Effie: Baby Name of the Day

Effie

Quick – when’s the last time you met a Eupehmia? How ’bout an Oighrig?

Thanks to Photoquilty for suggesting the related Effie as Name of the Day.

Effie is quintessentially Greek and typically Scottish.

Oighrig is Scots Gaelic, and by all accounts, she’s an old, old name. Anglicizations range from Henrietta to Erica to Effie. Let’s just say that she’s not terribly portable. As Effie caught on, Oighrig became equated with Euphemia, even though their origins are distinct.

Euphemia’s roots are Greek – eu means good and phem refers to speech – well-spoken. During the Middle Ages, she was fairly common.

Chalk up her popularity to the sufferings of Saint Euphemia, a mere girl when the governor of Chalcedon cracked down on Christianity back in the 200s. Despite – or because of – her noble birth and young age, Euphemia’s tortures were particularly gruesome.

Her relics suffered mightily, too. They were tossed into the sea, recovered and hidden and stolen by Crusaders. They eventually came to rest in St. Euphemia’s Basilica in Rovinj, Croatia.

Royal Euphemias included:

  • The twelfth century Eufemia of Kiev, Queen Consort of Hungary;
  • Thirteenth century Polish princess Eufemia Odonicówna;
  • A century later, Euphemia de Ross married King Robert II and became Queen of Scotland;
  • The thirteenth century Queen Euphemia of Norway had a granddaughter called Euphemia, born a princess of Sweden.

Euphemia appeared in the US Top 1000 just a few times, the last in 1903.

But diminutive Effie ranked in the US Top 100 right through 1902, and remained ranked until 1959.

Real life Effies include:

  • Effie Gray married the critic John Ruskin, but Ruskin was, by all accounts, a cad.  Effie left him for painter John Everett Millais, causing a scandal in Victorian England. Dramatic adaptations followed, including a Spring 2009 BBC drama called Desperate Romantics.
  • Legend has it that aspiring actress Effie Canning made up “Rock-A-Bye Baby” while babysitting. Her acting career fizzled, but the lullaby lingers.
  • African-American poet Effie Waller Smith wrote in the early twentieth century.
  • Explorer Captain Robert Bartlett sailed the Effie M. Morrissey to the Arctic. Launched in 1894, she was named for the daughter of the schooner’s first skipper.

Fictional Effies include:

  • Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar as Effie White in the 2006 movie version of Dreamgirls;
  • Two British soaps have characters wearing the name – Emmerdale and Coronation Street;
  • Effie Harper was a minor character on Mama’s Family;
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series includes Effie, little sister to Lena.
  • Australian comedienne Mary Coustas uses the alter-ego Effie Stephanidis.

Then there’s Effie Trinket, the vain, rulesy, none-too-swift chaperone from The Hunger Games, known for chirping “May the odds be ever in your favor” before she pulls the next tribute’s name from the bowl.  Elizabeth Banks played her in the film adaptation.  She’s no role model, but the success of the story seems to have boosted Effie.

Is she ready for a comeback?  In our age of Hattie and Sadie, Effie fits.  Should you need to honor both Scottish and Greek roots, she’s the rare choice that works.

The elegant, ends-with-ia Euphemia might wear well in 2009, but she’s rich with nickname options besides Effie – think of Emme or Mia.

And yet, there’s something lovely about Effie – she’s simple and surprising at once.  If you’re heartbroken that Ellie and Sophie are so stylish, Effie might be the name for you.

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33 Comments

This may sound bad to some but my dog’s name is Effie, I consider her to be loved no different than if she were a “human” child. I knew I would struggle with fertility later down the road from a very young age but didn’t realize when I actually did get married and try to conceive that it was completely impossible at all for me to do so. I wanted to be a mother more than anything and eventually it took a toll on my health and I ended up in the hospital clinging to life when I had to make the decision to let it go. I felt like a shadow of the woman I was supposed to be, defeated in every mental, physical, emotional way possible. The very day I was released from the hospital for the last time, I walked outside and was just trying to relax and get fresh air when this tiny little creature slowly stumbled to my feet and collapsed! At first it was so tiny I thought it was a baby rabbit but the closer I looked I realized it was no rabbit at all she was a meek little puppy weighing less than a full pound and she was in bad shape! Her breathing was barely making her chest rise or fall at all and her little eyes just could not stay open no matter how hard she was fighting to keep them that way. I immediately got her to an emergency vet and I will spare the details of just why this little one had such a ruff start at life because I can barely talk about it without getting deeply upset myself but this little tiny dog was such a fighter! They told me for weeks she still might not survive but I stayed up with her night and day and never left her side…she had fought so hard to stay alive and not give up she deserved for someone else to take that burden off of her for a while. I felt connected to her in a way only I could understand…and when I was trying to find the perfect name for her…I did my research and Effie was definitely who she was. She was small yes, but she never stopped believing in herself and the entire time I thought I was healing her…she was really healing me! Effie is a name that I have much respect for because of the history/story of were it originated from. Honestly, I didn’t see anything else being more fitting for such a brave little girl. I don’t think it is too close to “iffy” or the “f-word” like a bunch have mentioned…because I see her for what she is and those types of comparisons don’t come close to the honorable name my little Effie stands for. Sorry for the novel lol I just wanted to give you a different way of perceiving things…and for what it’s worth not one family member, friend, or even stranger that has met her, for that matter, has ever compared her name with anything negative. It’s the way you carry your name that makes you who you are…not what it “sounds to close to”. God Bless.

