I was recently reading about St. Josephine Bakhita, whose feast just passed (February 8) — what a woman! I’d never known much about her, but was blown away by the little I read of her life here. So her name was already on my radar when I read the snippet in the Baby Name Wizard about the name Josephine:
“How many names can be all this for you: elegant as an empress, familiar as an old friend, and ready to kick back with fun little nicknames? The answer is exactly three: Victoria, Catherine, and Josepine. The first two are perennially popular, but the third still manages to sound creative. Ahhh.”
I love that! And, you know me, being Nickname Girl (it might be one of my best superpowers 😉 ), I just loved all the suggestions offered: Jo, Josie, Joey, Josette, Fifi, Jody, and Posy. It didn’t list one that I read once though, that I thought was totally inspired and still do: Sophie. Amazing, right? I admit Josephine has never been my favorite name, and Sophie’s my favorite of the Soph- names (I do prefer it to Sophia) but it doesn’t totally fit my personal style … but Josephine nicked Sophie? I could totally get behind that!
Josefa was the entry right before Josephine the BNW, so I thought I’d include that here as well. I’ve known exactly one person with the name Josefa (or maybe she spelled it Josepha?), but she was cool so she made the name cool to me, and I’ve liked it ever since. The Josephine nicknames aren’t all totally right for Josefa in my opinion — Sophie draws as much from the “een” end of Josephine as it does from the “f” in the middle and the long strong “o” in the beginning; Fifi also wouldn’t be as natural for Josefa — but the Jo- ones are all great. I could also see something like Effie working, with the stress in Josefa being on the “ef.”
And of course, we can’t forget our good St. Joseph and what a great way to honor him either Josephine or Josepha/Josefa is.
What do you think of Josephine and Josepha/Josefa? Do you know anyone with these names? Do they like their name? Do they go by a nickname?