I love names that are short, but memorable. This nice fills that quota nicely, and I decided to have a further look into it’s origins.
Her meaning is rather debated, she may come from Slavic sources, and therefore mean water or river, but she may equally come from Turkish sources, therefore meaning pure lady.
Then there is the variant spelling Rika. She is a derivative of the Swedish names Henrika and Fredrika, ultimately coming from the Germanic element ric, meaning power, ruler.
And if we really want to get bogged down in different sources, there is the Japanese element ka, meaning smell, perfume or increase, but it’s unlikely to be part of Réka’s origins.
Réka appears in many Hungarian name sources, dating back to 10th Century in Hungarian usage, with variant forms, such as Kreka and Rekam, and perhaps as a result, she is rather popular in Hungary, according to official data, she hit the third spot in 2005.
There are two rivers named Réka, both in Europe. One is in Slovenia, the other in Macedonia, where the latter is known as Crna, or Crna Reka. In Macedonian, the name means black river, Crna meaning black, Reka meaning river.
As if that wasn’t enough information about Réka, there are a few more uses for you to ponder over:
- The Reka Devnia Hoard. A prolific find of Roman silver coins found in Bulgaria. The coins came from between 64 and 238 AD, the earliest being those of Marc Antony, and the latest being an example of Herennuis Etruscus. These coins are now separated, with some in a museum in Varna, the rest in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
- The Reka dialect. Yes, Réka is the name of a dialect of Macedonian. It is mainly spoken in the region of Reka in north-western Macedonia.
- Rijeka, or Reka/Rika in Slovene or German, is a seaport in Croatia. There is also a village in the Czech Republic named Réka.
- The first know, and perhaps best known, bearer of the name Réka is likely to be the first wife of Attila the Hun.
Overall then, Réka has a lot going for her, she’s simple, but with some interesting history an use, and also works well if you’re looking for a name to honour your Eastern European roots.