Let’s Talk Baby Names, Round 2

Let's Talk Baby Names, Round 2

Is anyone really surprised that on Saturday I’ll be 35 weeks pregnant, and we have yet to pick a name?

I didn’t think so.

After all, we didn’t name Mila until she was three days old. (You can read about her birth story here, if you enjoy that sort of thing.)

Naturally, we were required to choose a name before being discharged from the hospital, and I remember filling out the paperwork that morning and asking Vadim, “So? What did we decide?”

We stare wide-eyed at each other… It’s the moment of truth!

“I’m just going to write down Mila, okay?” I say seconds later, overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the task at hand.

What a story to tell the kiddos, am I right?

In retrospect, Mila’s name could not have been more appropriate for our first-born. Everyone from family to friends to casual acquaintances comment on how well it fits her personality – and I completely agree. (For the record, “Mila” means sweet, precious, darling, dear, gracious.)

She even looks like a Mila.

But now, the pressure of naming a second girl is that much higher.

Naming another human being feels like a massive responsibility – nearly as big as, say, actually bringing them into this world. Sometimes I think of Adam naming all the animals in the book of Genesis, and – no joke – I feel so much anxiety at the mere thought of such a task. Like, had he known that thousands of years later the words “donkey” or “cow” would have such negative connotations in everyday, casual language, would he have named those animals differently?

I am nothing if not over-analytical, ha!

But really, I do believe that a name is an important part of the very essence of our identities. Even research suggests that your name can impact everything from where you work to your personality to how you spend your money to how you are perceived in social situations.

Based on your own experience, would you agree?

Here’s the rundown on what we’re looking for this round:

  1. A name with Slavic origins is a must – but it has to be such that, when pronounced in English, it sounds exactly the same as it does in Russian. Mila is a perfect example – unless you’re one of the strange few that thinks it’s pronounced “Mylah.”
  2. Speaking of Slavic origins, I am not a fan of traditional Slavic names like Tatyana, Svetlana, Natalia, Vera, Nadia, Lubov, Yulya, Olga, Yekaterina, etc. Besides, we have so, so many relatives with those names…
  3. That brings me to our next caveat: We would prefer not to use a name that is already in either of our families or in our social circle. This criteria alone reeeeeally narrows down our options.
  4. We love, love, love names that sound soft and feminine, so no blunt or harsh sounds. Again, Mila is a perfect example. Oksana is not.
  5. Because “Mila” is such a short and sweet name, I’d prefer that the second one isn’t too lengthy or formal either. I don’t want Mila’s name to feel like a playful nickname in comparison to the second one.
  6. Let’s not forget the Strelkov factor. It’s a tough last name to pair with because of all the harsh consonants. Hence, one of the reasons behind our preference for soft, feminine first names.
  7. For the middle name, we’re keeping the Russian patronym tradition, which is when the middle name is derived from the father’s first name along with a suffix to show lineage. Basically, what all that means is that baby girl’s middle name will be “Vadimovna” – just like Mila’s.

Now, who wants to give us some baby name suggestions?

Help a girl out!

I seriously cannot wait to hear your ideas! Leave ’em below, in the comments section.

And while you’re at it, do tell me your own criteria for choosing your babies’ names! Do you believe that your name can affect the kind of person you become?



  1. Does Katia or Katya count? You could always go for a longer name with a shorter nickname. For instance, I have a cousin Stacy, short for Anastasia.
    Also, I’ve been pronouncing Mila wrong in my head all along ! I’ve heard it said like two different ways so I wasn’t 100% sure.

  2. The name Yana is beautiful. It is an old Russian word for river. Also there is Isla pronounced “eye-la” and meaning “island” in Scottish and there is Mya or Mia which is Greek and Ava, Eva, or Iva.

    • Those are all very lovely suggestions that unfortunately fell off our list for one reason or another. The husband does like Yana, but I for some reason am not a fan. Isla is so, so beautiful – but not Russian. Mya or Mia sound far too similar to Mila. And as for Eva, I do like it very much but Mila has a cousin named Eva. So, we’re back to the drawing board! :( Do you see what I’m dealing with here?! LOL

  3. Hi! I was following same criteria when naming my two kids. So we ended up naming our daughter Angela and our son Maxim – middle name after their dad:) they both are very proud of their middle name and think it’s very cool and unique. :) My suggestions for baby name would be Lara – I think it’s so sweet. Or Лєра…правда не знаю как Лєра по английски будут писать и произносить!

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