We love Lucy. And yes, we do think it could stand alone as a given name, especially with a longer surname. But there are a wealth of formal names that lead to that sassy appellation. Today’s Name of the Day is one worthy of consideration. Thanks to Natalie for suggesting Lucia.
If you look at Lucia and wonder how to say it, you’re not alone. Those five letters have three perfectly valid pronunciations: loo CHEE uh, the one favored by ApMtn’s Southern Italian contingent; the more mellifluous loo SEE ah and the contracted, two-syllable loo SHAH. Since the name is in use from Argentina to Sweden, you’re perfectly free to choose the sound that best suits your roots – and personal naming style.
Saint Lucia was a fourth-century martyr. Should you find yourself regarding an artistic rendering of this notable, it will likely include a rather gruesome element: because her eyes were gouged out prior to her execution, she’s often depicted holding her peepers on a platter. But before that puts you off this pretty name, note that there is a poetic side to her sufferings. Lucia is celebrated on December 13 – the longest night of the year until modern calendar reforms moved it forward. Today, it’s still quite the holiday in Scandinavia. Beyond the circumstances of her death, Lucia’s given name is related to the Latin word lux, or light, and so the practice is doubly appropriate.
Lucia is also a place name. The Caribbean island St. Lucia is a popular tourist destination. How many girls can boast their own island paradise?
Other notable bearers of the name include Lucia di Lammermoor, the heroine of Donizetti’s opera and the sophisticated, competitive character involved in endless small-town social machinations in EF Benson’s Mapp and Lucia novels.
The name stands up well with current chart-toppers like Sophia and Olivia. And while it is at an all-time popularity high, it is still a relatively uncommon #311 in the US. Head to Spain, however, and it is the single most popular choice for newborn baby girls – nearly 10,000 darling daughters were called Lucia in 2006 alone, leaving the traditional favorite Maria a distant second.
So while Lucia may be on the rise, for now it is a name rich with history and legend, and only occasionally heard on our shores.