Swedish dopers: should I NOT name my kid this?

MrValley and I both like the name Lucia. However, our last name is Swedish, and there is a chance we might move to Sweden some day (we live in US now). I read at SvenskaNamn.com that only 2 kids Sweden were named Lucia last year. Is the name Lucia like naming your kid Tomte, or Jul? Would she be teased in Sweden? Please advise.

I now am consumed with a burning desire to know what happens if you name your kid Tomte or Jul.

I imagine that a Tomte in Sweden would have a similar playground experience to the one that Noam Chomsky was subjected to in Philadelphia.

What does Tomte or Jul mean in Swedish, anyhow?


What does Tomte or Jul mean in Swedish, anyhow?


IANAS (I am not a Swede). I hope some Swedish Dopers happen along with some more personal advice for you, Lily, but until then, here’s my take:

First of all, I’ve always liked the name “Lucia.” It’s very pretty. And while it might be fairly rare in Sweden, it’s fairly uncommon here, too. I’ve only met one Lucia IRL, and she certainly wasn’t picked on because of her name’s uncommonness.

If you do wind up moving to Sweden, wouldn’t there be a great deal that’d be different about your daughter than just her first name, even if her surname is Swedish anyway? Or were you and your husband both born there/both of Swedish decent, you’ll move there before she has a chance to adopt the way of life in your current location, etc.? If that’s not the case, I’d be worried naming her with the Swedish equivalent of Sue might prompt even more teasing than an unusual name would.

If you and your husband really like the name, I’d say go ahead. (providing it doesn’t mean something vulgar in Sweden, and is just uncommon).

I think “The Swedish Dopers” would be a cool name for a band.

I also think since the name exists in Saab-land (even if rare) that it would be fine, maybe even more so because of its rare-ness.

A good name is one you like, and it can set you apart from all of the plebians; a good and bad trait, depending on the circumstance.

“Tomte” is the Christmas Gnome, which these days has more-or-less become Santa.

“Jul” is Christmas" (pronouced the same way as the English “Yule”).

“Jul” means “Christmas”. “Tomte” means (roughly) “gnome”, but the word has mutated quite a bit since its early days. “Jultomten” (ie “the Christmas gnome”) is Santa Claus, and when you say “tomte” these days most people think of Santa.

As for naming your child Lucia, I’d say go ahead. She could be teased for her name, but I really don’t think she will be. It’s uncommon, but that’s all. Don’t worry.

Besides, my personal theory is that bullies first choose the kids to pick on and then choose reasons. They choose kids they can get away with teasing/beating and then they pick something about that kid to tease him/her about. A 5’4" nine-year-old with muscles coming out the wazoo will not be teased whatever his name is.

Lucia is a legitimate saints name. In fact according to the SCB (statistics office) there are 2964 women in Sweden with the name Lucia, and 473 have it as their first name, or use it as their name when spoken to.

It is also becoming very popular to have “old fashioned” names again in Sweden, so lots of children are being named Mathilda, Agnes, etc.

Yeah, but Lucia isn’t exactly one of those names. I don’t think it has ever been common in Sweden. In fact, I’m betting that a lot the women named Lucia have immigrant background.

As long as you don’t make her wear a crown of lighted candles on her head all the time, I think Lucia is a fine name.

Ack, yep I meant to actually add that Priceguy, thanks for the catch! :slight_smile:

amanset and Priceguy, thanks for the info on Tomte and Jul. Much appreciated. :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t reccomend the name Lucia. As the article Southpaw linked to says, it’s a major holiday and she would probably be called “Sankta Lucia” all year around.

Sorry for the hijack, but I didn’t think this deserved its own thread.

A coworker said a friend of hers decided to name her newborn Benjamin. I asked their surname and she told me. I said, “Oh, okay. 'Cause it would be a bad name if their name was Dover.” She got a horrified expression on her face and said, “Oh. My. God. The husband said, ‘Don’t name him Benjamin! The other kids will call him “Ben Dover”!’ My friend said, ‘No, they won’t!’; and now you say “Ben Dover” first thing!’”

My sister named my nephew Charles Robert. I was so pushing for Atilla James!

That’s what I meant in my OP (that’s why I asked if it would be like calling her Tomte!). I wasn’t asking merely because it was a rare name. Sorry I wasn’t clearer.