Phoenix and Indigo

Submitted by Maggie

I named my first daughter Phoenix after the Chinese phoenix bird. (My daughters are half Chinese/half Japanese.) The Phoenix bird is symbolic of the Empress and represents beauty and peace. It’s also a common Chinese girl’s name (in translation, of course.) I love it because it has ties to her ethnic heritage, yet it is easy to spell and pronounce.

I named my second daughter Indigo after the color used traditionally in Japanese arts. This was a much harder decision because the name had to match Phoenix, i.e., it couldn’t be too frilly or too common. I focused mostly on nature names, since both Japanese and Chinese girls’ names tend to refer to the natural world (e.g., Plum Blossom, Spring Phoenix, Golden Lily). Phoenix, then 3 years old, wanted to name her new sister Butterfly. Cute, but not very strong. (Plus, the nickname “but” wouldn’t fly. 😉 We ultimately chose Indigo for the same reasons we choose Phoenix. It’s a name with beautiful associations that has a tie to her ethnic background. Plus, I love the nickname Indie!