My Name


When people meet me for the first time, they often ask me where my name is from (and to repeat it/ how to spell it), so I thought I’d write a post about my name as a bit of an introduction.

My name is the Greek variation of Joanna (but please don’t call me Joanna, I really don’t like it). In Greece it is a tradition to name children at birth after their grandparents/ great grandparents in order to ensure the continuation of names within the family. My parents named me after my Greek Grandfather (Ioannis, the male version of the name). My Grandad passed away a few months before I was born and his dying wish was that I be named after him. I’m very sad that I never got to meet him, but I feel honoured to have his name and that as a result we have an extra special connection.

I actually really like Ioanna as a name – it’s not too difficult to say/ spell but it’s a bit different (although a very popular name in Greece). I know some people aren’t keen on their full name so prefer to use a nickname but I genuinely don’t mind it which is kind of handy seeing as once a year it’s traditional to celebrate it. According to Greek Orthodox tradition, most days of the year are dedicated to a Christian saint. January 7th is the day of Saint John the Baptist and it is the Namesday for all Greek people named Ioannis/ Ioanna. In Greece a person’s Namesday is considered more important than a Birthday and it is always celebrated in Greece. Being half Greek, half English, I celebrate both (win win for me!).

Ioanna is pronounced ee-oh-ah-nah. As some people find it difficult to pronounce I also get called Yo-anna or Yanna which is the nickname for Ioanna in Greek too.

Apparently my name means gracious. A quick Google search gave me some definitions. Gracious means courteous, kind, polite, thoughtful, warm, pleasant and aware of others which I think fits quite well with my personality. I spend way too much time thinking, I’m overly polite (especially on the phone) and I do try to do my fair share for other people.

Over the years my name has been spelt so many different ways, I find it rather amusing, so here’s a little list. Number 10 definitely tops the list as the most bizarre spelling.

1. Yohanna
2. Yoanna
3. Yanni
4. Joanna
5. Loanna
6. Iana
7. Ionna
8. Ioanah
9. Ionanna
10. Ioimno (haha, it’s nothing like my name!)

Do you have any funny stories about your name? Do share!

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