This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby Girl Ferowska: Daria or Jane?

Jen writes:
We are expecting our second child, a daughter, on November 26. Our son’s name is Theo James Ferowska (my husband’s surname).

We have two finalists for a name:

Daria Jane Ferowska


Jane unknown-middle-name Ferowska

We really like the name Daria, but are worried that it will be mispronounced (“DAH-ree-a” is the correct pronunciation but many people say “DARE-y-a” instead). An informal survey of my colleagues indicates an approximately 30% mispronunciation rate.

I would be most curious as to your thoughts, and those of your readers, on whether/how much this “matters”? Should we just go with the simpler Jane as a first name instead?

If your favorite is Daria, I think you should use Daria. I think almost every name is pronounced incorrectly now and then: I'm Kristen, which seems straightforward to me, but it gets pronounced "Kristine" surprisingly often. It's not a big deal. I knew Daria was DAH-ree-ah (I used to watch MTV!), but let's have a poll over to the right to find out the percentage of readers who knew. [Poll closed; see results below.]


Mairzy said...

I did pronounce it DARE-ree-ah, so I'm in the 30%. It's not a difficult correction, though, so if you love the name (it's a lovely one) then use it. I'll always call her DAH-ree-ah, I promise. :)

Madeline said...

Agreed, call her Daria. I pronounced it DAH-ree-ah, but even if everyone doesn't, it's not a huge deal. My name is Madeline (mad-a-lyn) but it's often mispronounced (mad-a-line) or mispelled (Madeleine etc) but I still love my name.

Suzanne said...

I've been thinking a lot lately about name pronunciation (and mispronunciation) and it occurred to me that for every 1 time you write your name you SAY your name at least 10 times. So the problem is really the reverse of this - if parents spell the name differently than it sounds (or use lots of K's instead of C's, Y's instead of I's, etc) the kid will be spelling it out their whole life. But if someone says "Hi I'm Daria" I think D-A-R-I-A is the logical way to spell it.

To sum up: Go for it. It's a great name. And I would guess many many people know EXACTLY how to pronounce it thanks to MTV.

Christine said...

Go with Daria! I knew how to pronounce it but I also was a big fan of the MTV show too. :)

M.Amanda said...

I agree with Swistle that you get that with many names (believe it or not, I get Amanda mispronounced and misspelled occasionally) and it isn't always a big issue. It's not like DARE-ree-ah is totally butchering the name. If nothing else, later on it will help clue her in that she's getting cold called by people who mispronounce it.

Mrs S said...

I hate to say this but it kind of sounds like 'diarrhea'.
Your two name choices are so different from each other. Jane gets my vote! Theo and Jane sound wonderful together!

Libby said...

Unfortunately, I also thought it sounded like 'diarrhea' when I said it out loud! I'll vote for Jane too, but good luck!

Linda said...

FWIW, I have an Ella, Lorelei, and Charlotte and I have to correct people on ALL their names. I expected Lorelei, of course, but Ella gets called Emma and Charlotte gets pronounced Char-LOT. So go with the name you like the most. I said it correctly and didn't even THINK of diarrhea even though I'm a nurse.

Anonymous said...

I have a very simple name and it gets mispronounced ALL the time. If you love it, go for it. It would be a shame to not name your daughter what *you* want just because 30% of the population won't immediately get it right ;)

Anonymous said...

I think Daria is lovely and I knew exactly how to pronounce it. No thoughts about diarrhea here. There's always going to be some people who dislike the names we choose for our kids. Can't please everyone!

Katie M said...

I know a Daria (she's around 50 years old) and I also remember the MTV girl (I'm 33). So the correct pronunciation seems easy to me. Go with it if you love the name.

Adey said...

Wow - I didn't even think Diarrhea at all when I heard it!

As for the pronounciation I was one of the "Dare-ee-ah" folks, but I think it's lovely.

