She Shall Be Called

Evelina  Grace  Timchenko
eh-veh-LEE-nə }  { ɡray-s }  { tim-CHEN-ko }


Evelina / Эвелина: Light – English,  Life – Russian

People with this name are excited by change, adventure, and excitement. They are dynamic, visionary and versatile, able to make constructive use of freedom. They fight being restricted by rules and conventions. They tend to be optimistic, energetic, intelligent, and to make friends easily. They may be changeable, restless, untidy, and rebellious.

Grace / Грейс: From the word ‘grace’, derived from the Latin ‘gratia’, meaning God’s favor. 
People with this name have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family or community.


Usually, when it comes to decision making, I’m much more emotional and Alex is the logical one. But in the name game situation our roles were completely reversed. After a few weeks of flipping through baby name books and not landing on anything that felt right I was beginning to worry we’d never find the “perfect” one. Aside from loving it, my requirements were things like no weird nicknames, no embarrassing initials, the typical stuff.  His requirement? “When you say it, it has to melt your heart.” No pressure. So I started a list of ones that would work based on my criteria, and over the next week or so would read them aloud to him, see if his heart melted, and scratched more and more off the menu. Then, over dinner on our anniversary, he mentioned a few sweet nicknames he liked so we started backtracking from there. And suddenly, out of nowhere, Evelina was born. It wasn’t on my list, I can’t find it any of the name books I’d read (cover to cover), it just came to my mind, he repeated it aloud, I teared up, and it’s safe to say our hearts were melted. “Did we just decide on a name?”, I said. “Yep.”, said he. And that was that. We loved the way it sounded, the origins (more on that in a minute), and the nickname options (we are huuuuge nickname fans) (also see below). Once I found out that it means light/life in our respective native languages it felt even more perfect, as she’s bound to be the light of our lives. 

Grace followed pretty soon after. I wanted our first born to carry my maiden name, Gray, in some way, and had she been a boy it would’ve been simply Gray. (My mom’s maiden name is Graybeal so there’s a double connection.) But Gray alone felt a little masculine for her so I debated using a unique spelling of Grayce (mainly because I’m weird about following trends and kind of wanted to convey that this is about meee, not the #22 name of 2013!) but decided against it in the end (she’ll have enough pronunciation/spelling going on already to make it even more difficult). 

And now for the stats and fun facts for our Slavic/Southern girl: 
  • The popularity of Evelina peaked in the 1880’s (1887 at #528)
  • Roots and Origin – it depends on where you look but most sources agree on the following: It’s derived from the French name Aveline, a feminine Norman-French diminutive of the name Ava, meaning “wished for child”. (Also, my Dad’s name is Norman. See? So many unplanned connections!)
  • Numerology #5 – Outgoing, friendly, flexible, upbeat, versatile, easy to talk to. Loves to explore and be free and will adapt as needed to achieve this freedom. Perceptive about people which enables her to be persuasive and get along well with others.
  • Russian Pet Names: Evelinka, Evelinochka
  • American Nicknames: Evie, Eve, Evah, E, Evs, Lina, Evster (as I’ve recently started using)
  • Notable Evelina’s:
    1. Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World ” a novel by British author Fanny Burney, published in 1778.
    2. Evelina Khromtchenko – Russian journalist and influential fashion figure. (I promise I did not know this until after the fact!)
    3. Fictional character in the song, “Sweet Evelina” written in 1865 and popular with Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. 
Welcome to the world Evelina, the little light of our lives! 
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