Spotlight on: Jacinta

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Fatima! It’s a special one for me, as I went on a pilgrimage to Fatima just before I turned 14, and I consider it the first and biggest turning point in my faith life. I was brought up in the faith, and taught it well (especially by my mom, at whose knee I literally learned, so stuck to her was I through all my growing up, helping her with the babies, etc., and I loved every minute of it), but I didn’t realize that I didn’t *own* it until I went to Fatima (with the Blue Army sisters and my best friend from childhood, and no parents) — and in Fatima it became mine. I’ve always been grateful for the gift of it.

So it seems the perfect day to spotlight one of my favorite names (and my Confirmation name): Jacinta!

Lucia (by both pronunciations) gets lots of name love in the Catholic families I know/know of, and Francis in all its forms (including Francisco) is kind of all the rage right now thanks to Papa Frank, but I rarely hear Jacinta. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why!

Is it the pronunciation? I say jah-SIN-tah, which is acceptable as an English pronunciation. I know it’s said hah-SEEN-tah in Spanish, and perhaps that’s what a lot of people default to? But just like with loo-SEE-ah versus loo-CHEE-ah, I think all it takes is a simple correction.

As I’m sure you’re not surprised by, I’ve given a lot of thought to nicknames for Jacinta, as it’s definitely one of my very favorite girl names, and back before I knew I was going to birth six boys in a row, I thought there was a chance we might actually get past our very favorite girl name (which I will reveal if I entire menopause having never had a girl. :P), so I needed to know what we would call a little Jacinta when we weren’t calling her Jacinta.

Jess and Jessie have always been my favorites. They’re familiar to American ears, so there wouldn’t be any pronunciation issues as there might be with Jacinta. But one of my husband’s favorites (and mine too) is Tess, and we couldn’t do Jess and Tess, and Tess just a notch higher on our list than Jacinta (I actually still have to convince my hubs of Jacinta. Which I haven’t even bothered with, since all the boys).

So back to the drawing board. I really like the combo Jacinta Rose, and I thought Josie could come from that? I’ve thought of Cinta, but the “sin” sound makes me hesitate. Funny enough, that doesn’t bother me about Cinna (like the Hunger Games character), and Cinna would likely be my second favorite option, if it weren’t for that character. (Though maybe it’s not such a bad association … he was great and heroic after all … hmm …) Cindy’s also a possibility. Maybe also Cissy?

Jacey seems a natural nickname, at least spelling-wise, but the Stacey-Tracy-Jace-Jayden names, all of which Jacey feels like to me, aren’t really my style.

Janey’s a possibility, and a really sweet one … I think I’d love it more if it was just a little bit more different from our favorite name. Same with Jinna and Jenna, both of which could work.

Jetta could work. Ooh that’s a really cool name. Too cool for us I think.

This is a pretty great list though, some really great nicknames on here.

Secularly, I’ve always loved seeing the Aussie actress Jacinda Barrett‘s name in the credits (and I just have to say — she’s married to Gabriel Macht and if “Jacinda and Gabriel” aren’t the coolest names paired together than I don’t know what). Since she’s Australian, if she has a nickname, it’s probably Jazz, right? Don’t they do that Down Under? Barry is Baz and Sharon is Shazzer and all that? And then there’s Halle Berry’s character in the Bond movie Die Another Day whose given name is Giacinta but she goes by Jinx. I could also see a Giacinta going by the nick Gia.

What say you all to Jacinta? Yay or nay and why/why not? Would you prefer Jacinda or Giacinta? Do you know any Jacintas in real life, and if so, do they go by a nickname?

34 thoughts on “Spotlight on: Jacinta

  1. I really like Jacinta, but have yet to get my husband on board. I think the nickname thing was always tricky for us, but you pointed out some really cute ones. I really like Janey, but not sure if it sounds natural enough.
    Oh well, since this one is a boy, we still have time. (Unless I
    l also end up with all the boys, which is a distinct possibility.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not the biggest fan of Jacinta, which is funny considering my undying devotion to Hyacinth! If I ever get a little Hyacinth, Bl. Jacinta will certainly be a patron saint for her, in addition to some of the other great St. Hyacinths. I think Jacinta doesn’t work for me because it doesn’t work with our moderately distinctively ethnic last name.

