Do you remember when you were a child and it was cool to have a cup, key chain or T-shirt with your name on it? Well, I never had that luxury, you see, because I have a rather unique name. I learned early on in life that I would never be able to walk into a gift shop and purchase anything with my name on it right off the rack. If I wanted a personalized key chain, they’d better have engraving. If I wanted a T-shirt, hopefully they had airbrushing. So as you may have guessed, I wasn’t one of those people who could say, “My name means blah, blah, blah,” either. But most of my life, I’ve been comforted with knowing that my mom always knew she would name me ‘Annika’ after reading Pippi Longstocking as a girl, even if she didn’t know the meaning. And I love being named after the best friend of the most unconventional and assertive redhead ever.
But today, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this site dedicated to baby names. And with a little investigation, I learned the meaning of my name. Anneka (their spelling, not mine) is a Swedish form of Hannah, which is a Hebrew name meaning gracious. They even have the meaning of my “at home name: Niki” (many people of Caribbean ancestry have one name that family calls them and another name for friends and business). Niki is a form of Nikita, which in Russian means victorious people. So for now on, I’m going to try to be a gracious, yet victorious person because in this time of celebrity baby names, I think it is important for a name to have meaning and for the person to be able to live up to that name.