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Thread: Sarajia...?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013


    I met a little black girl today, she is almost one, and she had an interesting name. It was Sarajia. Pronounced like Mariah, but with an S instead of an M. I thought it was interesting. I LOVE Mariah, but not sure about Sarajia, especially with that spelling. What do you guys think? (I wouldn't use it on my daughter, just wanted to know your opinions.)

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Saraiya is a pretty common spelling of that name in several languages and traditions, and I've seen other examples of Black naming practices picking up on the interchangeability of y and j in other languages. I don't think Saraija is a historically-used spelling anywhere but I could be wrong, certainly for Saraija I would basically guess Saraiya first. I think that that ordering of J and I is unfortunately confusing in English, but in plenty of other languages that spelling would in fact yield a name rhyming basically with Mariah. And it's not like English never takes on other languages spelling rules for names, Sh for Ch in Charlotte, Th for T in Thomas and Theresa, it goes on. Sonja for Sonia/Sonya is even pretty familiar. So while when I looked at that name my first instinct was kind of saRAHjia (influence no doubt in part by Teraji P. Nelson? May even be part of why Mom liked that spelling? Who knows?), I also wondered if it just rhymed with Mariah. Names with that -iah ending are very popular in Black naming practices right now.

    So it certainly probably works in communities familiar with these naming practices. I'm sure it will get classist and elitist backlash sometimes which is unfortunate. In many cases names with unconventional spellings aren't in fact done because of a lack of literacy for the name but because of a culture that values preference for the look and feel of the name over whether it feels conventional. A person can disagree tastewise about whether that's preferable or not of course, but I do think it's good to recognize the difference.

  3. #5
    I would spell it Saraia Saraya i love this name

  4. #7
    Quite lovely -- soft yet substantive. And good post, jesba!

    august ~ benjamin ~ nathaniel ~ thomas ~ sawyer ~ henry ~ jonas ~ arthur ~ samuel ~ frederick

    iris ~ sylvie ~ ella ~ tess ~ cora ~ june ~ adeline ~ viola ~ emmeline ~ rosa

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    I love it -- and also Jesba's post <3

    Mary | Elsbeth | Clotilde | Everild | Beatrix | Junia | Tabitha | Gwendolen | Octavia | Eve | March | Edwen

    Simeon | Lionel | Barnabus | Ezekiel | Hector | Ignatius | August | Jove | Sayer | Booker | Mariner | Cecil | Godfrey

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