Milena' (lovely name) is a different kettle of fish - because it isn't a Polish spelling of a name which is also English. Really, the only thing you are doing with 'Wiktoria' is spelling it differently.

Our daughter is called 'Mia' and we also get a lot of mispronunciation ... that isn't a big deal, though. Personally I think confusing your daughter with Polish spelling is more of a thing. I guess she'll work it out in the end, though. But people will call her 'Wicky' ...
sa11y 5 | 331
28 Jun 2012 #20
hat's the type of job she'll be perfect for. Want her to be remembered and work in a professional field? Pick a name that will work in that situation.

I beg to disagree. How the hell can you know what is your child going to do in the future? Naming babies with prospective jobs in mind??? Are you for real???
polishmama 3 | 279
28 Jun 2012 #21
It's not about guessing that she will become, say a park ranger versus a tv personality. But, there is a difference between a name that is memorable yet uncomplicated and can be printed on business cards and a name that isn't. Like I said, a professional workforce, versus, say burger flipping (not that there is anything wrong with that, but there's nothing wrong with wanting something else).

I took classes before for resume writing and interviewing (didn't we all in high school?) and a large corporation's local office sent their HR director to talk to us. She said that one of the things she watches for is someone's name and how they introduce themselves with it. Example: "Hey, ha'ya doin'? My name is (insert unmemorable name here)". Versus "Hello, it's a pleasure to meet you. My name is (insert a slightly unusual but not freakish name here)." Part of it would be your self introduction, of course. But it can't hurt to have the conversation naturally flow to "Oh, that's an interesting name. (and then person typically repeats it because it's a bit unusual or whatever)."

Anyway, that's what I remember being told and to me, it makes sense. Maybe it doesn't to others. But we are all different and entitled to our own opinions. I was just sharing my own opinion.
sa11y 5 | 331
28 Jun 2012 #22
I absolutely agree with you that name should be unique, memorable but not freakish. But in example you gave it's more a matter of form and not the name. And to be honest I'd rather have plain name than a weird one. Another thing is that if you are working for internatinal company you probably noticed that a name that seems unique to you, might actually be very plain and common in another country. Tshepo or Bongani might sound exotic in USA or Europe, but are quite popular in RSA.
polishmama 3 | 279
28 Jun 2012 #23
That's very true. For example, my name is Kasia. I was born in Poland and it's a very common name there. Considered beauty from what I always hear, but still common. But I live in the USA now and it's unique. Even when I worked in International Freight Forwarding.

I think you have to have a balance. Teach your kids the right form but also the name is not something to really brush off as unimportant.
6 Jun 2020 #24

Nickname for Izabela

I'm looking for some cute nicknames for the name Izabela. My parents are from Poland, but I am able to speak Polish. Both my husband and I were born in the states, and I'm trying to figure out a nice nickname for our daughter. My parents call her Izabelka which I like, I have been calling her Belucia... is this a real name or did I just make something up that no one has ever been called before lol ?

Would love any advice given.
Thanks !
kaprys 3 | 2,286
6 Jun 2020 #25
Iza, Izunia.
pawian 188 | 17,916
23 Jun 2020 #26
My parents call her Izabelka which I like

Possible, but it`s too long - a nickname should be shorter. It suggests your parents visit you rarely and they didn`t get tired of saying such a long word yet.

I have been calling her Belucia...

Anything goes in one`s family but it certainly isn`t Polish if you meant that. Sounds more Italian than Polish.

Iza, Izunia.

Yes. And don`t forget Bella.
kaprys 3 | 2,286
24 Jun 2020 #27
I actually don't know anyone who uses Bella for Izabela especially with a single 'l' :)
But I guess it's possible.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,343
24 Jun 2020 #28
Marcinkiewicz i Isabel. To koniec?

Oh, that soap opera was really good. I've always wondered what made this otherwise reasonable PiS politician leave his wife and get into all this.

But I guess it's possible.

It is. One of the main characters in Bolesław Prus' novel "The Doll", Izabela Łęcka, was commonly referred to as 'Bela' in her family circle.
pawian 188 | 17,916
24 Jun 2020 #29
I actually don't know anyone who uses Bella for Izabela especially with a single 'l' :)

Me neither. Well, actually, I did but it was 40 years ago.

But I guess it's possible.

Of course. If Belucia is possible, Bella even more. I wrote that anything goes.

I've always wondered what made this otherwise reasonable PiS politician leave his wife

I think it`s called hormones. :)

have been calling her Belucia...

It has just dawned on me you probably made a spelling mistake - it should be Belusia. It makes sense - a cute nickname for some female first names is Dusia. Klaudia - Klaudusia - Dusia - one of my students` example.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,343
24 Jun 2020 #30
I think it`s called hormones. :)

A lot of politicians, including PiS politicians for whom the so-called Christian values are so dear, have "mistresses" on the side and need not to leave their wives. Kazio Marcinkiewicz could have also done that thus sparing everyone the trouble of reading about his turbulent union with Isabel.

a spelling mistake - it should be Belusia

Or simply Belcia as the father of Izabela Łęcka called his daughter in the "Lalka" novel (it is available in English trnsltion as an e-book "The Doll" on Also her caring aunt, hrabina Karolowa, did that as well. Just read this:

- Tylko bez egzaltacji, Belciu! Nie masz lat szesnastu i na życie musisz patrzeć serio. Nie można przecie dla jakiejś idiosynkrazji poświęcić bytu ojca, a choćby Flory i waszej służby. Wreszcie pomyśl, ile ty przy twym szlachetnym serduszku mogłabyś zrobić dobrego rozporządzając znacznym majątkiem.

- Ależ, ciociu, marszałek jest obrzydliwy. Jemu nie żony trzeba, ale niańki, która by mu ocierała usta.

Have you read the entire text of "Lalka", Pawian?

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