Effie was my great-grandmother’s name. Just Effie, not Euphemia. I’ve grown up thinking of it as a really neat name, and it was really odd for me when Effie Trinket of Hunger Games fame came along. Until then, Effie was stuck in my mind with the black and white picture of my great-grandmother (who died shortly after my grandmother — her seventh child’s — birth). When I see Effie, I see a young, pretty woman circa 1900 with a bit of a sad expression on her face.

While I like Effie, think it’s adorable, and a great nickname for names like Euphemia (I wouldn’t have thought of it, but I do like it), I think one glaring problem would keep me from actually using Effie. I wouldn’t worry about friends or family or most folks. It’s that one obnoxious kid in the 6th or 8th grade who one day is saying ‘f this’ or ‘f that’ and decides it would be brilliant to tease my child with that. It might not wind up being a big deal – I see a few Effies have posted here – but the concern that it might and that it might be devastating to my child, would keep me from using it. Otherwise I think it’s neat. Like a previous poster, it makes me think 1920s (there must have been a maid named Effie in an Agatha Christie novel I read), bob haircuts, the charleston, etc. A good association. T

I like Effie! Not so much a fan of Euphemia, but it doesn’t seem like a stand-alone name and there aren’t many other options. I wonder if Jennifer would work? Or Stephanie, Josephine, Sefarina, Seraphina or Zephyrine? They all seem more likely to become Sephy, Sephy, or Zephy.

I like Effie for Josephine! And yes, for the others as well … ‘specially Zephryine, which just cries out for a nn.

There was an Effie on the British series of Skins, a nickname for Elizabeth. Given my great aunty Bett was christened Elisabeth Euphemia, her name is Effie Effie! (her siblings are Lavinia Harriet (named after her grandmother Lavinia Harriet), Jack and Harry)

Whenever I hear Effie, an image of Effie Trinket running around in heels and making sure everyone is on time goes through my head. I’m a book worm. 🙂
Anyway, I like it, but to me it sounds like just a child’s nickname…

I only know the name Effie from the 1894-1895 German novel by Theodore Fontane, “Effie Briest.” It’s a drama about adultery (like Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina) and told from Effie’s point of view. This character’s character aside, I think Effie is a very likable name.

Also, I’ve only heard Effie come from Ephigenia (the daughter of an Ethiopian king), not Euphemia as the article above states. When I was in junior high (before the Internet was used by common folk….), I had a pen-pal from Greece, and her name was Ephigenia. So, I can’t help but associate Effie with Greece and Germany! That’s a double plus in my opinion. 🙂

Thanks for the background on the name! I was searching for family history of a Scottish ancestor who I knew as Henrietta, and found a census record that I thought might be her family, but that showed the name Effie. I was about to rule it out and go back to searching, when you put the two together for me–nice!

just thought i would since my mothers name was euphemia so was her mother and as far as i know at least two more grandmothers before that her maiden name was kelly she was from Glasgow, Scotland.I have always loved the name.

MY NAME IS EUPHEMIA, but I get called Effie 🙂 and I’m 17, my mother is called Effie, my grandmother Euphemia, and my great grandmother Euphemia.

My 2 year old daughter is called Effie – short for Euphemia which is actually her middle name.

Her first name is Forbhlaith, which could be a suggestion for name of the day.

There’s an “Effy” in the British teen drama Skins, although she’s really Elizabeth.

Trivia aside, I don’t like this name at all. I’m with Bewildertrix in thinking it sounds vaguely dirty. Likewise the similarities to “iffy” and “huffy” turn me off.

When I said “Hey, the name of the day is Effie”! aloud, the girl started singing “That’s Me, Effie’s ME”! 🙂 So I’m rather partial to it.

Eh & Ih don’t sound much alike to me but I’m aware some may not. So Effie & Iffy isn’t a problem for me. I think it’s a perfectly lovely nickname. I’d never use Effie as a full name, it’s a bit fluffy for that, in my opinion. And no one’s ever misheard Effie for anything at the local *shudder* Wal-Mart! 😛

But Effie for Josephine, Euphemia, or any “F” name, now that’s completely gorgeous! 😀

The girl who said it sounds like “iffy” is from South Africa. I think the accent there would defintely make the two sound very similar.

I love love love Effie. If I have a daughter, Her name will be Eulalie Frances (The name I had picked for Kelson if he were a girl… I still love it) and she will be known as Effie.

I saw a thread at Nameberry where someone was looking for “E. F.” combinations to get to the nickname Effie.

To me it seems like the more logical things would be for the initials to be “F. E.” since saying them aloud, you’re literally saying “Effie.”

Just my two cents.

I like Effie as a nickname, but agree it does fit in well with the other Brit-style short/cute nicknamey names. It has a ’20s sort of feel to it in my mind. Fun. Euphemia is lovely with Effie as a nickname.

I rather like Effie, in a cute on someone else’s child sort of way. I enjoy looking through our local cemetery listings online and they are just chock full of Effie’s. My most favorite find, though, was actually a Roseffie. I am guessing it is a smush, but I find it rather appealing as it offers at least three options: Roseffie, Rose, Effie.

My grandmother had a friend named Effie, so it does sound old-lady-ish to me.

I thought of another way to get to Effie: it could be a nickname for any name starting with F. Maybe Frances, Frederica, Fiona, Florence, Faith, Farrah or Felicia? After all, Effie does sound like “effing.”

Hmmm, this name really does not appeal to me at all.It’s way to similar to the word ‘Iffy’.
It would feel like I am calling my child Iffy the whole time, which would just feel odd.While I like it’s meanings,the name does not appeal to me at all.It doesn’t seem like it would age well at all. It’s in the same category as Edith,Edna,Ada, Mabel,Gertrude,Bertha etc for me
However, if others like it, go for it.