Relatives in Peru don’t like the names Lorenna and Carlos Yturbe chose for their four children — too weird, they say.
“They are not common — they always say to us ‘why did you give your kids those names?’ ” says Lorenna.
“But that’s OK. We tried to make our kids feel that it’s special and nice to have something nobody else has.”
Even though there aren’t many children named Arantxazu, Agnes, Thiago and Gemo here in Toronto either, Yturbe said “people in Canada get it faster … because we have so many cultures here, we are used to different names.”
After leaving Peru and living for short time in the United States, where their eldest daughter was born, the couple settled in Scarborough in 2003.
They named their first-born Arantxazu, pronounced ah-ran-za-zoo, a Basque name from the northern Spanish area where Carlos’ grandparents lived.
According to Behindthename.com, it is taken from the name of a sanctuary in honour of the Virgin Mary.
The couple’s three other children were born in Canada. Agnes, now 9, has a name with Greek origins which means pure. Mom says it “is a little bit old, but lately in some movies you’re seeing it, in Despicable Me one of the little girls is Agnes.”
They gave son Thiago, now 5, a Portuguese name that everyone mistakes for Diego.
“His name comes from Santiago, a modification of it … it just came into our head,” says Lorenna. “My husband wanted Gago, but I thought it sounded too rough.
“He also wanted to call him Rio … but then the movie came out — I could have called my son a bird.”
The newest member of the family is Gemo, taken from Guillermo.
The 8-month-old is named after Carlos’ brother, who died three years ago from health problems.
“There are two children already named Guillermo after him (in the family), and we needed something different,” says Lorenna. “His nickname was Gemo — gem-oh — all the time, my husband used to call him that.”
None of the children have middle names “because it’s easier,” says mom. “In the end, they don’t use it anyway.”
Did you give your child an interesting or unusual name? Email firstname.lastname@example.org