Minerva's French nickname

My least favorite thing about the absolutely amazing name Minerva is how it sounds in French. Minerva is a top contender if our last is to be a girl.

I speak French and Japanese (only) at home with my kids (but we live in an English-speaking environment and are native English speakers), so having good nicknames for our kiddos across languages is important. I cannot imagine calling her Minerva or Minerve in French, which I would be using half the time.

I recently polled about using “Nanette” as a potential nickname for Minerva and the consensus definitely appears to be that it doesn’t work [granted, I did not give the context I’m giving now]. So, what are some nicknames/names that would? Hit me with your best names that sound awesome in French and draw on Minerva. I have a couple ideas I’m on the fence about but I’ll sit back and see if they come up for others.

TIA, Berries! :kiss:

I’m not exactly sure if you want a French nn or one that will just sound good in both languages

Vera
Mina
Minnie
May/Mae
Neva/Neve
Neri
Eva

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I think Mina would be perfect, it’s intuitive to Minerva and it sounds great in French. Vera would be a close second for me though, it’s also lovely

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Oooh perhaps Minuet/Minuette??

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Minnette would be cute!!

Minerva…

Minnie
Nevvie
Evie
Mina
Minna
Manon
Mirren
Mim
Mimsy
Nim

Mina is a great idea!

I don’t know how does it sound in other languages, but there’s a Turkish name, Erva, which is not associated with Minerva but can be a good nickname for it.

If you’ll be using French half the time, I’m really not sure Minerva/Minerve works :cry:

Mina is nice for short, as suggested above. Definitely not Minou or Minouche… Hmm… maybe Ninon? :thinking:

As for nicknames, Mina and Mignonette could work? And I’ve come across Mimi in French-speaking communities before. Mira could also maybe work?

Full names are a bit trickier;

Pomeline
Aurelia/Aurelie
Cosette
Delphine
Odette
Emeraude
Felicienne
Eponine
Eupheme
Alouette
Albertine
Apolline
Capucine
Clemence
Eulalie
Helaine
Ismerie
Hyacinthe
Lucette
Marjolaine
Iolanthe
Jonquille
Leontine
Josette
Leopoldine
Marceline
Melisande
Olivette
Raphaelle
Seraphine
Severine
Yolande
Violette
Viridienne
Zenobie

I’d go with Ѐve. It’s a bit of a longshot, but it’s simple and pretty.

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I think it’s so cool how you speak French and Japanese at home!

Miné (probably doesn’t work because of its meaning, but maybe?)
Inette
Erva
Iné
Minnie
Mina

I do think Nanette works though!

Minnie and Minette seem the most intuitive.
I could also see Manon or Yvette working nicely.

I would call her Minnie. I would name my kid Minnie if I wouldn’t get vetoed lol.

I love the suggestion of Ѐve! It is a bit… short and simple compared to your boy’s names, so if you’re not calling them by nicknames, it doesn’t seem to fit very well. I’d go with a different name if you see the same problem, which goes for really any nickname.

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French or not, full name or nickname, as long as it sounds better in French! Thanks for your suggestions.

This prospect is so disheartening. I thought, for instance, that I would hate H’s name in French but it grew on me big time. Now I love it in English AND in French (in Japanese we call him Re1sh1, like the mushroom, different characters, via the two middle syllables). A we are calling both by his full name and An@st@s(e) in French. H has a French picture book with a minor character called that so when we told him what his brother would be called in French he pulled out the book and turned to the page where he’s introduced and said in French, “Like this one, An@st@s.”

It would be so sad to me not to use such an amazing name that we love in English solely because I don’t like it in French. After all, we live in an English speaking community and plan to, so her forward facing name to the rest of the community is of so much importance, but my personal taste and preferences are also a huge part.

Minou, yeah, I get and planned to steer clear. Minouche is not my favorite option ever, but I don’t see too much of a problem (more like Kitty as a name than Puss in my book, but as a non-native speaker I can’t purport to truly understand the nuances and double-entendres). Tell me what you think.

To everyone, thanks for all the suggestions! The hivemind definitely works for getting more suggestions than I know what to do with. Of those mentioned here, I love Minna, Mina, Nim, and Minnie (these are the nicknames I think just generally regardless of language and have included in previous posts about Minerva).

Minette/Minnette, Manon, Ninon, and Yvette I have also thought of myself. Minette/Minnette is really the only one that sounds super intuitive, so the others have that drawback, but I agree they could work.

I hadn’t really thought of Mimi or Mimsy. I love both options, though they might be a little too saccharine.

I actually really like the thought of Miné/Minée. That would be the pronunciation we would likely use in Japanese (みね), so it would seamlessly translate. I’ll think and ask friends whether it could be easily extracted (pun intended) from the meaning or whether it would seem strange.

And I should have thought of Ève! I’ve definitely considered it for Geneviève, which I have paired with Minerva before. Part of this post is about seeing whether I feel I would need to use a combo like Minerva Geneviève in order to cross languages well (Minerva I love in English, don’t love in French; Genevieve I don’t love in English, but love in French). But it is nice to consider Ève might be used for just Minerva and that I might be able to pair it with something less French if I knew what I’d call her otherwise.

Additional ideas I’ve had are:
Mauve
Merveille
Mireille
Myrtille
Maurille
Myrette
Ermine
Viviane
Vianney
Vernadette
Mimose (another name I only like in French)
Minel
So if you happen to want to offer some thoughts on those, let me know!

@leafsgirl44, Haley, I like many from your list for full name substitutions. My favs:

Great ideas, all. I wish I just LOVED one of them. I will be so sad if this is the dealbreaker for Minerva. :pensive:

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Mignonette from @leafsgirl44 made me think of Mignon. Reading the name page it looks like it’s not really French, but might sound OK? I also like Mina.

Mimi and Mina came to mind first. I’m not a French speaker so I’m not sure how nicknames are formed in French.

If Minerva is unworkable in French, then perhaps Marie-Ève/Mariève, Hermine or Marie-Hermine could be used as a French “equivalent”. I really like Mélisande too.

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I like Mina, Miné/Minée, Mimi, and Ève and I think they work very well! My suggestion was going to be Minette. I love Minerva Geneviève <3
I like Mauve, Mirielle, Myrette, and Minel of your new suggestions though I find the ones above more intuitive.

In my experience, it’s used in a similar way, albeit not as commonly. I’m a fluent French speaker but non-native, like you. However, we do have close French-speaking relatives.

I do like Mauve and Minel from your additional ideas, and think both could work. Minée is also quite sweet. Maybe also Minka?

Being honest, the language barrier with this one would probably be a dealbreaker for me personally. BUT I can tell you really love this name and it sounds like you’re more than used to/accepting of using different variants and nicknames across different languages. Would this be The One, if it weren’t for the language block?

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Minka is so cute!