Choosing a name for our baby girl was hard – even harder than learning the rules to American football. It’s especially hard when you’re married to a foreigner and live outside of your culture. Giving a child a very ‘Armenian’ name is difficult because, let’s be honest, very few Americans can even come close to pronouncing Armenian names. Ask the nearest American to pronounce ‘Heriqnaz’ or ‘Tigranuhi.’
Of course we wouldn’t name her one of these (no offense to Heriqnazes and Tigranuhis) but even a beautiful Armenian name such as ‘Nareh’ would also be problematic. It is pronounced [Nar-ray] but I am more than sure that here in America she would be [Nay-er], which also means ‘nose.’ I gave up on Nareh when my father-in-law was having troubles not only pronouncing, but also remembering it.
While I was trying to come up with a perfect Armenian name, my husband was searching for Scandinavian names. ‘Freya’ was one of his suggestions… and was fiercely rejected by me. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the name, but I could never imagine having a girl named Freya. The name was too alien to me. I have never known anyone named Freya and I was scared to give my baby a name that I have never known anybody to have. If Nareh sounds weird to Americans, Freya would sound even weirder in Armenia.
Months flew by, and we were still debating over the perfect name. Trying to make our decision easier we came up with some name requirements. We wanted a unique, catchy, and easy to say name that would have a nice meaning and won’t sound like a dinosaur’s cry either here or in Armenia.
In the end we each made lists of names that we liked and one of the names on my list stood out to both of us. Voila! After such a long search, we had finally found our perfect name.
It’s the name of a Brazilian river goddess with green hair and fair skin. It also has an Arabic meaning, “little butterfly.” The name is also the short version of a very beautiful Slavic name Yaroslavna that I have always loved.
We’ve named our beautiful baby girl with a very perfect name that fits her so much.
Her name is Yara.