Posts Tagged With: Rika



It’s Tuesday, and I’m still sifting through Eurovision related names. When Ich und die Namen covered the subject a few weeks ago, one of the names I called out as being fascinating was Eleftheria, so it seems apt to devote a post to some of the Greek names which have a connection to Eurovision first.

Admittedly, I didn’t actually tune in to Eurovision until Greece’s entry because I was at the cinema for the second time last week to watch the third Men in Black film (oh what a cinema junkie I have become). I must say, my sister was impressed with the song’s rhyming couplet aphrodisiac/maniac, more so than Sweden’s ingenious offering of possible/impossible last year.

To those who didn’t watch the scoring, Greece was in the lead following the first few tallied votes, but faded in the might of Sweden et al towards the end, ending up 17th in the end.

Here’s a list of the name of Greek entrants since 2001 (Greece didn’t compete in 2000):


Giorgos – 2010

The Greek form of George, which means farmer.

Loukas – 2011

The Greek form of Luke, which means man from Lucania.

Michalis – 2002

The Greek form of Michael, which means who is like God?

Sakis – 2004 (Anastasios)

Means resurrection in Greek.

Sarbel – 2007 (Charbel)

There is a St. Charbel, who came from northern Lebanon.


Anna -2006

Form of the Hebrew name Channah, which means favour, grace.

Eleftheria – 2012

Comes from Eleutherios, which means free.

Elena/Helena – 2001&2005 (Eleni)

Eleni is the Greek version of Helen, which means torch.

Kalomira – 2008

Possibly related to the Greek kallos, meaning beauty

Mando – 2003 (Adamantia)

Adamantia is simply a feminine form of Adam, which means man.

Another fascinating source of names is that of the Greek commentators which has changed a few times in recent years:


Fotis (2007)

Modern Greek version of Photios, which means light.

Giorgos (2006)

The Greek version of George.


Alexandra (2005)

Feminine form of Alexander, which means defending man.

Betty (2008-2009, sister of Mathildi)

One of the many nicknames of Elizabeth.

Dafni (1999-2004)

Turkish form of Daphne, which means laurel.

Maria (2011-2012)

One of the many variants of Mary.

Mathildi (2008-2009, sister of Betty)

Presumeably the Greek form of Matilda, which means strength in battle.

Rika (2010)

This spelling is a Japanese female name meaning either good justice/truth or pear flower.

Alternatively, there is the Hungarian name Réka, which may be related to the Turkish name Arikan, which means pureblood.

Zeta (2006)

The name Zita means little girl in Medieval Italian.

Any favourites?

Categories: Greek Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekend Post: Aki&Friends


I’ve become hopelessly addicted to Masterchef of late, and there was a contestant on the currently airing series called Aki. She caught my eye since she rather reminded me of myself, we even sharing a love of science- with her doing a PhD in Quantum Physics.

Her name caught my attention too: Aki. Said much the same as Hackey, sans the h. Or at least, that’s how they were saying it on Masterchef. The name, much like the contestant, is from fair Japan; it means sparkle, bright, autumn – a delightful trio of meanings (indeed, one for each letter).

What I like about Aki is that she’s a quirky, short Japanese name. I’ve covered a few over my time on this blog, but there are so many more delights to see. Here’s a quick selection of 10 of my favourites:

1. Aya

I knew an Aya at primary school, and she said her name ay-ah. However, she was of Arabic origins, and Aya is a name derived from Arabic, meaning verse, sign, miracle. An alternative pronunciation I see is eye-ah.

Meaning: colour, design

2. Chou

Whilst it is the French word for cabbage, they do also use this as an endearing term in France – much like how I fondly call people duck on a regular basis, or chick.

Meaning: butterfly

3. Emi

Emily is still hugely popular here in England&Wales – she was at #3 in 2010. Emi acts as a potential short form of her, or indeed a relative, say, Emma. Or Emmeline. You get the picture.

Meaning: beautiful blessing, picture

4. Michi

The name Mitchell started off life as a surname, but I’ve met two young lads with him as a first name over the past month or so – one of whom answered to Michi. I’ve seen that it’s also of use in Japan as a male name – and in the case of both genders, it’s a frequent nickname option over there too.

Meaning: path

5. Ren

Reported as being currently very popular in Japan for girls right now, whilst Wren is on the receiving end of heightened interest.

Meaning: lotus, romance, love, water lily

6. Riko

Spelt Rico this name is a masculine nickname in Italy and Spain.