We named our daughter Nolana (pronounced No-Lawna) and although I often have to correct people that try to call her No-LAN-Ah, I wouldn't change it because I love the name and it suits her so much!

And I think it sounds great with your last name.

Alison said...

It's funny that even those who remember the MTV show Daria, haven't mentioned that Daria's best friend is named Jane... So maybe most people won't make that connection if you use the name, but I'm sure that there are some that will!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Daria is pretty. There is a similarity to diarrhea and that means there is a chance of getting teased.
Jane is a safe option and still pretty. Kids can make a silly name out of any name though.

Patricia said...

I too read the name as DARE-y-a (or Dairy-uh). But looking at it again, I could see the interpretation as "Maria with a 'D'": Duh--REE-a. According to, there is more than one accepted pronunciation:

Usage: Italian, Polish, Romanian, English, Late Greek (Latinized)

Pronounced: DAHR-yah (Italian, Polish, Romanian), DAHR-ee-ə (English), DER-ee-ə (English), DAR-ee-ə (English) [key]

Feminine form of DARIUS. Saint Daria was a 3rd-century Greek woman who was martyred with her husband Chrysanthus under the Roman emperor Numerian. It has never been a particularly common English given name.

Checking the pronunciation of Darius (which I read as DARE-ee-us), I found that it too has multiple pronunciations:

Usage: English, Lithuanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin

Pronounced: də-RIE-əs (English), DER-ee-əs (English), DAR-ee-əs (English)

My vote is for Jane, a lovely classy, classic name with no pronunciation or spelling concerns. (I posted some links about Jane in the previous discussion regarding a name for Baby Girl Y___er.)

I too think Theo and Jane make a splendid sibling pair.

StephLove said...

I do think you should use Daria if it's your favorite and the pronunciation is the only thing holding you back. As many others have noted, many names get mispronounced some of the time. My daughter's name (June) is frequently misheard as several other similar names (most often Joan or Jude) but it's not a big deal.

That said, I do really like Jane so that would be a good choice, too.

beyond said...

Dah-ree-ah, yes I knew how to pronounce it. I really like it very much for you. Plus I think it's perfect for with Theo.
Good luck!

Patricia said...

It seems to me that Jane works better with your surname than Daria.

Daria Ferowska
(DAH-ree-a fer-OW-ska)

Jane Ferowska

I think a two syllable middle name might flow best with one syllable Jane and your three-syllable, accent on the 2nd syllable, surname.

Some middle name suggestions:

Jane Catherine Ferowska

Jane Ellen Ferowska

Either of those reverse the syllable pattern of your son's name:

Theo James Ferowska
Jane Ellen Ferowska
Jane Catherine Ferowska

A 2009 Swistle post -- Middle Name Challenge: Baby Girl Jane ___ Miller, has many other suggestions for middle names with Jane, some of them two-syllable:

Anonymous said...

I also knew how to pronounce it thanks you watching "Daria Explains it all" in my youth. All I can think about is how on the show Daria was teased at school.....Diarrhea cha cha cha....

I think it's a pretty name. I just can't get the chant out of my head.

Jane is such a lovely name!!
I think Jane would be a great first name, but I also love it as a middle name and like her having the same middle initial as her big brother.

Delia Jane

Leslie said...

Jane is pretty, but if Daria is your favorite name, I think you should use it! It's lovely, and I knew how to pronounce it correctly. (And I've never heard of the MTV reference others are mentioning.) Daria Jane is very elegant, and goes wonderfully with Theo!

Best of luck!

Jen said...

Thank you all so very much!!! This has been so helpful. I really appreciate the time you all took to consider my question and to write such careful responses. We'll take it all into consideration and make a decision in the next week. I'll send Swistle an update when our little lady arrives.

Most, most appreciated,

Andrea said...

My daughter is named Daria! So many people pronounce it DARE-ee-uh and even Dariah (like Mariah)

Anonymous said...

Yay. I'm considering of the name Daria/Darya also for my child. I think you chose well. :-)