So, I want to name my baby girl (sister to Alexandra and Luke) to be a name that can be shortened to "Lina." I love Carolina, but I am loathe to subject her to a lifetime of having to correct people's mispronunciation of her name. I don't want to tell you how I'd pronounce it, but would rather know how most people would pronounce it. And, if they think it would be a big deal if it were pronounced differently than it might first appear.
I'm also very open to other names that can be shortened to a Lina nickname. I've tried to think of some and have done some searching, but there's not a lot out there. My great grandmother's name was Axelina (no!) and called Lina and Lina has a nice Swedish ring to it--homage to my heritage.
My husband is opposed to Carolina, so I need some ammunition! Help.
By the way, if this little one turns out to be a boy, I think the contenders are Eric and John. (You my remember my husband was gunning for John when I was pregnant with Luke. 9/7/08 post.) I love Peter, but apparently most men can't stomach Peter as a baby name. I also love Beau, but I don't think I want Beau and Luke to be my two boys! A little too Dukes of Hazard for me.
First, pronunciation. If I saw "Lina," I would pronounce it LEE-nah. But if I saw that the full name was "Carolina," I would instead pronounce it LIE-nah. I'd be interested to know what everyone else thinks on this.
I am going to assume since you mentioned pronunciation issues with Carolina that what you're looking for is LEE-nah. In that case, the name I think is best is Angelina. I have two associations with the name, both positive: the actress Angelina Jolie, who is becoming known more for her good works and humanitarian efforts and adoptions than for the old blood-in-a-necklace stuff; and Angelina Ballerina, the nice little storybook mouse. I like how it goes with Alexandra: both are long ultra-feminine names with lots of nickname potential.
There's also Catalina.
Here is an unusual choice: Abilene. This has a couple of different pronunciations, but the English one is AB-ah-leen. Like Abigail, but with a LEEN on the end. Downside: it's not spelled right to get the Lina nickname, and spelling it Abiline makes it look like it rhymes with Adeline.
Hey, this is odd: if I add an A to Adeline and make it Adelina, that looks like add-ah-LEE-na to me---or at least, it looks like it could go either way. So let's add Adelina to the list.
There's Amalina and Annalina and Avelina, which I just made up from Amalia and Angelina and Avalyn, and which look to me like am-ah-lee-nah and ann-ah-lee-nah and av-ah-lee-nah. (Let's remember not to try Annalina without the double N, lest we create a first-four-letters problem.)
Some names that end with "-ley" can be changed to "-lina." Ashley becomes Ashlina, Emily becomes Emilina. Because the names are familiar already with a LEE sound, the LEE-nah comes more naturally. The occasional correction will still need to be made---but then, that happens with almost every name. I regularly have to tell people that "Kristen" is not pronounced with a long E sound (like Kristine).
There's also Alina and Elina. And whew, I am still on A and have spent a long time in the index of the baby name book, so I will leave it at that and open it up for more suggestions. Names that give the nickname Lina? And perhaps we can also say if we prefer the name Eric or the name John (I love both). And the question from earlier, too, about how we'd pronounce the name Lina if we saw it.
Name update! Britta writes:
We had a little boy on March 8, 2010 and named him Eric James. I appreciated the feedback on the Eric v. John decision. His nickname is E. Sometimes EJ.