    What do think about nicknames for Hyacinth? Perhaps if I came across the perfect nickname, it’d convince my husband :).

    Also, somewhat off topic, but I had never been a huge fan of Gabriel…until we got hooked on Suits and Gabriel Macht has sold me on it, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I knew a Jacinta growing up. She went by jah-SEEN-tah, but all of her emails and public profiles had Hyacinth. I think she liked it better. And, a girl I know has a sister who is Jacinta and she goes by SEEN-tah, but I am not sure if that is because she is hah-SEEN-tah, or if maybe she is jah-SIN-tah and goes by SEEN-tah because it’s prettier?? We aren’t super close friends, I just know she talks about her sis a lot 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jacinta is not among my favorites, I think it feels too foreign to me.

    However! The nickname Cissy!!!! Killing me with the awesome on that.

    I know a Jacintha, the older sister of a friend I grew up with. She goes just by Jacintha.

    I think I may like Jacinda the best as a version of the name.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, I’m acquainted with a Jacinta!!! She’s around my age (mid-to-late twenties). I remember that when I first met her she spoke up and enunciated very clearly while introducing herself, as if she’s used to people mishearing her name. And I think that the name Jacinta’s biggest downside these days is its similarity to ’80s favorites like Jessica and Jason. It sounds slightly less than fresh to me, despite its rarity. Hyacinth, however, is a family name and definitely on my middles list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know a Jacinta, we called her Cinta (Sin-ta) for short, which wasn’t very often. I’ve thought about using the name for a girl, but it’s pretty far down my list, I love St. Hyacinth (raised by Dominicans), and Bl. (St.?) Jacinta was special to me when I was younger.
    I would prefer using Jacinta to Hyacinth, I’m not exactly sure why because I don’t have any problem with flower saint names (my daughter’s middle name is Rose). It just seems more name like to me?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jacinta seems like a Jessica sandwich, with Cynthia and Araminta in the middle. So: wearable! I feel like I’ve been hearing it more lately, too. Fatima as a girl’s (middle?) name would be more my personal style, though. Such a wonderful feast/devotion!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. First off, it’s funny you mention Lucia’s two pronunciations, because the two I love are not the two you listed, lol. I first met a Lucia when I was 14 years old in Germany. It is pronounced LOO-tsee-ah there. I fell in love with the name then. As an adult, I love the English LOO-she. (I also love the other two pronunciations you listed, it just caught my attention that those weren’t the ones I was thinking of, haha!)

    Regarding Jacinta – I’ve had this on my long list of girl names for quite some time. I actually saved my preliminary list of girl names for my daughter, and yep, it’s on there! I love the Spanish pronunciation, but that’s because Dh’s family speaks Spanish. I also know a Jacinta (with the English “j” pronunciation). I am not aware of a nickname, but as usual, I really like your ideas. Josie and Jenna are my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sarah for the Lucia pronunciations — I felt like I was forgetting one when I was writing it and indeed I was — the LOO-she one. But I’ve not heard the LOO-tsee-ah one, very cool!

      I’m SO HAPPY you have Jacinta on your list!!!!!

      Like

      • No, like Jackie Robinson. A female nn Jack is kind of with the times don’t you think? And then Jacinta is the hidden gem beneath the gender bending diminutive. I think it can span both the ultra femme and boys names on girls trends without using a name like Josephine or Alexandra.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yay! I wanted it to be like Jackie but thought you’d think I was crazy for thinking it might be. 🙂 I love love love the idea of Jackie and I like Jacinta as the given much more than Jacqueline. Surely most people would assume Jacqueline, which might annoy me a little sometimes, but it’s an easy correction. Fun!

        Like

  9. Oh awesome. Jacinta is probably my number one baby girl name right now… My husband just mentioned Josephina as a potential name this morning and I adore St Joseph but already have a nephew Joseph so I feel the only way to really get a ‘Joseph’ name would be to go the feminine route!

    However… Jacinta and Fatima keep pulling at my heart too!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My friend’s toddler is Jacinta with the nickname Jay. I love it! (Full disclosure – We use that nickname for our son James so I’m quite partial to it)

    I don’t know why I found it so surprising as it’s fairly straightforward nickname, but I see that it wasn’t mentioned here so I thought I’d post it.

    Liked by 1 person

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