Meaning: jasmine or truth child

7. Rio

Rio de Janeiro is due to host the 2016 Olympics, and rio is well-known for meaning river in Spanish. Whilst there is lively debate as to the gender of Rio in the English speaking world, in Japan this name is first-and-foremost feminine.

Meaning: jasmine, village / centre, thread

8. Saki

I’ve always had a soft spot for Suki, and this name is equally as sweet. She rather looks like a short form of Sakura, and I guess could be used as such if one’s heart desires it so.

Meaning: blossom of hope

9. Sora

A name previously covered extensively in a names of the week post, alongside Gem.

Meaning: sky

10. Yumi

Yes, she does rather look like the English word yummy, and point of interest, the French translation of the word is miam miam. However, the name is pronounced with a long oo sound.

Meaning: beautiful archery bow

Categories: Name List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cardcaptor Sakura

Sakura Avalon/Kinomoto from her wikipedia page

I have two wonderful friends who are into the world of ‘cosplay’, which for those not in the know basically boils down to dressing up as characters from Japanese anime. I’ve never particularly become involved in the practice myself, or ever attended expos, but there were two highly popular anime shows I did get into as a child: Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. To be honest, this was mostly because they were the only things my sister and I could agree on watching. One of these afforementioned friends, Tiff, is celebrating her birthday at the beginning of the new year, so I see this as an early birthday present for her. It also gives us an oppotunity to look into Japanese names and how well they do at translating into the English speaking world – for the English version of the show many names were altered to more English ones; and also stress me out as I try to find reliable sources on name meanings for the following Japanese names.

Sakura is easily one of my favourite Japanese names, and is likely to be one of the first such names to cross my path. In a way, she reminds me of the name Saskia, or even the slightly more cutesy Suki. For the English version of the show her surname was changed to Avalon, as opposed to her Japanese surname in Kinomoto – and doesn’t Sakura Avalon sound strikingly whimsical? Her design was originally based on illustrator Mokona Apapa’s two-year-old neice Kawaji. She was almost renamed as simply Nikki for the English version, but this was cast aside for varying reasons, including the cost it would’ve incured to implement the name change, but I have heard from people that the English version does say her name slightly different to how the Japanese do. In terms of meaning, Sakura is Japanese for cherry blossom, which for the Japanese symbolises the fleeting moment of life. In 2010, 13 girls were given the name Sakura in England&Wales, compared to the 112 given the name Saskia and the further 18 given the name Suki. I’ve also read that Sakura is a name of relative popularity in Japan.

As for the relations of young Sakura, she has an older brother named Toya in the Japanese version, which is altered to Tori in the dub. Toya is a short form for Victoria, as indeed can Tori be (maybe someone did their research?) but also comes to mean door into the valley in Japanese. As an aside, there’s a male Tory in Mythbusters, whose full name is Salvatore Paul.

Her father is Fujitaka/Aiden and her deceased mother is Nadeshiko/Natasha. Yamamoto nadeshiko is a Japanese term relating to the personification of an idealised Japanese female. Nadeshiko refers to a frilled pink carnation, whilst Yamamoto is an ancient name for Japan. I must say, whilst writing this post I have been won over by the name Nadashiko in a way Natasha has never suceeded with me. Excessive research on the internet suggests that Fujitaka means tall wisteria. How on Earth they got to Aiden from Fujitaka remains a mystery to me – part of me wishes they’d gone with Fergus instead.

Another main character is called Syaoran Li, whose name is altered to Li Showron. Syaoran means little wolf, whilst Li means plum. Then there’s also Eriol Hiiragizawa, who arrives in the English version as Eli Moon. The name Eriol reminds me of another English name: Errol, as in Errol Flynn. Whilst Errol has roots as a Scottish place name, Eriol appears to mean broken chain.

Two characters get the complete works when it comes to transforming their names into English-language ones: Sakura’s best friend Tomoyo Daidouji becomes Madison Taylor (whilst mother Sonomi becomes Samantha) and substitute teacher Kaho Mizuki becomes Layla Mackenzie. Closer translations include classmate Rika Sasaki who simply becomes Rita. Personally, I would’ve preferred her to remain as the delightful Rika. I’ve found sites saying Sonomi means beautiful garden, whilst Tomoyo means wise age or intellgient making her rather like the Japanese equivalent of the name Sage.

Now as a final thought, I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember where I’d seen Kaho before recently, and of course the slightly different Kahlo was covered over at Bewitching Names at the end of September. Thanks to the joy that is differing kanji, this name has more meanings than letters, depending on how you interpret it. Some of my favourites include sail, summer and perfume.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names, Japanese Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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